Savannah property owners file lawsuit over text amendment change - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah property owners file lawsuit over text amendment change


A major building project to makeover the west end of River Street is now the center of a lawsuit filed this week over a text amendment that was just passed in city council Thursday.

In a nutshell, the city approved a change to how tall the buildings could be built in that area. And this was a topic that already had folks at odds, also spurring name calling and a supposed head butting. 

But now, there is a much different disagreement on the table.

Plans to spruce up the west end of River Street now has 10 property owners in the area filiing a lawsuit.

"Substance is yes. It's view. It's traffic. It's congestion. It's the River Street in general, but the procedures is what the lawsuit is focusing on," said Thomas Nash, Jr., the attorney representing the property owners.

The project, which is to develop the old Georgia Power site into a hotel, with dining, a park and parking, needed changes to how high they could build in the area.

A change the city council approved Thursday by passing the text amendment to change the height ordinance.

However, the complaint, filed Wednesday, said Kessler Collections, the developer, and the City Council, did not follow the proper procedures to make this change. It also said this should be considered a map amendment instead.

"That requires a lot more notice. That requires posting of the property, and those procedures were not followed. We brought that up in City Council and it passed anyway, so we filed the lawsuit," said Nash.

While the city says it wont comment on the specifics of the lawsuit, they maintain the proper procedures and laws were followed.

And it's clear that the council wants to move forward with the project.

"This is a quality project that will revitalize the west end of River Street and will open the doors for developments further west and that whole surrounding area," said Alderman Tony Thomas.

WTOC reached out to Kessler's lawyers who also said they cannot comment on pending litigation.

No court date has been set yet, but Nash said his clients will probably ask for a hearing on the temporary injunction.

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