That was the decision by Roswell city council members on Monday after several hours of a public hearing on an application to rezone 16 acres in the area.
“It’s pretty clear the areas we said we wanted to remain with subdivisions the way they are now,” Councilman Kent Igleheart said. “I have a problem with saying there’s not that much difference, so we should go ahead.”
EAH Investments wanted to build 38 single family homes on two lots on either side of Etris Road, 11.3 acres on the west side and 4.8 acres on the east.
To do that, the zoning would have to be changed from agricultural, which is what it has been since it was annexed from Fulton County.
Representing the applicant, Doug Dillard told council that the city doesn’t have a zoning category that fits what the company wants to do. So EAH asked for a residential single family attached home zoning, even though Dillard stated the company does not intend to build attached homes.
With the rezoning application came a host of variance requests that effectively would reduce lot sizes and allow each home to cover most of its lot.
Residents from adjacent neighborhoods, including Hamilton Commons and Edenwilde, were united in their opposition to the plan. Speakers at Monday’s public hearing told council that allowing smaller lots would go against the city’s recently updated comprehensive land use plan.
Some said they moved to Roswell because of the city’s tough zoning reputation and said they want any new development to resemble existing home and lot sizes.
Builder Paul Corley said the quality of the homes that would go up on the smaller lots would be first rate.
But Councilwoman Nancy Diamond moved to rezone the land R1, which would require fewer homes than the category applied for by EAH. In unanimously agreeing to that motion, some council members pointed out that city staff’s own comments in reviewing the application for conformance to city standards didn’t support the category EAH was asking for.
Dillard had indicated he would advise his client to sue the city if the desired rezoning wasn’t granted.
“We can deny it now and take our chances in court, or zone it R1, which is what everyone here suggested they want,” said Councilman Jerry Orlans, nodding at the council chambers packed with citizens.