As many business leaders will recall, from 2008 to 2013, much work was done to create several drafts of “UZO,” the Unified Zoning Ordinance for Savannah and unincorporated Chatham County. Input was received from various committees and stakeholder groups, as well as City, County and MPC Staff. Following a series of forums, the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) tabled Draft 3.
Discussions are again being had to propose a new zoning ordinance. “NewZO,” as the ordinance is officially being called, will only apply to the City of Savannah. Work is being done on the prior Draft 3, and MPC anticipates to have Draft 4 completed and ready for public release as early as March or April. A public review and comment period, which could include input from the various sectors of our community, will follow and be completed no later than May. Upon completion of the draft following the comment period, the document will be prepared for final review and recommendation by MPC. Savannah City Council hopes to vote on the NewZO in July, with an anticipated effective date of October, 2017. The workshop presentation can be found here and a link to Draft 3 can be found at http://www.newzo.org/.
The MPC will be completely reformatting and updating their website as new information changes.
It is imperative that the voice of the business community is heard in making these prospective changes. Many of the suggestions in Draft 3 were from discussions held 5 years ago or more. It is a very comprehensive and lengthy document that will have great impact on the business community at large. Also, we have been told changes from Draft 3 and Draft 4 will not be red-line visible on the document and the MPC suggests you may wish to save Draft 3 to compare the new changes. This will be problematic as the document is upward of 300-500 pages. Unfortunately the public comment period will be limited, so we encourage you to take time to review Draft 3 and reach out with questions or concerns to Charlotte Moore, program coordinator at the MPC at MooreC@theMPC.org or 912.651.1465, or to Ansley Threlkeld at AThrelkeld@SavannahChamber.com.