Roswell residents continue to raise concerns of parking as expansion and development of downtown Roswell moves forward.
Questions raised at June 10 city council meeting dealt with the development of the boutique hotel, which is anticipated for the property where Wells Fargo is currently located in downtown Roswell.
Attorney Ed Tate spoke on behalf of the applicant, Canton Place Development.
According to Tate, parking for the hotel is proposed behind the building, near Webb Street and under the hotel, with the construction of an underground lot.
The lot is projected to accommodate 313 spaces, 50 of those will be for public parking.
Tate described the boutique hotel as the “most exciting to come to Canton Street since revitalization of the street.”
Mayor Jere Wood noted that Ed Tate was part of council involved in that effort.
Tate noted the “high end hotel that would offer lodging for business visitors and tourists,” and the current absence of a hotels that services Roswell.
Tate expressed that the developers are aware of the “opportunity and responsibility to deliver.”
“We believe we can deliver high end, quality project,” said Tate.
“I am pleased that this has been proposed for Roswell. We get a lot of phone calls from people wanting to stay in the historic district, but nothing is available. The hotel gives us more to sell,” said Roswell Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Executive Director Dotty Etris.
In addition to parking, Director of Community Development, Alice Wakefield noted a list of a dozen conditions to be adapted into the proposed site plan.
Tate noted that Canton Place Development would comply with all conditions, but had issues with the number of rooms and the implementation of a deceleration lane to access the hotel.
“Each part of project relies on other parts of project, all intertwined,” said Tate, noting that all must be approved before proceeding.
Regarding the number of rooms, Tate stated the developers would “prefer the opportunity to change the condition to say'not to exceed 125 rooms.'"
The additional five rooms, according to Tate, is allowed within city code and would not change the square footage.
Mayor Wood inquired if the “change in room number still meet parking requirement,” to which Alice Wakefield responded affirmatively.
According to Steve Rowe, after conducting a traffic study, the “lane is not necessary to traffic and safety.”
Wood requested “to hear from transportation department who suggested the deceleration lane.”
Director of Transportation Steve Acenbrak emphasized the existing stress of the Magnolia and Mimosa intersection expressing that the deceleration lane could lessen congestion.
By giving vehicles a separate lane to go into to get to the hotel, there would be ““no pressure for cars behind them to find where this hotel is,” according to Acenbrak.
The preference of the developers is “not to have westbound right turn deceleration lane because it takes away space needed,” according to Tate.
He added that implementing a deceleration lane is “too much square footage to lose” and may affect deal with Wells Fargo.
He emphasized the “deal with Wells Fargo dictates size shape and location of each particular building.”
Canton Place Development worked closely to provide a solution for Wells Fargo to remain in Roswell.
Residents spoke against and in favor of the deceleration lane.
“Striking #7 [deceleration lane] is taking away one of the little things that we can do to improve traffic,” said Dave Long, a concerned resident.
Vice Chair of the Historic Preservation Commission Judy Meer expressed that a “right deceleration lane may negatively affect pedestrian safety.”
Monica Hagewood of the Downtown Development Authority spoke to “how difficult this site is to put a solid project on.”
Hagewood noted that Canton Place Development has “not only tried to deliver great project, but work with DDA" to do so.
“They are leveraging every opportunity for connectivity, streetscape and parking,” said Hagewood.
Intentions are to add another level of underground parking, to which she noted the development team has “partnered with us [DDA] to go as aggressively as they can.”
“My client has authorized me to agree to the motion as presented, no opposition and look forward to it being passed and moving on to next steps,” said Tate.
In regards to traffic concerns, Councilwoman Nancy Diamond noted that pending TSPLOST projects could “shift everything,” in regards to traffic congestion and commuting through Roswell.
The motion to approve the conditional use with the increased room number and the removal of the deceleration lane passed unanimously.
A full list of approved and added conditions is available for viewing on the city’s website.
Neighbor News Online will continue to update this story as more developments become available.