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City council passes UDC with 4-2 vote
by Christine Fonville
February 26, 2014 01:01 PM | 1372 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After a lengthy council meeting to address and change any last wordage in documents and a map, Roswell’s Unified Development Code was voted into place.

Council members Rich Dippolito, Becky Wynn, Jerry Orlans and Nancy Diamond voted in favor while council members Kent Igleheart and Betty Price voted against the code that, according to the city’s website, will serve as a single tool that addresses contemporary development and zoning practices in a format that is consistent and easily understood by administrators, developers and community members.

Much of the council meeting was spent re-reading changes suggested late in the game.

Council members discussed amendments to the document that would affect, among other personal property aspects, garage door widths and awning canopy heights.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, some residents spoke up about the last minute changes to the wording of the document and how they were not comfortable with the most recently amended version of the code being voted into place without proper notification.

Kendra Cox of Roswell read an open letter to the council saying she and other residents did not receive adequate time to review the document. 

“The newly presented UDC was never made public at the time of the voting so the public could understand the changes to the UDC,” she said.

Cox also said the city discouraged public input about the document and pointed to a notification sent in the city’s August water bills as an example.

“The notification said residents need not worry because changes would not, allegedly, affect uses of their property, but the finalized UDC proposed tonight changes the rights of property owners and their neighbors,” she said.

Other members of the public, however, spoke in favor of the revised code and said they would prefer the vote not be delayed further.

Ralph Mills, a member of Roswell’s Downtown Development Authority, said he was “thankful for the time and effort to bring forth this beginning and change to Roswell.”

“It’s a very important document, and whether it’s totally correct is not really important tonight; it’s the fact that we’re moving forward and the steps you’re taking we greatly appreciate,” he said.

The project, which began in May 2012, has been the hot topic of about 50 meetings to date, but the 4-2 vote cast Monday evening was the final of two votes needed to put the code in place.

While the design guidelines may be amended and updated in the future, the process has involved a critique of the existing zoning code and incorporation of the Imagine Roswell 2030 Comprehensive Plan and the Economic Development Strategic Plan. It will result in a new unified zoning document, according to the city’s website.

Mayor Jere Wood reiterated his previously written statement that “residents will not see a change in 95 percent of Roswell” based on the new code.

Residents may view the UDC and map at www.roswellgov.com.
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