It has come to our attention that a group of citizens are raising a signficant amount of opposition to the proposed Groveway Hybrid Form Based Code. We have written about this code previously (here and here) and support the effort to revitalize one of the most neglected parts of our city by engaging the community, updating the zoning into the 21st century and giving those citizens the neighborhood design they desire.
The opposition is making false claims about the potential for large numbers of apartments and retail space. The claim is that through hyper development in this area, our city will suffer reduced quality of life, more traffic congestion, degrading school quality and several other social ills. Additionally, there is concern that this is being fast tracked by council.
The facts show that these claims just aren't true. The city made an official response, posted below, to the initial email that addresses the claims very well. We have chosen to not post the original email as it contains several factual inaccuracies that could further confuse the public. Please consider sending an email to the mayor city council voicing your support.
If you can, please try to come out to the City Council Meeting Monday evening (4/9) at City Hall and show your support. Here's the city's response:
You recently received an email containing a letter written by ........ concerning the Groveway Community project. There are many inaccuracies in this letter pertaining to this project, and the City of Roswell would like to give you the correct information.
Groveway Project Process
This project is not being fast tracked. It has gone through a thorough, painstaking process which began back in 2008 with the City receiving a grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission to study the area for redevelopment. From 2008 until today, the City has involved the community and stakeholders from day one. The Groveway project has been a community-driven effort with multiple meetings for citizen input. The City has held a two-day charrette with citizens, four community meetings and 17 Groveway Stakeholder committee meetings following the charrette. The result is a community vision and comprehensive plan for Groveway: A mixed-use zoning code overlay that will re-create the area, making it a vibrant part of our city. Please visit the timeline for this project to see how it has progressed over the years.http://www.roswellgov.com/DocumentView.aspx?DID=2351
The maximum number of apartments that could be built in Groveway is 2,800 but realistically that number is not likely to exceed 1,500. The Groveway project is a mixed-used development which means there will be single family homes, multi-family homes (apartments/townhomes), commercial and retail. To achieve 4,000 apartments, every piece of land in Groveway would need to be developed into five-story apartment complexes. That would include the City Hall property, the Cultural Arts Center, the Police Department, the Library, the Child Development Association, Pleasant Hill Church, the AT&T building, the cemetery and Waller Park. That is just not going to happen.
In addition, the Groveway hybrid form-based code does not allow for five-story buildings everywhere. Five-story buildings are allowed only on the primary streets of Atlanta, Oak, Hill, Norcross, and Frazier. Secondary streets in the community are allowed only three-story buildings. Currently there are approximately 400 apartments in the GrovewayCommunity. Realistically Groveway will be redeveloped into a community with homes, townhomes, apartments, retail and commercial…a balanced approach.
There will not be 1,782,000 square-feet of retail space developed in the Groveway Community. Again to achieve this level of retail, every parcel in Groveway would need to be retail, and that is not realistic. That would include the City Hall property, the Cultural Arts Center, the Police Department, the Library, the Child Development Association, Pleasant Hill Church, the AT&T building, the cemetery and Waller Park. Again, that is just not going to happen. In addition, the Groveway Community is on a grid system and the size of the land parcels does not allow an assemblage of land large enough to support that much retail. This is a mixed-use development not solely a retail development.
Transferable to other areas of Roswell
The Groveway Community Hybrid Form-Based Code Regulations have been created through a community effort for theGroveway Community and nowhere else. If other communities in our wonderful City would like to redevelop their areas, a similar process would need to take place. The residents and stakeholders of the community would need to be engaged and drive the process from the very beginning to its fruition, and Roswell’s Mayor and Council would need to approve the final plan.
Necessary infrastructure improvements would be required through the redevelopment of the properties in addition to developers paying impact fees for improvements. This is a live, work, play, walkable community where people will walk to the stores, restaurants and parks similar to those who live in the Canton Street area.
The Groveway project is a community vision of what this area of our city could be – a thriving, vibrant neighborhood for our community. To read more about the Groveway project, we encourage you to visit http://www.roswellgov.com/index.aspx?NID=1435.