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July 2, 2019 City Council Regular Meeting
21. Motion to Rezone 7201 Van Buren Avenue from R-6 to I-P (Petitioner: Joshua Yellin for Brenda K. Horton)
Strategic Priority

The Mayor and Aldermen approved this request after a Zoning Hearing at the June 20, 2019 Regular City Council Meeting.  The action being considered today is the approval of an Ordinance.

Petition of Joshua Yellin, agent for Brenda K. Horton (Owner), requesting to rezone 7201 Van Buren Ave from its existing R-6 (Single Family Residential) Zoning District to the I-P (Institutional-Professional) Zoning District.

The 0.49-acre property is currently occupied by a single-family residence and is the only parcel of land in the R-6 Zoning District directly fronting Eisenhower Drive.  To both the east and west are more intense office and commercial uses.  Despite this, the property lacks direct vehicular access to Eisenhower Drive and currently connects only to Van Buren Avenue, which is a dead-end residential street in front of the property.  Van Buren Avenue actually has guardrails preventing access from Van Buren Avenue onto Eisenhower Drive.  Access to Van Buren Avenue is only available from Waters Avenue via Highland Drive and Madison Avenue, which are dead-end streets as well, but with brick walls at the end of the residential streets.

The I-P Zoning District permits a greater range of uses than R-6, which only allows single-family residences and a handful of civic uses and care homes.  Among the permitted uses in I-P are retail, personal service shops, restaurants, funeral homes, laundromats and medical laboratories.  Per an affidavit submitted by the petitioner, a site plan must be approved by the MPC for any change in use and access will only be permitted from Eisenhower, which mitigates some concerns over access and adverse impacts on adjacent residences.

On May 14, 2019, the Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the request with the condition that a site plan be approved by the Planning Commission for any future change in land use and that all access to the subject property shall occur from Eisenhower Drive.

At the April 23, 2019 Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission, the petitioner indicated that they want to prevent access to Van Buren Avenue by the property.  Additionally, they want to close the portion of Van Buren Avenue adjacent to the property and potentially purchase that portion.  In doing, they will 100% restrict access to Van Buren Avenue by the property.


Approval with the following conditions:

  • The Planning Commission approves any General Development Plan submitted for the subject property;
  • The address for the property be changed from 7201 Van Buren Avenue to an Eisenhower Drive address (This will assist the navigational tools (ie Google, Bing, etc.) in keeping the patrons of the property on Eisenhower Drive and off Highland Avenue, Madison Avenue, and Van Buren Avenue);
  • A Plat be reviewed and approved by the City of Savannah providing a “Vehicular Non-Access Easement” (a dashed line across a property adjacent to a road that will legally restrict vehicular access onto that road) preventing access to the Property from Van Buren Avenue by nonresidential uses.  All access to 7201 Van Buren Avenue by nonresidential uses shall occur from Eisenhower Drive.  Upon approval, the Plat be recorded with the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court of Chatham County, Georgia.
Bridget Lidy, Director of Planning and Urban Design
Financial Impact
Review Comments
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