|February 28, 2019, City Council Regular Meeting|
43. Motion to Adopt Resolution in Opposition to HB-302 and SB-172
A bill was recently introduced into the General Assembly that would prevent local governments from having regulations concerning home building design, such as mandating a building’s color, type or style of exterior, and location or architectural styling of windows and doors.
House Bill 302 stipulates that homes would instead have to meet “state minimum standard codes,” such as the International Building Code, International Fire Code and nine other spelled out in the legislation.
While design standards in historic districts are protected in this bill, downtown overlays or other similar special zoning districts are not.
The City of Savannah believes such local decisions are best made at the local level, and this bill greatly erodes home rule powers of municipal governments. The proposed resolution reads:
A Resolution in Opposition to HB-302 and SB-172
WHEREAS, the citizens of Savannah and their elected representatives have set minimum building standards that best protect the safety of our residents and enhance the quality of construction in both the residential and commercial spaces; and
WHEREAS, these decisions were not taken lightly, and in-depth discussion and research occurred prior to adoption of these minimum safety and building standards; and
WHEREAS, HB-302 and SB-172 recently introduced in the Georgia General Assembly would completely remove the City of Savannah’s ability to set its own quality standards of single-family homes, and may jeopardize the safety and lives of our citizens living and working in densely populated areas of our city; and
WHEREAS, cities use design standards to protect property values and block incompatible development. A lack of local design standards would result in diminished property values; and
WHEREAS, the Savannah City Council supports the principle of home rule, and believes such decisions of local impact are more appropriately made at the local level.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah respectfully request that the General Assembly oppose HB-302 and SB-172 and any similar bill.
Bret Bell, Assistant to the City Manager
Resolution in Opposition of HB 302 and SB 172.pdf