Roswell residents win fight to limit new housing along wooded walking path

Credit: Karen Zitomer

Credit: Karen Zitomer

Roswell neighbors were victorious Monday in a fight to minimize the size of a new residential project and prevent major disruption to a wooded area, which they say would have caused increased stormwater damage to their properties.

Igor Dubinsky, the owner of a nearly six-acre undeveloped property at 8800 Eves Circle, wants to decrease the required minimum lot size of 30,000 square-feet under its current zoning to allow for construction of 11 homes, and sought to remove a condition on the property.

The property is located on a dirt road in a wooded area that is often used as a recreational walking path for residents living in several nearby subdivisions.

Dubinsky purchased the property in 2016 for $475,000, according to Fulton County tax records. It was valued at $787,000 in 2022.

During a Monday meeting, City Council denied rezoning to a minimum lot size of 12,000 square feet. That decision included removing two existing conditions on the property’s current zoning which pleased both the owner’s development team and neighbors. The owner is no longer required to pave the dirt road or create a 14-foot easement that would connect Eves to an existing neighborhood when building on the property.

“The (previous conditions) were something the developer didn’t want because of the cost and the residents didn’t want,” Councilman Mike Palermo said Tuesday.

Dubinsky and AEC development firm can still build five lots on the property under its current zoning. But they cannot take down a 40-foot tree-buffer that abuts River Terrace subdivision as requested during the meeting by Dubinsky attorney Julie Sellers.

If City Council had not kept that zoning condition, more than two dozen 100-year-old specimen trees were at risk of being cut down.

During public comment, Leta Wood and other residents objected to the new residential project saying it will bring more density and stormwater damage to their neighborhoods. Ten spoke out during the meeting and showed videos of eroded property beside wide creeks that were much narrower a few years ago, they said.

Wood, a resident of Northcliff subdivision, said many residents have spent at least $60,000 repairing culverts. Before City Council denied the vote, Wood, speaking on behalf of residents, said they wanted Roswell to provide a $1 million bond after completion of the housing project to cover stormwater damage and erosion.

Her one-acre property, which abuts Eves Circle was at risk of a retention wall being installed across her backyard. That’s no longer the case after Roswell removed the condition requiring the paving.

Palermo said the council’s decision serves both the residents and the owner’s development team.

“Even though they didn’t get all that they wanted,” he said of the developers. “At least they got some things.

“I’m glad that the residents ... feel their neighborhood was protected and it worked out that some of the conditions (they) were complaining about, the developer was also complaining about.”