Community Development Department

To preserve and protect the natural and built environments, promote a balanced economy in the City of Roswell by the use of best planning and development practices and the responsible enforcement of ordinances and regulations, and provide professional and efficient customer service.

Who we are

Community Development consists of the Administration, Planning and Zoning, Building, Engineering, and Code Enforcement Divisions. The Community Development Department is responsible for current and long range planning, enforcing zoning and property maintenance regulations, issuing land disturbance, tree removal, and building permits, and overseeing the City’s Opportunity Zone program. The Department acts as a liaison to the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Design Review Board, Historic Preservation Commission, and the Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals. The Department also supports the missions of Roswell Inc. and the Downtown Development Authority.


  • To facilitate comprehensive planning efforts to implement the City’s vision and plan for future growth and development.
  • Evaluate and update development regulations that will result in desired development activities and a more effective and efficient permitting process without decreasing quality and accuracy.
  • Examine innovative approaches to consistently meet “time to permit” goals.
  • Offer education opportunities to residents, business owners, and the development community on how to obtain zoning approvals or permits.


  • Maintaining adequate staffing solutions to handle the anticipated development activity and to meet or exceed “time to permit” goals.
  • Balance the pressure to develop and the community acceptance of change as redevelopment and growth occurs, while managing expectations related to the Comprehensive Plan and requirements of the Unified Development Code.
  • Offering education on changing City code requirements and process for zoning approvals or permit issuance to a diverse group of stakeholders.

What we have Accomplished

  • Implemented a department-wide digital application intake process via email.
  • Completed initial Zoning application plan reviews in average of 6.5 calendar days, exceeding our goal of 10 business days.
  • Completed initial Land Disturbance Permit application plan review in average of 7.3 calendar days, exceeding our goal of 10 business days.
  • Completed Building Permit application plan reviews in average of 7.75 calendar days, exceeding our goal of 10 business days.
  • Implemented a fully digital Building Permit application intake, plan review, approval, and permit issuance process.
  • Instituted combined Land Disturbance and Building Permit applications for limited scope construction projects.
  • Adopted update to the Stormwater Ordinance to ensure compliance with the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District model ordinance.
  • Adopted update to the Stream Buffer Protection Ordinance to ensure compliance with the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District model ordinance.
  • Adopted update to City Standard Construction Specifications, Sections 4 and 7.
  • Initiated 2040 Comprehensive Plan development process.
  • Initiated Urban Redevelopment Plan.
  • Completed successful Opportunity Zone job tax program.
  • Applied for new Opportunity Zone through Department of Community Affairs.
  • Facilitated the Census 2020, by assisting and creating ways to encourage the community to be counted.
  • Removed over 1,100 illegal signs from the City’s right-of-way throughout the year.
  • Completed over 1,500 Code Enforcement investigations, and assisted Business Registration with 320 delinquent business licenses.
  • Assisted in the updates to the Hiperweb portal for citizen reports of code violations.

What we expect to Accomplish

  • Launch online permit application and inspection request portal.
  • Implement fully digital Land Disturbance Permit application intake, plan review, approval, and inspection request process.
  • Adoption of 2040 Comprehensive Plan.
  • Initiate and complete updates to the Unified Development Code to ensure the code facilitates desired development patterns.
  • Update City Code of Ordinances Chapter 5 – Building and Construction.
  • Update City Code of Ordinances Chapter 8 – Health and Public Safety, Article 8.8 Nuisances.
  • Complete Historic Resource Inventory Survey, Phase II.
  • Update Historic District Map.
  • Update Water Resource Map.
  • Develop and facilitate Community Development “How to” education series.

Community Development Expenditures by Type

Community Development Expenditures by Fund

Here is a summary of the Community Development Department in table form, illustrating direct costs and indirect costs. Click on the table to explore greater detail.

Community Development Personnel History

Personnel Changes

FY 2018: Add (1) full-time Planner I position

FY 2019: Add (1) full-time Land Development Inspector

FY 2020: Add (12) full-Time positions: (1) Arborist, (1) Administrative Specialist, (1) Building Official, (1) Building Plan Reviewer, (1) Land Development Inspector II, (1) Land Development Inspector III, (2) Permit Technicians, (1) Code Enforcement Supervisor, (3) Code Enforcement Officers to transition Building and Code Enforcement Services from Contracted to City Positions. Relocated Business Registration Division from Community Development to the Finance Department and GIS Division to the Administration Department during FY 2020.

FY 2021: Add (1) full-time Building Plans Reviewer position

Services Provided by Community Development Department

For a full list of services click here.

Performance Measure Information

For a full list of Performance Measures as they relate to the City Goals by Department click here.