The work session and City Manager’s briefing was held at 12:01 p.m. Mayor Johnson recognized Alderman Detric Leggett to offer 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

Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan, District 3

Alderman Nick Palumbo, District 4, Vice-Chairman

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

Alderman Kurtis Purtee, District 6


City Manager Joseph A. Melder

City Attorney Bates Lovett

Clerk of Council Mark Massey

Workshop Agenda Items
1. Discussion regarding Impact Fees
Exhibit 1: Presentation - Impact Fees.pdf

City Manager Melder introduced Bill Ross, ROSS & Associates, and Paige Hatley, Hatley Plans LLC who gave the presentation on impact fees.

Following the presentation, Council Members discussed and asked questions of the presenters:

  • Savannah could look at Stormwater treatment, wastewater, water supply, etc. as part of impact fee collections.  Describe the current level of service versus the level of service needed by the City from developers (City Manager Melder).
  • Asked to see the scope of service (Alderwoman Wilder-Bryan).  The full proposal was sent to Director of Planning & Urban Design Bridget Lidy which included a description of the full scope of service, City Manager Melder will make sure Council receives a copy.
  • What are the next steps (Mayor Johnson).  Establish an Advisory Committee/Board with up to 5 members but no more than ten members having 1-4 meetings.  Council would create a process to establish the Advisory Board (City Manager Melder).  
  • Who is part of the Advisory Committee (Alderwoman Miller Blakely).  Five Developers and five local citizens, or 50% developers with up to a 10-member Board.
  • Will the area and taxes increase in price (no it's market driven) (Alderwoman Lanier).
  • In the methodology report how do you determine the forecast (Alderwoman Wilder-Bryan).  Mr. Ross responded with the formula.  She asked how many years projected (20-25 years) and what is the formula to charge the impact fees (Mr. Ross used several mathematical formulas).  
  • Has there ever been an instance when you recommended a City not to impose impact fees (no) (Alderwoman Wilder-Bryan).
  • The City should look at building codes to make sure every house has a door knob and light fixtures.  Every home should be turn-key (Alderman Palumbo).

Mayor Johnson asked the Clerk of Council to work with the City Manager in assisting the Council on seating the Impact Fee Advisory Board.  City Manager Melder advised the Clerk of Council has already started the process and applications are open beginning tomorrow through December 1, 2021.  Council will have applications to consider at the next Council Meeting.

Mayor Johnson indicated the Council will set an appointment session for Board appointments for the new year, and will include the Impact Fee Advisory Board.

Mayor Pro-Tem Dr. Shabazz thanked Mayor Johnson, City Manager Melder, Mr. Ross and Ms. Hatley for the presentation.  It was a workshop Council has worked towards since the new administration took office in 2020.

Mayor Johnson thanked Mr. Ross, Ms. Hatley and City Manager Melder for the work involved in bringing the presentation before Council.

2. Discussion regarding Future Plans for the Civic Center Facility and Gamble Building

Mayor Johnson briefly discussed prior administration's decisions regarding future plans for the Civic Center Facility and the Gamble Building.  The current administration now has an opportunity to make a decision on how to proceed with the properties. 

With consent of the City Council, Mayor Johnson asked City Manager Melder to take a look at both properties and bring back options/observations for their review. In addition, Alderwoman Gibson-Carter requested the City Manager to review the proposal made by the Savannah Coalition of Coaches intended to address crime on the streets and bring back recommendations for the City Council’s consideration.

Mayor Johnson adjourned the Workshop at 12:55 p.m.


A video recording of the workshop can be found by copying and inserting the link below in your url:



Mark Massey, Clerk of Council

Date Minutes Approved:   November 23, 2021


Signature:  MM

Agenda Plus