Roswell City Hall

ROSWELL, Ga. — Roswell’s efforts to improve east-west connectivity north of Holcomb Bridge Road hit a snag Jan. 28 when the City Council deferred action on the third phase of its Sun Valley Project.

At issue is $333,000 in impact fee credits the developer is seeking for system improvements along Sun Valley Drive.

City officials voted unanimously Jan. 28 to move discussion on pre-approving $333,000 in impact fee credits for $639,000 in system improvements to the Feb. 11 council meeting.

Sun Valley is a multi-phase project designed to improve connectivity along the Ga. 9 corridor.

Phase I of Sun Valley Drive, completed in May 2018, connected Ga. 9 east to Warsaw Road, with a new, single-lane roundabout at the entrance of the Creekside at Mansell and Regency at Mansell neighborhoods.

Phase II will connect the drive with Old Ellis Drive and Old Roswell Road to improve east-west access in that area. Phase III, which is yet to be designed, will continue Phase I of Sun Valley Drive across Ga. 9 to reconnect with Houze Road.

The developer, Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, has asked to use impact fee credits and reimbursements to construct street system improvements on Sun Valley Drive. Staff has recommended approval.

“All staff is doing is preserving this corridor,” said Roswell Engineering Design Manager Robert Dell-Ross. “System improvements are primarily proposed on the opposite side of Sun Valley as well as the approaches to the roundabout connecting the adjacent parcels. The roundabout itself is not a system improvement…

“If we ever intend on building the system improvements as they are shown, it is much less expensive utilizing a mobilized contractor in today’s dollars than whatever future inflated costs that might be.”

The developer will be required to pay the $333,000 regardless of what the City Council decides, said Councilman Mike Palermo.

“As the request currently stands, I’m opposed to this,” Palermo said. “[The request] totals almost $1 million. And as I look at it, $1 million in city money, knowing that the $333,000 has requirements on how it’s used, is this the priority right here this roundabout as it is now — is that the best expenditure of the $1 million? For me, personally, the answer is no.”

Phase III of the Sun Valley Project is currently very high priority in the city’s FY 2020 budget, Dell-Ross said.

“From a transportation perspective, this is a trifecta,” said Roswell Director of Transportation Steve Acenbrak. “It improves connectivity, it improves mobility and safety, and it improves economic development. Very rarely do we get all three of those and a willing developer and we’re not cutting through anybody’s subdivision…This is planning for the future.”

Councilman Sean Groer said he wanted to defer voting on the item until the City Council received more information and heard more from the Georgia Department of Transportation on the project.

In other action at the meeting, the City Council unanimously approved the first reading of a text amendment that historic property maintenance will be the responsibility of the Director of Recreation, Parks, Historic and Cultural Affairs.

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