September 27, 2016
Mayor Eddie DeLoach
City Manager Stephanie Cutter
Aldermen of the City of Savannah
Re: Item 6 Zoning Hearing: Mehul Patel, Petitioner; Andrew S. Lynch, Agent Liberty Tattnall Partners,
Owner (MPC File No. 16-003734-ZA)
The Honorable Mayor DeLoach, City Manager Cutter, and Aldermen:
On behalf of the Board of Directors and Advisors of the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Savannah, GA Inc., we oppose petitioner’s request to rezone the properties at 301, 303, 307, and 309 from the current RIP-B classification to BC-1. We also no longer support staff’s compromise proposal to rezone subject parcels to RIP-B-1 because it does not address the reported primary reason for petitioner’s request – which is to “eliminate the parking requirement....”. RIP-B and RIP-B-1 parking requirements are identical.
Rezoning these parcels to the requested BC-1 is inappropriate for several reasons:
- Eliminating the parking requirement does not eliminate the cars that will be associated with the proposed hotel to be built on the lots; it just kicks the can to the city and surrounding residents. If petitioner wishes to construct a hotel on these parcels, they should do so in line with RIP-B zoning requirements as per Sections 8-3089 and 8-3094.
- Zoning District BC-1 is a Central Business Zoning District. While subject properties are indeed considered to be “downtown”, they are in no way in the Central Business District, north of Liberty such as Broughton, Bay and River Streets. Indeed the RIP zoning districts are specifically designed for areas similar to the location of subject properties – with “Residential” being the key word.
- Given that servicing the many needs of a hotel involves delivery vehicles of many types (frozen good, fresh food, beer, spirits, linens, to name a few), plus the large amount of trash that will be generated, the proposed location is not conducive to the quality of life to the surrounding residents. To make some small dent in this volume and to maintain at least some neighborhood tranquility at night, we believe zoning should not be relaxed even to the RIP-B-1 level, which allows a lounge area use, something that is prohibited under RIP-B. BC-1 zoning allows unrestricted cocktail lounges/taverns, uses that would be inappropriate for this area.
Melinda D. Allen
President, Savannah Downtown Neighborhood Association
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