Savannah Considers 6,000+ Acre Annexation - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/10/04

Savannah Considers 6,000+ Acre Annexation

It's quiet in the southwest part of Chatham County, with lots of open space. For years it's been a battle between Pooler, Bloomingdale and Savannah on who would take advantage of the area, and it turns out Savannah has taken the lead. The landowners trying to develop the area, which includes more than 6,000 acres, have signed a petition asking to become part of the Hostess City.

"Some of the projects are more than a year behind in development, and the city was available to provide immediate services in an efficient matter," said Mike Vaquer, a spokesperson.

The developments would bring almost 13,000 new residents as well as businesses, like grocery stores and possibly movie theaters. The housing would range from affordable single-family to multifamily.

What does all this mean? Property value could go up. "Which means an increase in the tax base for Chatham County and the City of Savannah," said city manager Michael Brown. "And theoretically an increase in the tax base could result in a decrease in millage."

As for the residents who live near that area right now, city leaders say they won't be affected at all. "We're not annexing any residents, we're annexing vacant land that owners have come to us to annex so they could have water and sewer," explained Brown.

The issue goes back to city council on December 9 for a vote. Some of the other municipalities have had an interest in this for years and they have shown no indication that their interest has diminished, so it looks like this story is far from over.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

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