Savannah Downtown Neighborhood Association
P.O. Box 9416
Savannah, GA  31412
912.236.8362


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  • Thursday, September 25, 2014 12:57 PM | Anonymous

    The Downtown Neighborhood Association was recently contacted by a PhD student in the Architecture Program at Clemson University. She is doing her Thesis on development in downtown Savannah. She is seeking the help of residents through a very comprehensive survey. It takes about 15 minutes to complete and there is an additional opportunity for participation if you are interested! (Some of you are very knowledgeable and passionate about Savannah's architecture and economic development!)

    If you have the time and interest, please consider taking the survey---- The DNA will receive a copy of the final reporting at the conclusion of the project which we will share here.
    ---------------------
    From the Researcher:
    The purpose of this study is to learn more about resident opinions of development in downtown Savannah, GA. Results of the survey will be used to help planners, economic development officials, and academic professionals to gain a better understanding of how to improve and better serve you and your community.

    http://clemson.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV...

  • Monday, September 15, 2014 5:07 PM | Anonymous

    DNA's follow up letter on Short-term residential rentals was delivered to the Mayor's and City Manager's offices today.

    Download here: Downtown Neighborhood Assoc Follow up letter STRR - 9.15-2014.pdf

    September 15, 2014

    Mayor Edna B. Jackson
    City Manager Stephanie Cutter

    2 East Bay Street

    Savannah, GA  31401

    Mayor Jackson and City Manager Cutter,

    As a follow up to our June 24, 2014 letter, the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) has continued to research what other cities across the nation have adopted in regards to short-term residential rentals (STRRs).  Attached is a synopsis of information that we feel will be helpful as you review and decide on the proposed ordinance.  We have included the original documentation as well, should you wish to review the data.  

    As stated in our original letter, DNA will support the proposed ordinance with the following revisions:

    Sec. 8-3205(a) Residential Use Standards

    • 1.     Text should read PERSONS
    • ·       The ordinance currently reads ADULTS, which makes it legal to have as many guests as you can fit under the age of 18, in addition to the 2 adults per bedroom plus 2.  
    • 2.     The TOTAL OCCUPANCY should be limited to eight (8) people
    • ·       If a property owner would like to rent to more than eight people, the business should be classified as an Inn and subject to all life safety regulations and management.
    • 3.     DENSITY MANAGEMENT

    Precedence of density measures in other cities:

    • ·       Limit total number of certificates available for issue.
    • ·       Limit to no more than one STRR per block face, which is the area between two parallel streets, the avenue and the lane.
    • ·       Distance of 500 feet between STRRs.
    • ·       Percentage of total residential property no greater than 5%. 

    Please understand, the DNA is not suggesting a ban on STRRs, which many cities with a similar makeup to Savannah are pursuing or have done. What we are asking for is some measure of density control to mitigate the effects of STRRs in our historic Landmark District.  

    We currently have wards that are greater than 50% STRRs.  In the Landmark Historic District alone city officials and industry professionals are estimating that there are several hundred STRRs.  The large and growing amount of these rental properties changes the neighborhood feel to an unmonitored hotel distributed across the city.  

    In addition, a proliferation of STRRs removes much needed affordable housing as well as long-term rental housing and drives up prices for local residents looking to rent.  

    Definition of “Owner Occupied”: 

    An owner occupied property is one where the person providing a portion of their residing property parcel, such as a garden apartment or carriage house, for an STRR is a full time resident in another dwelling on that property parcel or directly adjacent to it.

    Onsite Owners (“Owner Occupied”)

    • ·       Onsite owners would be exempt from the certificate cap and/or other density controls, or have preferred status when applying for a certificate.
    • DNA feels there should be special consideration for onsite owners who are full time residents of Savannah based on their Homestead Exemption status.

    We are requesting the City complete a full review of the ordinance, and its impact, six months after it has been adopted.

    The DNA encourages the City of Savannah to continue in this proactive and positive step that this ordinance takes to balance tourism with the preservation of the historic neighborhood fabric of the Landmark District, by developing a Tourism Master Plan.  Short-term residential rentals undoubtedly affect the essential character of a neighborhood and the stability of a community. Short-term tenants have little interest in public agencies or in the welfare of the citizenry. They are here today and gone tomorrow without engaging in any activities that weld and strengthen a community. DNA urges you to develop a plan that looks comprehensively at the nature of tourism in our city and its impact on the City of Savannah and the Landmark Historic District.


