District 5 Alderman Shabazz hosts town hall over eminent domain legislation

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A town hall was held Wednesday evening by Savannah's District 5 Alderman Estella Shabazz.

Residents concerned about the city's plan to fight blight headed to the Liberty City Community Center to ask questions.

The alderman addressed her own concerns over a proposed amendment to Georgia's eminent domain legislation.

Savannah City Council is proposing changing a law requiring any property seized for public use be held for at least 20 years, by either eliminating or reducing that waiting period. If that happens, the city could take the seized property and sell it to private individuals.

Shabazz, her attorney and some community members feel that would have an adverse effect on the 5th District.

"The complexion, if you will, of the neighborhood changes over time because the current residents are essentially priced out of the neighborhood. Their property values go down, they move out, private developers come in and they develop in such a way that only more fluent property owners and residents can live there," said Attorney Ronald Christopher.

Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach has made it clear that fighting blight is his number one issue in 2017. Thursday night, he will address that during his "State of the City Address."

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