SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Imagine you bought your dream home in a nice, quiet neighborhood surrounded by trees and open land when one day, construction begins on a warehouse in your backyard, and you have no say in the matter.
This happened to the 10 residents living on Buckhalter Road whose backyards have become home to 24-hour construction.
“You never think that they are going to put a warehouse in your backyard. There’s so many places you can put them, you know?” said Eva P., who lives with her husband on Buckhalter.
The warehouse in question is called Rockingham Farms Logistics Park, which will support the Port of Savannah and the Hyundai Metaplant.
Eva begrudgingly came to an agreement to sell their land to the development company, Capital Development, in April 2022 and relocate.
“We won’t be able to buy the same property, but it’s enough for us to be comfortable making this deal,” she said.
The other nine residents followed suit, signing deals to sell last year.
Earlier this year, a group of community members under the name “Don’t Box Buckhalter In,” DBUI, formed to stop the rezoning of land and slow construction.
Their concerns stem from the possibility of truck traffic, pollution, increased property taxes and expansion of the warehouse into their neighborhood.
With their efforts, the deals to sell for the 10 residents on Buckhalter are on hold.
“Anywhere I go, there are DBUI signs and people protesting against me,” said Eva.
“They don’t know my situation, and these warehouses have been happening for years now, so these people are protesting over something that already happened,” she added.
Sold by Redgate Farms, the apartment complex composed of seven buildings will be built across the street from the 10 residents and is under its second review, expected to bring more traffic to Buckhalter.
“I don’t know that people are taking the time truly to understand all sides of the issue. They hear ‘We’re trying to stop industrial expansion,’ and that’s where they stop listening,” said a Buckhalter resident who’s lived there for over 40 years and wished to remain anonymous.
“They don’t listen to the other sides. They don’t listen to exactly what’s going on.”
The city council will hold a meeting on the matter on Nov. 21 to discuss and find common ground on the issue.
“It’s put my parents in a tough position, they have lived here since 1984, and they’re ready to move on at this point,” said the Buckhalter resident.
“These residents feel like the neighborhood has changed, there are gonna be apartments across the street and warehouses behind them, they feel like Buckhalter Road is a better buffer between those two entities than the 10 residential houses that are here now.”