September 27, 2016
Mayor Eddie DeLoach
City Manager Stephanie Cutter
Aldermen of the City of Savannah
Re: Item 8. Large-Scale Development (MPC File No. 16-004072-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., in concert with our letter strongly opposing the granting of a “bonus” fifth story to the proposed 607 Drayton Street hotel project, we likewise vigorously disagree with the MPC staff study (File No. 004072-ZA) proposing to place zoning district RIP-D into the “All Other Zoning Districts” for the purposes of height, for the following reasons:
- · ALL current RIP-D-zoned properties fall under the 4-story maximum height per the Historic District Height map.
- · ALL RIP-zoned properties – including RIP-D - are restricted to the limitations of the height map, except those located on Oglethorpe Ave., Liberty St., and Trust Lots which qualify for consideration for an additional story.
- · There is no need to single out RIP-D height limits. The ordinance is clear as it is currently written. It appears that this interpretation specifically facilitates the award of a fifth floor for the RIP-D-zoned proposed West Elm Hotel project at 607 Drayton.
- · Approval of this proposed text amendment would represent another brick out of the foundation of the zoning ordinance, facilitating the dismantling of other RIP height restrictions in the future.
- · As noted in our 607 Drayton letter, approval of a major change such as this would embolden developers to shoot-for-the-moon even more than they already are when requesting development plans approval in the Landmark Historic District.
- · Continual approval of variances and text amendments such as this erode the character and integrity of the neighborhood the zoning ordinances were designed to protect.
Melinda D. Allen
President, Savannah Downtown Neighborhood Association
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