New developments on the horizon in Midtown raise concern from residents

SAVANNAH, Ga., (WSAV) — It was back to the drawing board at Tuesday nights community meeting about new developments that continue to raise concerns in a Savannah Midtown community. Developers and residents were all in attendance to voice their concerns. This isn’t the first time they met and it won’t be the last.

While residents say growth is a good thing but they’re worried about everything that comes with it. The Metropolitan Planning Commission is hoping to enhance some of our Savannah communities with two projects on the agenda for this month.

The first, in the Starland District, 38th Street between Bull and Whitaker; they plan to add apartments, retail and office space, parking and a new church/events venue seating 600.

The second, a project at 31st street between Montgomery and MLK. What exactly is going there has not yet been decided.

“If it’s my community, I want my community’s input on what that zoning is,” Virginia Mobley says.

Mobley is a resident of Thomas Square and was asked by members of the community to host the meeting. She says its’ because the City of Savannah has refused to hear what residents have to say. City Staff was invited to Tuesday’s’ meeting but only two Alderman showed up who live in the area.

Zoning, is Mobleys’ and others’  primary issue with the 31st Street project. Some developers are trying to rezone, meaning they want to change the zoning boundary lines, increase lot sizes, coverage and height for projects. Mobley says they welcome new developments as long as it does not impede on those living there. Residents say the major concerns are rezoning, parking, increased traffic, density, design standard and last but not least public safety.

The developers say they are listening to their concerns and have revised their last plan with residents’ input in mind. Foram Group, President, Travis Sterling, who represents the Starland District development says, the height issue, we’ve been able to do that by removing some pieces of the project. Reducing density. Doing our parking structure the way we plan on doing it, providing a lot of off street parking.”

After revising their plan and presenting it to the community tonight he says, I’m really happy this meeting took place. I think it shows that there is a lot of support for the project. “I think there are great concerns that were raised. A lot of them that I think we happily heard from the city and trying to answer or deal with so it’s just a long process.”

The next Metropolitan Commission meeting will be held Tuesday, February 20.

 

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