Double take! What’s that BIG yellow sign mean?

Big Yellow Sign Image.jpg

Rezoning and Conditional Land Use Application Steps

Have you ever drove past and did a double take to see those BIG yellow signs that mention new development? Curious as to what it means?  What is the project? Has the project been approved or is the process just starting? How will it affect Roswell and my own property? Many questions arise.  Lets first get a better understanding of the “projects” and the steps in which they go through.

All developments or redevelopments must go through a Public Application process. The BIG yellow sign informs the public that a new project is in the works.  The project could be for one of the following:

  • Rezoning
    The action or process of assigning land or property to a different category of restrictions on use and development.

  • Conditional Land Use
    A zoning exception which allows the property owner use of his land in a way not otherwise permitted within the zoning district, without City Council approval.

Projects that are seeking a Rezoning or Conditional Land Use must go before City Council. Projects that are being proposed that meet the current zoning code and do not require a conditional land use approval, do not go before City Council – however, they do go through the design approval process. Below are the steps for a Rezoning and Conditional Land Use application.

  1. Schedule a pre-application meeting with the City Staff
    This step gives the staff the opportunity to see the early stages of the project and allows them to make suggestions and comments before the design goes into the application process.

  2. Prepare and submit the application to the City
    The public process officially begins.  The City Staff reviews the application and its supporting documents to ensure completeness; the City Staff creates a project report that kick starts the process.  

  3. Design Review Board (DRB) or Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) courtesy review The appropriate board (depending on the location of the project) will review the project at their regular scheduled meeting.  If a project is located within the boundaries of the Historic District, then the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) will be in charge of the design review.  If the project is located outside of the Historic District, then the DRB will be in charge of the design review. The DRB does not review single-family homes or developments. Each of the boards is comprised of seven resident volunteers. The DRB/HPC board will review the project and make design suggestions for the developer to consider. 

  4. Neighborhood Meeting
    This open forum allows the developer and local residents to discuss the project details and offer possible solutions if concerns arise. The open forum is very early in the process. Residents can then communicate their support, make an opposition or share ideas to make the project better for the City.  The feedback is shared with the City Staff, Planning Commission and City Council.

  5. Planning Commission Meeting
    The formal public hearing allows the City Staff to present their Staff Report, the applicant to present the project to the City and allows residents to voice their opinion.  The Planning Commission then votes on the project and a recommendation to approve or deny is made to the City Council. Both the Planning Commission and City Staff often recommend conditions for approval.  These can be any number of things that they believe make the project a better fit for Roswell’s future.

  6. Mayor and City Council meeting
    This is also a formal public hearing where all of the information from the previous meetings is presented and the application is either denied or approved by the City Council.

  7. a. If denied, the process ends.
    b. If approved, the application will then undergo a more rigorous review by the Design Review Board (DRB) or the Historic Preservation Commission ( HPC).  Once the review board approves the project, the next step is to obtain a Land Disturbance Permit and that is when the dirt starts moving and the public can see changes on the street.

The journey of a Rezoning or Conditional Land Use application is a long one; each step has importance for maintaining the city’s value, charm, quality design and history.

So, when you pass that BIG yellow sign, know that the project is somewhere in the process. You can discover which step the project is by visiting Roswell Government Planning Zoning Development to see Roswell’s developments in the pipeline.