Roswell can now charge drivers for on-street parking downtown

Elizabeth Way at Canton Street is in the heart of historic downtown Roswell.
Elizabeth Way at Canton Street is in the heart of historic downtown Roswell.

Credit: Ben Brasch

Credit: Ben Brasch

The Roswell City Council decided Monday night that the city can charge residents and visitors for on-street parking, but no pricing details have been publicly discussed or released.

The unanimously approved ordinance also doesn’t specify which spaces could become pay spots; this is a larger law that allows city staff to look into which parking spaces it thinks should become for-pay and devise a plan.

Parking has been a point of annoyance for those visiting the historic downtown.

Parts of downtown date back to before the Civil War, during which Union General William T. Sherman burned down the city's mills and deported 400 workers to the north. Most were women who never returned, according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

READ | Audit: Roswell police force needs more diversity, leadership

City officials often note the many historic downtown sites when pitching Roswell.

In April 2018, the city set the parking rates for the 18-space lot it built in the new East Alley.

On Monday, no residents spoke for or against the on-street paid parking plan. Giving no scope for how many spots it wants to convert, the City Council quickly voted to approve; councilman Marcelo Zapata wasn’t present at the meeting.

A full discussion on the paid parking had been delayed a couple times because the last two meetings  lasted nearly 10 hours in total, mostly taken up by discussing a controversial mixed-use development of 350 apartments and room for retail.

READ | Roswell approves 350-apartment mixed-use development after testy talks

Though the parking ordinance didn't specify which spots could be converted, city documents show that staff is looking at charging for about 40 spaces at Canton Street and Elizabeth Way, as previously reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Paperwork filed with the city shows that those spots would be on two of the three sides of the triangular Heart of Roswell Park.

Councilman Sean Groer, who heads the committee that handles transportation issues, said after the meeting that those 40 spaces will be discussed at a later committee meeting.

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Channel 2's Richard Belcher reports.