The many small commercial properties along Roswell Road make it difficult for investors to find an opportunity to create an assemblage for development with a good return on investment, a member of the Next Ten Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee said during a March 24 meeting.

Ronda Smith, who also serves as president of the Sandy Springs Coalition of Neighborhoods, said a look at the city’s community development GIS map shows lots of small places that in many areas don’t have a lot of depth. If an opportunity presents itself to create an assemblage of properties based on the willingness of the parcel owners, one person generally comes in to make the offers, she said.

“But to create any sort of substantial development that can put together an ROI that makes sense for investors, it’s difficult when you have such fractured ownership and small parcels,” Smith said.

Members of the advisory panel answered city staff’s questions on economic development to help identify the critical issues, visions and priorities to update in the five-year update of the Next Ten plan.

The panel discussed how areas of the city needed to be destinations for people to get out, walk around and stay for entertainment, shopping and dining. They anticipated City Springs to develop more into that type of environment, particularly as it spreads south with the Jamestown development. They looked to downtown Alpharetta’s City Center as an example of what they’d like to see with a more pedestrian-friendly Roswell Road with a raised center median and slower traffic.

Getting the U.S. Postal Service and more businesses that are located in Sandy Springs to adopt it as their publicized location was another challenge several members still see for economic development.

The committee will next meet at 11:30 a.m. on April 14 at City Hall at City Springs, 1 Galambos Way.

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.