SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A new development coming to Limerick Street behind Whole Foods caused a bit of controversy during Thursday's Savannah City Council meeting.
Council approved a measure allowing a five-story storage facility to be built in that area, even though the Metropolitan Planning Commission previously denied the request because they believe it would bring a type of traffic mix that's incompatible with the surrounding land, saying the mini-storage warehouse would bring about 45 to 80 vehicles trips per day or about four to six cars per hour.
Some aldermen told us they did not want to obstruct development, but many residents say they do not want it.
"They made a huge mistake. This is no way sympathetic with the rest of the area, it does nothing to benefit the residents and I don't really buy their argument that this is the lesser of two evils. So, I think it's incredibly short sided to execute this type of development without a master vision for the area," said Nick Palumbo, with Smart Growth Savannah.
Alderman's Van Johnson, Julian Miller, and Tony Thomas voted against the measure. Alderman John Hall, who represents the district, voted for the rezoning, saying he will work with and watch the developer to make sure they're sensitive to the peoples' concerns. Alderman Johnson listened to what the people had to say and agreed with the planning commission who previously denied the zoning request.
"I agreed with the zoning board. I felt this was incompatible with the land use plan. I thought that it would be a disruptive property to the areas around it. I think it would increase traffic in an already congested corridor, and I just could not support it. I think there were compelling cases made on both sides but I agree with the residents that were around that," said Alderman Johnson, District 1.
The zoning request passed 6-3 at council.
We also spoke to most of the businesses owners right across from the property.
"It just doesn't make sense especially when you start to talk about surrounding structures and how far it is until you get to a five-story structure, it just doesn't make sense," said Jimmy Kelley, of Spices, etc.
"It's not appropriate traffic for the area, the scale of the building is not appropriate for the residences that are immediately adjacent to it and it's going to be downright ugly," said Palumbo.