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April 12, 2018 City Council Regular Meeting
10. Motion to Amend the Historic District Zoning Ordinance Regarding Materials on Buildings 5 Stories or Greater (Petitioner: Phillip McCorkle, for 7 Drayton Hotel, LLC
Strategic Priority
Good Government

Phillip McCorkle, for the 7 Drayton Hotel LLC, Petitioner (File No. 18-000956-ZA), is requesting approval of a text amendment to the Savannah Historic District (Sec 8-3030(l)(1)) to allow a determination from U.S. Department of the Interior to determine consistency with the Secretary of the Interior Standards, Visual Compatibility Criteria, and Design Standards regarding alternative materials on buildings five stories or greater. The intent of the text amendment is to allow double pane, aluminum-clad windows as replacement windows in historic buildings in specific circumstances.

The petition concerns the American Building, located at 7 Drayton Street, which was constructed in 1915 and is a contributing building within the Savannah National Historic Landmark District. The building has been undergoing renovation for several years.

The previous property owner removed the windows in 2016 and boarded up the openings without approval. The building was subsequently sold to the current owners, who are unable to locate the historic windows that were removed.

In 2017 the architect applied to replace the windows, and it was denied by the Historic Review Board. The architect subsequently applied to the Zoning Board of Appeals to appeal the Historic Review Board’s decision, and request a variance from the standard which requires that replacement windows match the original windows. The ZBA upheld the Review Board's decision and denied the appeal, and denied the variance request.

The proposed text amendment before City Council is as follows: On structures of five stories or more, a determination by the U.S. Department of the Interior that a proposed exterior architectural feature will meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standard for Rehabilitation when complete is a decision that: (a) the proposed historical and exterior architectural features of the historic structure reviewed by the U.S. Department of the Interior are consistent with the Standards and Guidelines and preserve the historical and exterior architectural features of the historic structure as required by Section 8-3030(l)(1); (b) the exterior architectural feature satisfies the visual compatibility requirements of Section 8- 3030(m)(7); and (c) the exterior architectural feature is approved as an alternative material pursuant to Section 8-3030(n), Design Standards.

On March 13, 2018, the Planning Commission voted to recommend denial of the proposed text amendment.

Bridget Lidy, Director of Planning and Urban Design
Financial Impact
Review Comments
Planning Commission Recommendation Historic District Ordinance Sec 8-3030(l)(1) Text Amendment.pdf
Historic District Ordinance Sec 8-3030(l)(1) Draft Ordinance _18-000956-ZA.pdf
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