SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A zoning amendment in the Starland District passed Thursday at Savannah City Hall, making way for a $40 million development.
The amendment really struck a nerve with locals. Person after person stepped up to the podium to speak about how they felt about the development coming to the Thomas Square Neighborhood.
"The beautiful thing about Savannah is that we have time to save our city from becoming what so many cities in the U.S. have already become and fallen victim to. Moving forward with this project would change that forever," one resident said.
"The scale, the noise, parking, congestion, the preservation of the tree canopy; addressing these concerns must be a top priority from you and from the forum group as the city moves forward with this project," said Clinton Edminster, Thomas Square Neighborhood Association.
This is not the first hurdle for the $40 million. A month ago, the Planning Commission recommended approval for the zoning amendment. City council was their next step, but some raised questions.
"A small historic district, this is a huge development. I'm trying to get in my head. How could you get $40 million to invest in something like this and make it successful," questioned Brian Foster, At Large-Post 2.
Despite the community outpouring against the development, the two-hour debate ended with council approving the zone. The developer excited...the community left confused.
"Savannah is a small town, but it has been recognized as an opportunity, a place of growth, a place of change and a place people want to be a part of; a place that people want to come to," said Travis Stringer, Developer.
"I think we need to just keep being loud, keep being visible, and make sure that the developers and the people who want to come in know that people that live here - that's my neighborhood - and we are not going to go anywhere quietly," said Sloane Frederick, who lives in the Starland District.
Starland Village is expected to spread across three lots on Bull and East 38th streets.