Canal District Master Plan heads back to the drawing board

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Present and future City Council members identified areas that need to be addressed in the latest version of the Canal District Master Plan.

Last night, engineers unveiled the Master Plan to the public during a panel discussion at the Cultural Arts Center.

The meeting this morning, held at the Savannah Cultural Arts Center, was part of a two-day summit showcasing the Master Plan to the public.

In attendance were some current members of City Council, including Mayor DeLoach, Alderman Johnson, Alderman Durrence, Alderwoman Shabazz, Alderman Thomas and Alderman Miller.

Many Aldermen-Elect also voiced their concerns for aspects the plan, including Bernetta Lanier, Kesha Gibson-Carter, Alicia Blakely, Detric Leggett, Linda Wilder-Bryan and Nick Palumbo.

Some issues discussed were related to the development of various phases of the Master Plan.

Leaders spoke about implementing property tax relief for those in the surrounding neighborhoods, expanding the plan to include developing the surrounding neighborhoods, improving and not gentrifying the area as well as getting a better idea about the overall design of the arena.

One hot topic was storm water flow and overall improvements to the Springfield Canal Basin.

District 5 Alderwoman Estella Shabazz, whose district sits at the bottom of the proposed development area, voiced her concerns about how water flow will be affected throughout the entirety of the canal.

“There is serious flooding problems due to the fact that there needs to be correction of the infrastructure, of the pipe’s system, of the grating system, of all of that,” said Alderwoman Shabazz.

Developers from the design firm Perkins and Will are heading back to the drawing board to incorporate some of these new issues into the Master Plan.

Officials say a new draft of the plan will be made public in December.

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