June 22, 2017 City Council Regular Meeting (Amended June 20, 2017)
Motion to Amend the Zoning Ordinance Regarding Density, Parking, Bonus Stories, and Upper-story Residential in the RIP-C, RIP-B-1, B-C, and B-G Zoning Districts (Petitioner, Lookin Good Properties)

The City Council approved this request (MPC File No. 17-002242-ZA) following a zoning hearing held at the June 8, 2017 City Council Meeting.

The petitioner, Lookin Good Properties, seeks to: 1) amend the lot area requirement per dwelling unit for the upper-story residential use in the B-C (Community-Business) district from 600 square feet to 435 square feet, and 2) amend the off-street parking requirement for the upper-story residential use to one off-street space per dwelling unit.

Upper-story residential is defined by the Zoning Ordinance as “One or more residential dwelling units above a ground floor nonresidential use.” The purpose of the upper-story residential use is to encourage more residential development within portions of the Historic District (specifically, the B-C district which exists only west of Jefferson Street) without the loss of active ground floor uses, such as retail and eating establishments. The B-C district within the Historic District has historically served as the more intensive commercial area of downtown and includes much of the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard corridor.

The Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the following alternative amendment at its Regular Meeting on April 25, 2017:

  • Eliminate density altogether but have a minimum dwelling unit size (450 square feet, an efficiency unit) and to require that one off-street parking space be required for efficiency and 1- and 2-bedroom units. Units with three or more bedrooms would require 1.5 parking spaces.

  • The upper-story residential use also be permitted in the B-G district within the Historic District;

  • That permissible ground floor uses be identified as a use condition;

  • That the “active” ground floor retail option not be available to obtain an additional or “bonus” floor; and

  • Adjust the off-street parking requirements for dwelling units for the RIP-C and RIP-B-1 districts — predominantly residential districts — to match the various “RIP” districts in the Historic District (i.e., to require one off-street space).

This Ordinance would amend Part 8, Chapter 3, Zoning, To Eliminate The Density And Lot Area Requirement For The Existing Upper-Story Residential Use; To Add Use Conditions To Said Use; To Allow Said Use In The B-G (General Business) Zoning District; To Establish Specific Off-Street Parking Requirements For Dwellings Located In The B-C (Community Business) And B-G Zoning Districts Within The Savannah Historic District; To Adjust The Off-Street Parking Requirements For The RIP-C And RIP-B-1 Districts; And To Eliminate The Active Ground Floor Use Option To Obtain A “Bonus” Story For Said Use; To Repeal All Other Ordinances In Conflict Herewith And For Other Purposes.

Shane Corbin, Zoning Administrator
Financial Impact
Review Comments
MPC Recommendation Text Amendment 17-002242 Sections 8-3025(d) and 8-3090 Upper Story Residential.pdf
Draft Alternative Ordinance Text Amendment 17-002242 Sections 8-3025(d) and 8-3090 Upper Story Residential.pdf
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