MAY 27, 2021 – 4:00 p.m.

Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the City Council Work Session and City Manager’s Briefing was held via Zoom video communications at 4:00 p.m. Alderman Palumbo offered the invocation.


PRESENT:  Mayor Van R. Johnson, II, Presiding

Alderwoman Kesha Gibson-Carter, At-Large, Post 1, Chairman

Alderwoman Alicia Miller Blakely, At-Large, Post 2

Alderwoman Bernetta B. Lanier, District 1

Alderman Detric Leggett, District  2

Alderman Nick Palumbo, District 4, Vice-Chairman

Alderwoman Dr. Estella Edwards Shabazz, District 5, Mayor Pro-Tem

Alderman Kurtis Purtee, District 6


Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan, District 3


Acting City Manager Michael B. Brown

Assistant City Manager Heath Lloyd

City Attorney Bates Lovett

Clerk of Council Mark Massey

Workshop Agenda Items
1. Chatham County - Savannah Comprehensive Plan Update

Acting City Manager Brown introduced Assistant City Manager Heath Lloyd, MPC Executive Director Melanie Wilson and Advanced Planning and Special Projects Representative Jackie Jackson for the presentation.

Ms. Wilson and Ms. Jackson presented the PowerPoint presentation with contributions by Assistant City Manager Heath Lloyd and Director of Planning & Urban Design Bridget Lidy.

Following the presentation, there were discussions and questions by Mayor and Council Members, answered by Ms. Wilson, Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Brown and Ms. Lidy.  Some questions and discussions included but were not limited to the following:

  • How is the City's goal for a cleaner energy environment reflected in the Comprehensive Plan. (Mayor Johnson)
  • How does this Plan relate to the 2033 Plan. (Alderwoman Miller Blakely)
  • What is the difference between impact fees and tap fees, and can the City double charge. (Alderman Leggett)
  • In regard to revenue and add-backs, how did the City previously compensate developers and will there be any future benefits to developers.  She would like the City Attorney to render an opinion of best practices for impact fees.  (Alderwoman Gibson-Carter)
  • Prior concerns on the Westside regarding impact fees equality.  Make sure policies are in place to address the Westside development when creating the comprehensive plan.  (Alderwoman Lanier)
  • Many thanks to MPC staff and the City staff for all the hard work in putting the comprehensive plan together.  (Mayor Johnson and Mayor Pro-Tem Dr. Shabazz)

Alderwoman Miller Blakely requested a copy of today's presentation for Council Members.

Mr. Brown will send extensive information to Council Members on how impact fees work.

2. Arena Update

Acting City Manager Brown, Economic Development Business Opportunity Manager MarRonde Lumpkin-Lotson and Coastal Workforce Services Interim Director Sheron Morgan presented the PowerPoint slide presentation. Also contributing, Assistant City Manager Heath Lloyd and Director of Planning & Urban Design Bridget Lidy.

Following the presentation, there were questions and discussions by Mayor and Council Members, answered by Ms. Lumpkin-Lotson, Ms. Morgan, and Mr. Brown.  Some questions and discussions included but were not limited to the following:

  • A request for name of the compliance representative for the Arena and the list of DBE's and MWBE's.  (Alderwoman Miller Blakely)
  • The original intent to build the Arena in this corridor was to uplift the area's quality of life and give the area the attention it needs.  The original intent of the investment must not be forgotten.  (Alderwoman Lanier)
  • Will the Arena parking lot have 2,000 spaces and what formula was used to recoup $5 million for the parking lease.  (Alderwoman Gibson-Carter)
  • In meeting the goal for Savannah First, staff should continue to hire local first.  The continued operation of the entreprenurial center is needed for the development of local and WMBE businesses in the City; thank you for your service and continue to put Savannah First.  (Mayor Pro-Tem Dr. Shabazz)  

Mayor Johnson advised a more detailed report was given to Council Members by Mr. Brown pertaining to the Arena project, earlier in the week.


Alderwoman Miller Blakely requested a copy of the DBE/MWBE list.

Mayor Johnson adjourned the work session at 6:06 p.m.


The audio recordings of the work sessions can be found by copying and inserting the below links in your url:


Mark Massey, Clerk of Council

Date Minutes Approved: June 10, 2021    

Initials:  mm

Agenda Plus