Roswell bans development of stand-alone apartments to limit growth

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 12:02 AM EDT
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ROSWELL, Ga. (CBS46) - On Monday, Roswell’s City Council voted unanimously to ban the future development of stand-alone apartments.

“We’re the most populous apartment city in all of North Fulton, which is not a bad thing. We’re just choosing not to put more apartments on the table,” said Kurt Wilson, Mayor of Roswell.

Wilson said they are now seeking mixed-used apartments, just not stand-alone apartments.

Critics were quick to challenge, saying this move is a blow to current and future residents already challenged to find affordable housing.

The overwhelming majority of community members providing public comment spoke against this effort.

“Instead of building a bigger wall to keep others out, I’d rather build a bigger table and invest in our city,” said Sarah Beeson, a Roswell resident, who also studies city planning.

Beeson said this could especially hurt communities of color.

Instead of stand-alone apartments, with this development zoning change, officials are seeking to draw mixed-use complexes that prioritize businesses and retail over housing within the bustling multi-family zones in east Roswell.

“Can’t put them in the corridors. We’ve got a lot of apartments in our corridors,” said Wilson.

“Nothing wrong with that. But going forward, in terms of new development, we won’t have stand-alone multi-family projects.”

City officials said there are more multi-family apartments than two homes and condos combined along the Holcomb Bridge Road corridor.

“What we’re discussing is what should future development look like,” said Councilmember Mike Palermo.

Wilson said this move will help control the growth in Roswell, where the 2020 census projected the population surpassed 95,000 residents.

“Don’t bring another 100K people here. Our vision, our goal, which we set out in our campaign was very clear, we’re going to be 120K people in 20 years” said Wilson.

A city official confirmed with CBS46, after this vote, this new development change goes into effect immediately.