Roswell discusses abandoning city-owned right-of-way, lighting Scott Road | Alpharetta and Roswell News
ROSWELL, Ga. — The Roswell City Council is considering whether to abandon and sell about a quarter acre of city-owned right-of-way inside the Windfaire subdivision near Gray Hawk Lane.
At a March 1 Transportation Committee meeting, Roswell Transportation Planning Manager Dave Cox told the City Council that a resident who lives adjacent to the parcel offered to buy the property from the city late last year because he had already been maintaining it for several years.
“They are concerned that now that they know this is city-owned property there’s a maintenance responsibility that they have acquired that we may have to pay for if we don’t dispose of this property,” Cox said.
The appraised value for the .21 acres is approximately $17,600.
Cox said the Unified Development Code required the developer of Windfaire subdivision to donate the parcel to the city during the planning and development process in case the city later sought to connect the road to Woodman Place on Martin’s Landing. To date, the city has not pursued any such plans.
In fact, in 1998, Roswell abandoned a sliver of right-of-way immediately north of the parcel via quitclaim deed at the request of several homeowners in Martin’s Landing who wanted to prevent a future road connection.
“At that time, Gray Hawk Lane was not in Roswell,” Cox said. “It was in unincorporated Fulton County, and there were concerns that the roadway would connect into a future neighborhood, so they petitioned at that time to get the small piece of right-of-way disposed of to the residents. The link is basically severed at this point.”
Cox said the city could restore it but would have to acquire it through eminent domain or negotiate a purchase.
While the city normally protects these types of links, Cox said he thinks it was not in the public interest for the city to maintain ownership of the property. The city has yet to contact the other neighbor adjacent to the property to see if they are interested in splitting the parcel in half.
Cox said the city has only granted a disposal request a handful of times in the last 20 years.
Mayor Kurt Wilson said he does not support a cut-through street near the property but encouraged the City Council to consider all their options before letting it go.
“It is problematic, generally speaking, when you own property to let it go without maybe creating something out of it or something better, particularly when it goes from a government authority back to a personal property owner,” Wilson said.
If the city decides to sell the property, the price would be discussed in closure with the city attorney, and the money added to the general fund.
The City Council did not vote on the matter March 1.
In other business at the meeting, the City Council discussed a small-scale pilot project to install four solar-powered streetlights near Centennial High School where there is an average of six vehicle crashes every year, including one pedestrian fatality in 2016 that occurred during dark hours.
Interim Director of Transportation Dan Skalsky said Phase 1 of the Scott Road Lighting Project – the city’s first street lighting project of its kind – would cost $30,000. If successful, the city will consider installing 24 more solar-powered streetlights for a total cost of approximately $240,000 before the start of the next school year.
“This is our first experience with solar lighting and installing it ourselves, so we would like to just make sure we know how well they operate, and also [doing it in two phases] will help us with the spacing of the lighting to actually see them performing at an intersection,” Skalsky said.
The project was first brought to the City Council at a Jan. 29, 2020, committee meeting, but Skalsky said the COVID-19 pandemic and a semi-temporary moratorium on additional streetlights put the project on hold for two years. The moratorium, Skalsky said, was to cut the cost of electricity in the city’s enterprise agreement.
Councilwoman Lee Hills said she fully supported the project and asked Skalsky to consider getting it done sooner.
“Having known my way around both of the Roswell high schools, Centennial being one of them, I’ve been in that pitch-black dark, and it is terrifying not because of the boogeyman but because you can’t see anything,” Hills said. “So, I think this is a great idea, great solution, love the solar, I would like to fast-track after these are installed and get going on the rest of the project. I’m all in.”
The City Council only discussed the project at the meeting. It will now be placed in the Transportation Department’s fiscal year 2023 budget request for consideration at the upcoming budget review meetings.
Skalsky said the earliest the department could get materials for the project was in two months.
Also at the meeting, the City Council unanimously voted to sign an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Milton to resurface King Road using money from the Georgia Department of Transportation Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant. The project should be completed by the end of August.
The agreement includes funding to repave the sections of Kings Road within the City of Milton’s right-of-way estimated at $95,124.20 to a maximum of $105,000. Actual compensation will be made on a unit price basis based on the actual work that’s completed.
“This was our next priority to pave based on Roswell citizen requests,” Skalsky said. “This road gets quite a bit of use and it’s in need of repaving right now.”