Victorian Neighborhood Association Stops New Convenience Store-- - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Victorian Neighborhood Association Stops New Convenience Store--For Now

Savannah -

It's a bittersweet day for the residents of the Victorian Neighborhood. Today, City Council agreed to postpone issuing an alcohol permit to a proposed convenience store-- but the fight is not over yet.

I took a stroll through the neighborhood with residents who say it's time for the city to step up.

It's a walk Joyce Piersanti and Mike Horner make every day. Piersanti says it's a never ending battle.

"If you just take a look down here, you can see the beer bottles and on the other side, just a huge amount of beer bottles and trash over here."

For them, and other Victorian neighborhood residents, it's a full time job picking up trash and debris. It doesn't belong to them, but Piersanti says she knows where it's coming from.

"You can see when you come down here, when people come from El Cheapo down the lane; this is what I get to pick up in the lane. They buy a drink for when they are walking and then they throw it in the street."

And it's a problem they say they've been fighting for years. In just a square mile, more than a dozen stores sell beer and wine. But now, residents are bracing for another blow.

Last week the City of Savannah informed them that yet another store is expected to set up shop---practically on the same lot as the same type of store.

"I have no idea what the City was thinking of when they thought we should keep installing these things in the city."

But it's not just about booze, she says but all the trouble that comes along with it.

"That building at Habersham and Henry had a shooting death within a year. El Cheapo, which is two blocks that way, had a shooting death; a young boy, a teenager, outside of the convenience store. So we are not doing anyone any favors by having them, even the people who frequent them can wind up dead."

It's exactly what Horner fought against as former President of the Victorian Neighborhood Association.

"These convenience stores, I call them ‘predatory retail'. El Cheapo, which has been a huge problem, one of our residents pulled up all the police records 2009 and 2010 and there were more than six hundred 911 calls."

But Judi Jones with the City says they can implement strict guidelines for the new store. Horner says it's a promise no one is buying.

"I know in my heart of hearts, they say they are going to make it high end, and even one of the City Council members said there are some real interpretations of what ‘high end' is."

The hearing for this new business' alcohol license has been postponed until February 21st. To weigh in on the issue, or sign the petition contact the Victorian Neighborhood Association.

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