Some Changes Coming for DeRenne - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/22/05

Some Changes Coming for DeRenne

Attendees at today's meeting. Attendees at today's meeting.

DeRenne Avenue is in for some big changes, but the biggest change is still up in the air. Today, widening DeRenne was put on hold, but tensions remain high among neighbors.

They want work to begin soon on retiming the traffic lights, adding an ambulance preemption device for emergency vehicles, and rework intersections. But the fate of homes along DeRenne is still up in the air.

Wednesday morning, Debra Rosenberg begged Metropolitan Planning Commission members to spare her house and many of her neighbors' homes along DeRenne Avenue.

Debra's home of 20 years is safe, for now. Traffic lights will be retimed and intersections retooled while the MPC ponders the fate of her home.

It all started a few months ago, without warning. "I picked up the newspaper, and said what? I dropped the paper and nearly died," Debra recalled.

Making matters worse, Debra found out it was her neighbors inside Kensington Park who were pushing for a park to replace her home. They said it was to save the neighborhood.

She only saw her home being torn down, with lousy compensation. "The inside people,, no I don't belive them. I don't think they are looking out for the best interest of the front row people."

"It's not like, I'm not in favor of it, it's more increasing traffic flow," said James Weaver, who heads up the Kensington Park Neighborhood Group. "I wouldn't mind living along DeRenne if I were being bought out fairly and my house would be torn down."

He's all for a plan that would widen DeRenne, stop commercial development and save the homes, if it's possible. "That would be great, leave the houses, stop the commercial," he said.

"I don't believe him at all," said Debra.

From signs to petitions, Debra has lots of work to do and time is running out. "I'll do anything to save my house," she told us.

The Metropolitan Planning Commission voted unanimously to make some changes now and take a closer look at other traffic solutions, which would mean tearing down homes, before they make a final decision.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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