Early this year a new and energetic City Council put forth over 100 changes to the Unified Development Code for Roswell. Some of these changes addressed issues of concern in the areas of suburban residential, in areas that the DDA does not operate. Many of those changes have been implemented. However, some of the remaining changes impact the areas within the Downtown Development Authority Boundary. In order to evaluate and measure the impact of these changes on the opportunity for future redevelopment and reinvestment, particularly in the Downtown district, the DDA engaged Bleakly Advisory Group to compare and contrast the UDC currently in place with the UDC changed as proposed.
The conclusion of this report can be summarized as follows:
The proposed menu of land uses which remains after the amendments are incompatible with the high land values in downtown;
The amendments would narrow the range of housing choices in downtown;
The amendments will make downtown increasingly affordable to only upper income households;
Rental housing would not be an option in downtown;
Increased setbacks will drive up development costs;
The amendments would limit the ability to downtown to absorb more development and generate a higher share of the City tax base;
The proposed amendments would weaken the level of retail demand in downtown.
Developing or redeveloping in a downtown area has different challenges, costs, and even market dynamics than areas in more traditional suburban commercial areas. According to this report, the impact of the proposed changes will have a significant impact on the feasibility of new development and will need to be carefully reviewed.
An economically vibrant and healthy downtown will protect the value of our homes and neighborhoods.