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Roswell city council candidates express viewpoints on development
by Nicole Dow
October 30, 2013 12:50 PM | 2818 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Future development in Roswell, particularly with regards to the Unified Development Code, was a major topic of discussion at the Roswell Woman’s Club candidate forum Oct. 22.

While post 4 challenger Harvey Smith said he believes in the passage of the UDC, incumbent Kent Igleheart wanted to focus redevelopment in specific areas and re-evaluate how much development is allowed.

“Going beyond the three- or four-story limit and having unlimited densities as some of the parts of our UDC will do I think will harm our long-term efforts [for development],” Igleheart said.

He said Roswell’s empty strip malls, used car lots and rundown apartments should be the areas to focus redevelopment.

Smith said one of his focuses for the city, if elected, would be to promote business.

He sees the UDC as a “template that will allow developers and other business people to come to Roswell and see what we have to offer.”

Post 5 incumbent Jerry Orlans reminded those at the debate that the city is still in the information gathering stages when it comes to developing the UDC.

He said public hearings on the matter will occur through February.

Orlans said he thinks mixed-use development is good for the city, highlighting Canton Street and the Parkway Village area as successful hubs in Roswell.

His challenger, Eric Schumacher, said it is important to spend time on the UDC to get it right.

“With the UDC, we’re changing a lot of things and I think a lot of change is good, but a lot of the people who live here moved here because we want a small-town feel and I think we need to respect that,” he said.

Post 6 incumbent Nancy Diamond expressed similar sentiments.

“Since we’re mostly a residential city, people and neighborhoods will always be the priority,” she said, “but we cannot have a healthy city without a healthy business community.”

Diamond also mentioned the city’s private-public partnership with the Roswell Business Alliance has helped bring increased business to Roswell.

Her challenger, Kendra Cox, said she is excited about the idea of redeveloping some of Roswell’s rundown areas but thinks city council ought to put more focus on infrastructure.

“I think if we rush headlong into developing and redeveloping without considering our quality of life, which includes traffic and schools, then we might run into trouble,” she said.

Cox said future development should add to the betterment of Roswell while maintaining a connection to the city’s treasured past.

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