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President's Message - June 10, 2024

June 10, 2024    

From the President:

Civic Center

After carefully reviewing the responses from the members' survey concerning the future of the civic center, the Board met last week to discuss the results and determine the DNA position relative to this issue.  In comparing this survey with one we conducted in June 2023; we saw a dramatic change in the responses concerning the retention of the Johnny Mercer Theater (JMT).  

Last year 66% of the 159 responses supported the demolition of the JMT and having it built elsewhere.  This year the number supporting the demolition of the JMT fell to just 49%.  (149 votes out of 303 total submissions.)  This was just 19 votes more than those supporting the retention of the JMT.  The remaining 24 votes expressed support for short term renovation and relocation at a later time.  Basically, the latest survey resulted in a 50-50 vote.

Based upon the results of the survey, which conveys the desires of our members, the Board voted and agreed on the following position:

The Downtown Neighborhood Association supports the reestablishment of the Oglethorpe plan at the Civic Center location.  The DNA Board has no position as to the retention or demolition of the JMT.  However, we believe the city should decide the final status of the JMT now and not push the decision to a future City Council.  Additionally, the Board believes that the Civic Center land should be rezoned from commercial to residential (RIP).  This rezoning would eliminate the potential for an unlimited number of short-term vacation rentals (STVR) in the re-created residential areas, as well as further hotel development.  The current commercial zoning has no limits on either STVRs or hotels. 

Holiday Tour of Homes

Since there were no candidates to lead this year's Holiday Tour of Homes, the Board has decided to not have a tour this year.  We are hoping that we will be able to resume the event in 2025.

Newsletter We will be sending out the newsletter every other week from now until September.  If something critical develops, we will send out an email alert to keep everyone informed.  The Board hopes that everyone has a safe and happy summer.

David McDonald


Downtown Neighborhood Association Savannah, GA Inc.

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