Savannah to reconsider The Stage on Bay alcohol license, community weighs in

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The opening night of a new music venue in west Savannah is still in limbo following the latest city council meeting.

The alcohol beverage license for The Stage on Bay was originally denied by council, but Thursday they voted to reconsider the decision.

Doing what council thinks is right for voters, could cost more than voters are willing to pay. Putting council between a rock and a hard place.

The rock and hard place are the law and the community's demands according to 8th District County Commissioner Rev. Chester Ellis.

But not following the law could cost the city $6 million, all part of a potential lawsuit with the owner of The Stage on Bay.

"As I said to the residents, it's going to be a hard fight because actually, he has done everything the law has required. And honestly, I know where the city council is because they are caught between what the law says and what they think is best to be done for the community," said Ellis.

Ellis, who represents the district The Stage on Bay sits in, says he's going to try to find a way to change or modify existing zoning laws that would keep a scenario like the one between Savannah and the music venue from playing out again.

"And that requires that the city and the county, as well as the state, allow the residents to know what's the twenty-year plan, what's the thirty-year plan, what's the fifty-year plan. The plan down the road," said Ellis.

Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach asked that the council hear once again from the community surrounding The Stage on Bay as part of the reconsideration process for the alcohol beverage license.

"I'm anticipating people who represent all parts of the city to come and stand with us because it can happen in their community as well," said West Savannah Community Organization President Ronald Williams.

Williams plans on being at the next council meeting and says he hopes the city's reconsideration of the alcohol beverage license doesn't mean they're going to grant it.

"What I would say is it's another disappointment to the community. By them not standing up, we send them to represent us," said Williams.

I checked in again with the lawyer representing The Stage on Bay, Will Claiborne. He says they are still declining to comment on city council's latest decision.

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