Community Report: Neighborhood Alcohol Negotiations - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Community Report: Neighborhood Alcohol Negotiations

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SAVANNAH, GA -

A controversial new business got the green light to set up shop on Habersham Street, but with it, also comes a new standard set by the City of Savannah.

The Victorian Neighborhood Association has been fighting a new convenience store for months, but after some tough negotiations, plans are moving forward.

The store's opening was contingent on an alcohol permit, and last week the city issued it, but it came with some requirements.

In order to open Kelly Food Store, Owner, Jay Patel had to sign a contract of things he agreed to do, and not do.

It's a move that is a first for the city and could now it could be model for these kind of stores moving forward.

"It has to start somewhere," says Maurice Norman.

Because of his -- and the influence of the Victorian Neighborhood Association—it's starting with the Kelly Food Store.

"We feel good. We feel like the owner of this business made and effort and showed his commitment to the community; to put some conditions on his license so he could prove to us that he could be a viable business in our community."

It's been months in the making, but now the deal is done. Owner, Jay Patel signed a twenty point contract---drafted by the VNA and his attorney. If he fails to comply, his alcohol permit is stripped.

"Some of it was as simple as us as being involved in picking out the colors of the building," says Norman.

But he also agreed to some larger conditions. He will not sell adult magazines or drug paraphernalia. He will also install video surveillance and keep a close eye on any trash generated by the store and its customers.

"We really appreciate Mr. Patel. He agreed not to have the gaming machines in his establishment what so ever along with other things."

While this sets a president for new stores hoping to set up shop in the future, this is the beginning of a push for an ordinance, looking into how many of these types of businesses are allowed in a neighborhood.

"The city is willing to listen and they are willing to put something's in place to improve the quality of our neighborhoods where residential is impacted greatly by these businesses."

Work has already begun on the building at 1220 Habersham Street. We're told the owner, Mr. Patel, has already made plans to join the Victorian Neighborhood Association.

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