    John Buckovich,                                                                                                                

    President                                                                                                                             

    Downtown Neighborhood Association 

                                                                      

    Cc:            Savannah City Council Aldermen

    Bridget Lidy, Director of Tourism Management, City of Savannah

                      Daniel Carey, Historic Savannah Foundation

                      Thomas L. Thomson, Metropolitan Planning Commission

                      Maurice Norman, President, Victorian Neighborhood Association

  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014 9:21 PM | Anonymous

    Update from City of Savannah Tourism Office on Short Term Residential Rentals • September 10, 2014 via email to DNA Vice President this evening:
    --
    The number of short-term residential rentals, commonly referred to as vacation rentals, has grown within our community.  The City of Savannah will be proposing regulations to better manage this use during the Council meeting scheduled for Thursday, September 18, 2:00PM, City Council Chambers of City Hall.

    The proposal includes a zoning text amendment defining short-term residential rentals, designating permitted zoning districts as well as establishing parking and occupancy standards.  A companion ordinance is also part of the regulation and will require property owners to obtain a short-term residential certificate ensuring guidelines are in place to protect our neighborhoods and provide fairness within the industry.

    The Council agenda for September 18 will be posted on the City's website by Friday afternoon and will include a public hearing and first reading on the proposal.  It is anticipated that the October 2 Council meeting will have a second reading and Council vote.

    Attached is a copy of the report from MPC pertaining to the zoning text amendment along with the proposed ordinance. [Go here to view/download http://www.savannahga.gov/index.aspx?NID=1476] Please note, modifications were made to the ordinance based on State Code [O.C.G.A. 36-35-6] which prohibits fines for ordinance violations in excess of $1,000.  These changes will assist with enforcement and provide the same penalties for lodging accommodation not in compliance with tax requirements.
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    IMPORTANT IF YOU HAVE AN OPINION TO SHARE:
    A drop in session has been scheduled for Friday, September 12, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Sub-basement of City Hall for individuals to meet with City staff on the short-term residential rental proposal.  
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    The Downtown Neighborhood Association encourages downtown resident attendance at the City Council Meeting and Public Hearing on September 18th at 2 p.m. as well as this Friday's special drop in session from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Apologies for the short notice, but DNA was only notified of this opportunity this evening.)

    Here are the various documents or go to: http://savannahga.gov/index.aspx?NID=1476
    MPC Reccomendation: http://savannahga.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4516

    Proposed ordinance outlining short-term residential rental certificate requirements & regulations  http://www.savannahga.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4303

    Proposed example of owner/occupant agreement to address quality of life concerns  http://savannahga.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4302

    Proposed code compliance verification form  http://www.savannahga.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4301

    If you are unable to attend, email City Council. Contact information may be found here: http://savannahga.gov/index.aspx?NID=390


  • Tuesday, September 09, 2014 11:46 AM | Anonymous

    A public hearing will be held at the regular meeting of City Council, on Thursday, September 18 at 2PM in Council Chambers of City Hall for MPC’s zoning text amendment recommendation and the proposed ordinance regulating short-term residential rentals. 


    Listed below are the components of the short-term residential rental efforts:
    Additional information on compliance is listed below: Click here to read DNA'S position on Short-term residential rentals.

    Have an opinion? Write to City Council. Click here for contact information. Please attend the Public Hearing on Thursday, September 18 at 2 p.m. if you are able.
  • Saturday, September 06, 2014 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Gather your neighbors and head over to Revival Fest at the Georgia State Railroad Museum on Saturday, September 20th!

    Downtown Neighborhood Association members receive 20% off of General Admission tickets by entering the code: DNA when they check out online:

    http://www.revivalfest.org/tickets/

    Revival Fest takes place Saturday, September 20th and features the best in Southern Music including 14 bands from 7 southern states and featuring Savannah local bands Waits & Co, Velvet Caravan and Sweet Thunder Strolling Band.

    • -Broad mix of Blues, Bluegrass, Americana, Folk, New Orleans style Brass, Southern Rock and more...
    • -Roberto Leoci's new restaurant Pacci, is doing a Pig Roast at the festival as well as hosting a VIP Event and private concert the night before the festival on September 19 at The Brice Hotel.
    • -Kids under 10 are free
    • -The festival runs from noon until 11pm. Re-entry is allowed
    • -No coolers but plenty of food and beverages available. Lawn chairs and blankets are aok.
    • -Featuring local craft brews from Southbound, Service Brewing and more...(old school coca-cola in glass bottles as well as other non-alcoholic drinks)
    • -Signature Revival Fest Bourbon Cocktails from Ampersand
    • -Local art and artisan vendor booths at the Revival Fest Marketplace
    • -On site T-shirt and poster printing
    • -Art Rise Savannah will be doing spin art on old vinyl records
    • -Valet Bike service from Savannah Bike Campaign
    • -Parking at the Esther F. Garrison School of Visual & Performing Arts 649 West Jones Street Savannah, GA 31401
    • -Event takes place in the old Paint Shops at the Georgia State Railroad Museum, and adjoining grove.


