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City Council approves NewZO in major overhaul of City zoning
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Savannah City Council officially voted to approve the comprehensive NewZO (New Zoning) Ordinance, the first major overhaul of City zoning since 1960.

"I think we all agree the City needs a master plan," said Alderman Van Johnson.

Alderman Bill Durrence thanked a long list of contributors to the overall effort, including the now-departed Charlotte Moore and Ellen Harris of the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC), who played major roles in helping to craft the new overhaul.

Durrence cited the two people most deserving of praise for their "infinite patience" in the effort as City Urban Planning Director Bridget Lidy and MPC's Marcus Lotson, Development Services Director.

This vote was the penultimate step to full approval; the final step is officially rescinding the prior ordinance.

The new zoning ordinance will only apply to property within the City of Savannah, not Chatham County at large.

In other business, Council approved the controversial re-appointment of Joseph Bell to another term on the Downtown Savannah Authority. Bell is the husband of Alderwoman Carol Bell.

Alderman Tony Thomas pointed out that Bell's son has a lucrative contract with the new Savannah Arena.

A full liquor license was approved for a new business in the Starland area, Moodright's duckpin bowling, after a lengthy debate about the active or inactive status of a church across the street.