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|February 28, 2019, City Council Regular Meeting|
15. Motion to Rezone 703 Louisville Road from P-RIP-D with a GDP and I-H to P-RIP-D with a GDP (Petitioner: WEDP Fund I, LLC)
The petitioner, WEDP Fund I, LLC, is requesting approval to rezone 703 Louisville Road and an unassigned land from its existing P-RIP-D* (Planned Medium-Density Residential with a General Development Plan) and I-H (Heavy Industrial) Zoning District to a P-RIP-D *(Planned Medium-Density Residential with a General Development Plan) Zoning District.
This is the second of two related agenda items. The first is to change the Future Land Use Map Category for the subject site.
The subject site is located in the Laurel Grove/Railroad Area neighborhood. The 2.55-acre site is an irregular-shaped parcel that is developed with a former freight terminal building constructed in 1929. The property is surrounded by four rights-of-way: Louisville Road to the north; the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal to the east and south; and an off-ramp from U.S. Hwy 17 to the west. The Savannah Historic District is approximately 200 feet to the east at West Boundary Street.
On November 22, 2016, City Council approved the request to rezone the original 1.64-acre parcel from I-H to P-RIP-D in conjunction with a general development plan for a 140-unit student housing development, which was never constructed (File no. 16-001421-ZA).
On February 1, 2018, under Petition No. 170519 (18-000142-PET), the City Council approved a request to “formally abandon, release, and quitclaim a 20-foot prescriptive drainage easement” on the Property, which was recorded in the Office of the Clerk of Chatham Superior Court in Deed Book 1274, Pages 7-15.
On November 20, 2018, City Council declared the excess Right-of-way at 703 Louisville Road as surplus and awarded the sale of the surplus property to the applicant.
Approximately 0.91-acres of the site adjacent to the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal is owned by the City of Savannah; the petitioner has entered into a Development Agreement with the City to purchase this parcel (“surplus parcel”) and combine it with the original parcel to accommodate the proposed development. At this time, the surplus parcel does not have a PIN number assigned to it but does retain an I-H (Heavy Industrial) zoning designation.
The General Development Plan, in review under Site Development Permit No. 18-10055 and Plan No. 18-006368, proposes a 7-story building with 255 apartments and 357 off-street parking spaces. The recombination of 703 Lousiville Road with the City's surplus property is in review under Subdivision/Plat No. 18-006887.
The existing I-H zoning district is not an appropriate zoning district for the surplus parcel; its proximity to downtown, the Historic District and location within the Canal District suggests that it should be part of the Downtown Expansion area on the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map. According to the comprehensive plan, this classification should provide for “…a vibrant mix of retail, office, entertainment, institutional, civic and residential uses with a high degree of connectivity to the central business district.” The RIP-D permits uses that could support this mix.
On January 29, 2019 the Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the rezoning request, inconjunction with a General Development Plan, by applying the “extraordinary and unusual” provision of Sec. 8-3031(D)(1)(a) subject to the following conditions:
Approval on the condition that a revised General Development Plan be submitted before the First and Second Readings addressing the Planning Commission's conditions:
Bridget Lidy, Planning and Urban Design Director
Exhibit 1: Planning Commission Recommendation - 703 Louisville Rd (Rezoning with GDP).pdf
Exhibit 2: General Development Plan (GDP) - 703 Louisville Rd.pdf
Exhibit 3: Draft Ordinance - 703 Louisville Rd (Rezoning with GDP).pdf
Exhibit 4: Development Agreement - 703 Louisville Rd (WEDP-FUND I, LLC).pdf