At the next Council meeting (July 30, 9 a.m.), there is a chance the City of Statesboro will say "no" to residential neighborhoods and "yes" to those who seek to commercialize them.
This is the issue: a developer wants to build a convenience store and a gas station on three lots in Pittman Park. Two lots contain residences that face Catherine Avenue and the third is a piece of residential property on Herty Drive on which the owner has never built a home.
How will the Council decide? If they are wise, they will base their decision on principle and not on pressure. The location of the neighborhood is not the issue, and the Council's decision should be the same, whether the property in question is Pittman Park or another neighborhood three blocks down on Highway 67, Woodlawn Estates.
The difference between these neighborhoods is purely economic. Homes in the Woodlawn subdivision sell for
about $150,000 more than homes in Pittman Park. For this reason, landlords and Realtors buy these homes in Pittman Park and then rent them as cash cows.
One homeowner offers to sell a property that the family abandoned years ago, and it shows signs of serious neglect. Yet other homes in Pittman Park are attractive bungalows and well-maintained, neat ranch-style dwellings.
The lawyer representing the Savannah firm said in passing that Pittman Park had become an unsafe place for rearing children. Residents who heard this critical judgment shook their heads, remembering that their children and grandchildren even today enjoy playing on the 2-acre greensward. Does anyone actually believe a gas station and a convenience store will improve neighborhood safety?
Ask anybody who lives in Pittman Park, Edgewood Acres or Woodlawn Terrace what they like about living there, and they'll tell you about their lifetime investment in these traditional and very convenient neighborhoods.
The Statesboro City Council will be tested a week from next Tuesday. Let us hope they use good judgment as they
so often have in the past.
Del and Beverly Presley
Edgewood Acres Neighborhood Association