SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Last week the City of Savannah sent letters and postcards to all properties and included the estimated fire fee amount for each property before any discounts are applied. The intent of this mailing was to give property owners an idea of what their fire fee will be and to allow property owners the chance to alert the Revenue Department of any inaccuracies.
As part of an ongoing process, the city is reclassifying some types of properties from Commercial to Single Family Residential, which will change the way the fee is calculated.
The city is defining a Single Family Residential property as a developed property containing one residential structure with no more than two dwelling units in or attached thereto, situated upon a single lot of record. Residential properties with supplemental accessory structures, such as carriage houses, storage buildings or caretakers quarters, are also classified as Single Family Residential.
The city also added condos to the list of Single Family Residential properties. Also, properties that have a commercial use within the residence can be listed as a Single Family Residential property as long as the primary purpose of the property is residential.
"It can be difficult, especially for properties with multiple structures on one parcel, to determine which properties do and do not meet this definition simply by relying on data presented in the Chatham County Board of Assessors Property Card," said Revenue Director Ashley Simpson.
This process is particularly important in the downtown area, with mixed-use zoning districts that often contain unique parcel combinations or multiple property uses on each parcel. The City uses Chatham County Board of Assessors records as the basis for the fire fee database.