Overflow parking for mixed-use project worries Roswell neighbors

Atlanta Street Baptist Church property to house restaurants, million dollar homes

Roswell residents say they’re worried a planned mixed-use project will bring overflow parking and clog their narrow streets.

Polara Capital is planning to convert the Atlanta Street Baptist Church property at the front of their neighborhood into a residential and commercial project. The planned development is expected to include restaurants and would be located at Atlanta Street and Jones Road. The project will include five new single-family homes priced at a minimum of $1.3 million, according to Polara.

During a Monday night meeting, Roswell City Council approved rezoning to residential mixed-use with a conditional use for three properties on Jones Drive. The church property, which is along the path of the Historic Gateway Project, is already zoned for downtown mixed-use.

The $50 million Gateway project widens Atlanta Street to four lanes. One of three roundabouts in the Gateway project would be located at the Atlanta Street and Jones Drive intersection.

Credit: City of Roswell

Credit: City of Roswell

Atlanta Street Baptist Church is selling the property to Polara and moved to Woodstock because of plans by the Georgia Department of Transportation to take a portion of its land for the Gateway project, Jeff Nunnally, a member of the church congregation, told City Council.

The developers plan to relocate the existing parking lot to another part of the site. The development would have a total of 54 parking spaces.

Most residents speaking during public comment said they weren’t opposed to Polara’s project but asked for a plan to prevent overflow parking from clogging neighborhood streets.

Resident Kyle Barnes, presented photos to council members showing the potential tight squeeze when vehicles are parked on both sides of Jones Road.

“…What happens when those parking spots get full,” Barnes said. “… If those cars (visiting the new development) go outside the parking area and they start stacking up in the neighborhood, it’s a real problem.”

Neighbor Diane Geyer said members of the church congregation currently renting space at Atlanta Street Baptist often park on Jones Drive and have blocked her home’s driveway.

Separately, trucks get stuck on Jones Drive because of their size and the narrowness of the road, she said.

“And then they have to get somebody to (help) get them out of there,” Geyer said.

Roe said the development will be designed to keep traffic off the part of Jones Drive that is the area of concern. The project will also have one-way paths and signage to prevent motorists from driving deep into the neighborhoods, he said.

“We really have tried to make every accommodation to try to deal with additional cars,” Roe said.

City Council unanimously approved rezoning for the project. Councilman Mike Palermo said the project is an opportunity to make the neighborhood a destination.