Residents show up at City Hall to oppose $50M tennis facility after project stalls

NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — There were heated moments inside a Roswell City Council meeting on Monday night.

Opponents to the plan created a petition that was signed by more than 200,000 residents.

"Betrayal was a good word, initially," said resident Chris Rooker.

That, along with shock and disbelief, describes how thousands of Roswell residents felt when they

learned of the  proposal.

"We just felt very blindsided by this, that there was no conversation and we felt that they were trying to sneak it in at the last minute without us having a voice," he explained.

The development plan went public last Thursday but by the weekend, the petition was widely circulated questioning the environmental impact and the legality of developing the land.


"We paid off an $18 million bond in the early 2000s and I was here for that so that we could save this land as green space," Rooker said.

The item was removed from Monday night's agenda with the Roswell mayor saying she believed this would have been an economic catalyst for the east side and a draw for other investment along Holcomb Bridge Road.

But protesters say this wasn't the will of the people, especially the people wearing red.

"I personally believe if the citizens hadn't spoken up, and slowed this down or stopped it at this point, they very well may be voting to approve a MOU (memorandum of understanding) rather than tabling it," said Brad Wender with the Roswell-Alpharetta Mountain Bike Association.

But warnings not to bring up the subject at the meeting didn't stop one resident from speaking out and then being kicked out of the meeting.

"We stood up for what we believed in and what we think is worth protecting," Wender said.

The mayor says the people were heard and says there will be a town hall meeting in the coming months to get input on where the people would like the tennis center to be located.