  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014 11:24 AM | Anonymous
    Residents can provide input on Grayson Stadium, the Savannah Sand Gnats and the prospect of a new multi-purpose stadium downtown as part of an online survey launched today. The survey was created by C.H. Johnson Consulting as part of a study the company has been contracted to complete exploring the feasibility of a new multi-purpose stadium downtown.

    The survey can be accessed at www.savannahga.gov/baseballsurvey

    Historic Grayson Stadium was constructed in 1926, and has undergone a series of renovations and improvements over the years, the most recent in 2007. The Savannah Sand Gnats owners would like to pursue the construction of a modern stadium in the downtown area. City Council approved the feasibility study to investigate the cost and impact of a new stadium, as well as the option of upgrading the current location.

    The study is expected to be complete around the end of September.

    Take Survey Here
  • Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:13 AM | Anonymous

    The proposed zoning text amendment for short-term residential rentals will be presented to the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) on Tuesday, August 5, 1:30PM during their regularly scheduled meeting. Visit the MPC website http://thempc.org/Administrative/Archive/2014agenda.htm for the agenda which will be posted on Friday, August 1.
     
    Once MPC has made their recommendation, the zoning text amendment will be advertised for 15 days prior to being heard by City Council.  The goal is to present both the zoning text amendment and proposed short-term residential rental ordinance to City Council after this has occurred.

  • Wednesday, July 30, 2014 9:58 AM | Anonymous

    The introduction of National Night Out, “America’s Night Out Against Crime”, in 1984 began an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

    I encourage all residents of the Landmark District to join the over 37.8 million neighbors across 16,124 communities in celebration of the 31st annual National Night Out scheduled for Tuesday August 5, 2014.
     
    Participation is easy!
     
    You can show your support of this event by leaving your porch lights on during the evening of August 5.  It’s something every resident of the Landmark District can do to discourage crime not just on National Night Out but every night.

    Sincerely,
    John Buckovich
    Downtown Neighborhood Association President
    and Downtown Neighborhood Association Board of Directors
  • Friday, July 25, 2014 1:15 PM | Anonymous

    Savannah Children's Choir End of Camp Concert
    Friday, July 25
    7pm
    The Lucas Theatre
    Tickets available at the door.

    • This concert is sponsored by the Downtown Neighborhood Association •

    Enjoy the end of camp concert from the Savannah Children’s Choir, an auditioned community choir with a mission of uniting Savannah’s children through the power of song.

    There is a $5 minimum suggested donation for entry to this event. The box office will open at 6PM before the show.

  • Tuesday, July 22, 2014 3:32 PM | Anonymous


    July 2014
     
    The Coastal Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (CORE MPO), the transportation planning agency for the Savannah urbanized area, is requesting the public to review and provide comments on a report titled: Draft FY 2015 - 2018 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The draft report includes descriptions of highway, transit, transportation enhancement, as well as other multi-modal projects in the Savannah area programmed to receive funds in fiscal years 2015 to 2018. This notice also serves as the public notice for Chatham Area Transit Authority’s (CAT’s) federal grant projects. Copies of the draft TIP are available for review at the Chatham County public libraries, the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) office, the MPC website at http://www.thempc.org/transportation.htm, and other public review agencies.
     
    The comment period will start on July 23, 2014 and written comments on the Draft TIP will be accepted until the close of business on August 26, 2014. Please send your comments to Wykoda Wang, Metropolitan Planning Commission, 110 E. State Street, Savannah, GA 31401, via email at wangw@thempc.org, or through the MPC website at http://www.thempc.org/Transportation/Get_Involved.htm. Any updates to the draft document will be posted to the MPO website at http://www.thempc.org/transportation.htm.
     
    CORE MPO will host two public hearings to answer questions and accept comments on the draft TIP in conjunction with the August 2014 Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and CORE MPO Board meetings. Meeting times and locations are listed below.
     
    CORE MPO Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) Meeting
    Thursday, August 21, 2013
    5:00 p.m.
    MPC Arthur A. Mendonsa Hearing Room
    112 East State Street, Savannah, GA 31401
     
     
    CORE MPO Board Meeting
    Wednesday, August 27, 2013
    10:00 a.m.
    MPC Arthur A. Mendonsa Hearing Room
    112 East State Street, Savannah, GA 31401
     
    For a complete list of public review agencies, additional information regarding the draft TIP, and information regarding the public hearings, please call (912) 651-1466.
     
     
     

Downtown Neighborhood Association of Savannah, GA Inc.
P.O. Box 9416
Savannah, GA 31412

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