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President's Message - October 9, 2023

From the President:

Thanks to all of you who participated in the National Night Out last Tuesday. We had a great turnout of residents and police officials. Even several motorcycle officers arrived to entertain the children. Thanks for all of the hard work that Kacy and Gary Plotycia, Sabrina and Kyle Nagel, Erica Snayd, Cheryl Lang, Rhonda Pulte, and Lisa Kanda put into making this event such a success.

Our next DNA event is the monthly membership meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 17 at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St. We will have presentations from the General Services Administration on the status of the renovations on the Tomochichi Courthouse Building on Wright Square as well as from the Georgia Ports Authority.

I also wanted to provide an update on the request by the developers of 501 E Bay St. As you may recall, the developers have requested this location be removed from the short-term vacation rental (STVR) overlay so they could build a four-apartment unit STVR. The DNA Board is opposed to having this request approved as that Ward is already over its cap on STVRs. The next scheduled hearing for this request is Tuesday, October 17 at 1:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Planning Commission, 112 E State St. We will be attending this hearing and voicing our opposition to this request. We encourage those of you interested to attend as well to show large-scale community opposition to the construction of these additional STVRs.

Also last week the DNA opposed an item on the agenda for the Sites and Monuments Commission from Visit Savannah to install a five-foot high and 13.8-foot-wide aluminum sign in City Market with the letters SAV. The request stated that the sign would become a photo and destination spot for residents and tourists and that its sleek design captured the essence of our city. Typically, we do not get involved in areas such as City Market as they are predominantly business areas and have few residents living there. In this case, our opposition was due to the fact that we believe residents should have been made aware of this request for art to be installed on public property and we asked why the structure is necessary. City Market is already a tourist destination, and we didn't feel that a $200,000 installation was needed to attract more visitors. (As a reminder, Visit Savannah is funded by tax dollars through the hotel-motel tax.) The State of Georgia is currently planning on installing one of these SAV signs near the convention center on Hutchinson Island. Since this is on State property, it does not need, nor will seek, local approval. You can review the full request by Visit Savannah here. The request has been delayed until a December meeting as several legal questions need to be addressed. We will keep you updated as this review progresses.

A reminder that the forum for the Mayor's position will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, October 10 at 6:30 pm. The forum will be at the Coastal Georgia Center as well. I look forward to seeing those interested tomorrow night.

David McDonald


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