Roswell bans self-contained apartment complexes


Roswell Mayor Kurt Wilson said the last time a new, self-contained multifamily project was passed in the city was in 2001.

ROSWELL, Ga. — Just before midnight Monday, following a marathon meeting that began at 7 p.m., the Roswell City Council voted unanimously to restrict the construction of new apartments in the city.

New apartments and condos will need to be part of a mixed-use development in the future. Future self-contained apartment developments will be prohibited.

Kurt Wilson, Mayor of Roswell said the last time a new, self-contained multi-family project was passed in the city was in 2001.

“With self-contained multi-family projects, we would put a dent in the affordable housing crisis. But worse, we’d be reducing the quality of life for our residents, whether they’re in budget condominiums, apartments or single-family homes,” Wilson told 11Alive.

However, most residents who spoke during the public comments were overwhelmingly against this vote.

“The need right now is definitely funding for families struggling to make ends meet, and I can definitely relate because that’s my story,” said Talaya Parker, chief executive of Stretching at home, an organization offering temporary housing. “I was struggling to get housing and utilities. Now it’s a very difficult challenge for families to decide whether to put food on the table or put a roof over their heads .”

Still, Wilson explained that this effort will make Roswell more “aspirational” and more of a destination. Board Member Mike Palermo compared to that of Alpharetta”Avalon.”

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“I moved here when I was 36 and could barely afford it,” Wilson said. “It was an aspiration for me to move here. And I dare say it was a community of choice. That’s what Roswell is. It’s a community of choice.”

He added that there is a limited amount of undeveloped land in the city, and being strategic about how it is used will make the city a “destination”.

“Do you want to be 200,000 inhabitants in 20 years? Or 120,000 inhabitants in 20 years? take care of my quality of life,” added Wilson.

Meanwhile, residents who spoke out said it would limit people’s entry, cost others and make it a less diverse area.

“There are families struggling just to pay their bills, to put food on the table, and just to pay for housing or rent for their families,” Parker added.

Mayor Wilson said the city will still be allowed to redevelop multi-family projects already there.

“We’re the most populated apartment town in all of North Fulton, which isn’t a bad thing. We’re just choosing not to put more apartments on the table as stand-alone multi-family projects,” he said.

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