Reining In Growth in Roswell

This strikes me as not actually a bad idea.

In a move that could ripple across metro Atlanta’s Northside, Roswell has approved a land use law that imposes height and density limits on major mixed-use projects.

The Roswell City Council unanimously approved a zoning amendment that roughs out a design vision for the historic city in north Fulton County, including limits of six units per acre and 60 feet in height, or roughly five stories.

It is getting crowded up there.


  1. RonaldJFehr says:

    This actually strikes me as a terrible idea. It limits the newly rejuvenated models of smart growth that propelled the community driven, pedestrian feel of such notably attractive communities as Savannah, San Francisco and isolated neighborhoods in other large cities.

    Developers must see an incentive to transform property from raw, or sparsely developed land into more populous and urban projects. In today’s economy that incentive is not provided by dictating to the individuals and companys shouldering the financial risk that their development must be a certaing height.

    The ability to construct tasteful, and well planned high rises alongside commercial and residential pockets in high density developments gives developers a profit producing and highly valuable project for re-sale to larger institutional real-estate developers.

    Based on what two Roswell City Council members seem to feel, it will be better for the northside to continue down the unattractive, annonymous cul-de-sac and strip mall growth track that has plagued the asthetic feel of the region for decades now.

    Find me a memorable home that has been built in the last 20 years in Roswell, Alpharetta or any other part of The Northern Arc. By memorable I mean a unique, individual home that made you as a driver or pedestrian stop, turn around and admire for reasons other than size or landscaping.

    There simply is not a single example of this. Instead, thanks to the wonderfully counter-productive land use plans, the landscape is dotted with homes whose physical appearances differ only by the number on the mailbox. As a result of exclusive gated communities and tasteless shopping centers with the same Blockbuster, Brewsters, Gas Station blueprint “The Northside” will never see an end to traffic and growth problems.

    Thanks Paula Winiski and Lori Henry. I hope you are resoundingly voted out of office, and doomed to a purgatory of potholes and stop lights.

  2. Eddie T says:

    Amen to this–How can people on the north side simultaneously complain about traffic but fight the very solutions that are designed to provide traffic relief?

    Aesthetic concerns aside, there is just no practical reason to spread people out that much in the northern suburbs. It puts us back even further on giving people the option to not have to drive a car EVERYWHERE THEY GO, lets us continue our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, is awful for the environment, gives our kids asthma, and makes traffic miserable in addition to the artificially reduced cost of land that comes along with limiting what developers can do with it.

  3. Three Jack says:

    With myopic ‘leaders’ like Jere Wood, this should be no surprise. Those who use government regulation attempting to avert natural growth will only serve to create more problems for future generations.

  4. Brian from Ellijay says:

    Gotta love the bowtie.

    Roswell is afraid they are becoming to much like Buckhead. Thats the reason for this. Alpharetta is pushing a similar measure.

  5. GAWire says:

    This project is about one thing … taking out the old crappy buildings and low income residences in the old Roswell surrounding area, and making it more like a southern-style little town, with big city prices for townhomes, etc hence the limit on residences within a certain area. Real estate in this area is only shooting up b/c there is plenty of low income to eliminate and the high income folks are moving in completely willing to pay the prices.

    It’s a good idea in a sense that they are trying to make R a neat town again with good looking homes, businesses, restaurants/bars, and the unique architectural style.

    It’s bad to those that don’t like developers driving out low end housing and replacing it with high end homes and businesses.

    I tend to stick with the former rather than the latter.

    Some also don’t like it b/c of the strict codes placed on historic areas, which do tend to suck sometimes, but hey, I’d rather have a town that has some unique character than be overran with cheezy looking buildings and low income housing.

  6. GAWire says:

    Btw, Jere is too busy making bike riding his primary policy initiative than anything development related in Roswell.

  7. The Warsaw Ferryman says:

    This is the same mayor and council that raised taxes and bought a mansion to hold cotillions in just months apart, yet all got re-elected.

    Eventually all the restrictions placed on development is going to make the tax digest skew too heavy towards residential. I don’t think anyone there graps that you have at least some prime commerical real estate, so that the tax burden can be shifted off the residents.

    One day, they’ll be all built out and then they have to raise taxes – again…

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