Possible Project in Bacon Park already prompting some concern

It’s a long standing issue for many residents in Savannah’s Bacon Park neighborhood, i.e. an old landfill that covers at least ten acres. You can see part of the site, now covered over by grass along Beaumont Street.

Thursday night, some in Bacon Park met with land owners who are floating the idea of building a large, self-service storage complex there. City Alderman Julian Miller believes that owners and or their attorneys are just trying to assess neighborhood reaction at this point.

And Laurett Roberts is already reacting. She attended Thursday’s meeting and came away with a tentative design drawing that shows the nine acre storage complex would be directly behind her home and that of her neighbors. “They said they would have trees and then a buffer and we wouldn’t even see it,” she told me.

Still, Roberts is skeptical because the owner says he would spend up to one million dollars to clean up the material in the landfill.. She’s worried about that in the sense of disturbing ground that has laid dormant for several decades. “They can’t clean that up completely,” she said. “There are refrigerators, there’s cars back and are they going to go out and clean all that stuff out there for real but the methane gas pockets are down there.”

Her neighbor Buddy Helmy agrees saying “that land really isn’t suitable for anything.” Helmy told us he too is concerned about what what a clean up might entail and if it could be accomplished 100 percent. “When you start digging up a landfill you’re coming up with methane gas for example and sulfur dioxide which I’ve been told could spread within a few miles.”

Even if clean up could be accomplished, Helmly isn’t so sure he could be sold on a big storage facity. “The ones planning it have the idea it’s going to go in my back yard, not theirs,” he said.

Roberts says they’ve been told that traffic on Beaumont street would increase and between more traffic and worries about what they might dig up from the landfill she “just wants the land to be left alone.”

As Miller has said, he believes owners are just trying to gauge what residents might accept. But if Helmly’s objections are any indication, some are already making up their minds. “A few people are already talking about getting an attorney, ” he said.

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