Development standards include regulations affecting the size, shape and location of buildings. These include setbacks, density limits and parking requirements. In addition to "base" development standards in effect throughout the city, there are special overlay areas that, among others, outline historic design standards, limit the location of new hotels, or require additional review for demolitions in certain areas.
Section 9.3 of the Zoning Ordinance establishes the parking standards. Off-street parking space requirements are outlined in section 9.3.4 of the Ordinance and in table 9.3-1. Note the possible reductions for bicycle and motorcycle/moped parking.
For properties Downtown or in the Victorian or Streetcar Districts, certain reductions or exemptions may apply. Consult sections 9.3.6 or 9.3.7. There are alternative methods of meeting parking requirements—remote parking, shared parking, in-lieu fees—outlined in section 9.3.8.
Section 9.9 of the Zoning Ordinance establishes sign standards and regulations. For signs allowed without a permit, consult section 9.9.10. Signs requiring a permit along with requirements specific to each type of sign are listed in 9.9.11. Properties are subject to maximum sign height and (aggregate) area standards listed in 9.9.12 and 9.9.13, respectively. These depend in part on street classifications; a map is available in section 9.9.4.
There are several special sign districts within the city with their own additional standards, including several areas Downtown and along Stephenson Avenue. Consult section 9.9.17 for additional information. The Metropolitan Planning Commission can provide advice regarding signs in historic districts at 912-651-1440.
Additional links for sign information
- Temporary Sign Requirements for signs requiring permits and those that do not require permits.
- Restricted Signs: Types of Signs that are Prohibited
- Sign Standards Calculators: Allowed sign heights, area, setbacks. For information related to signs within a Historic District, please contact the Metropolitan Planning Commission at 912-651-1440.
- Announcement Sign Requirements
- Electronic Announcement Sign Agreement
- Street Type Map for Building and Ground Signs
- Street Classification Map for Billboards
- Sign Permit Information
- Sign Permit Application: $45 per sign - 2019 Minimum Permit Fee + Technology Fee
Local Historic Districts
Local historic districts provide design standards and visual compatibility criteria to ensure preservation and sensitive development within some of the oldest parts of the city. New construction and most renovations are subject to review by historic preservation staff at the MPC and either the Historic Preservation Commission or Downtown Historic District Board of Review. These districts include the Savannah Downtown Historic District, Victorian Historic Overly District, Streetcar Historic Overlay District (formerly Mid-City) and Cuyler-Brownville Historic Overlay District.
Conservation districts aim to preserve the character of Savannah’s older neighborhoods which lack the protection of a local historic district overlay. The district establishes a public process and standards to evaluate demolition of contributing buildings in order to ensure historic buildings are preserved and the character of the district is maintained.
Hotel Development Overlay
The intent of the Hotel Development Overlay district is to establish standards to guide the size and location of future hotel development within the Savannah Historic District.
Alcohol Density Overlay
The Alcohol Density Overlay District establishes standards to curtail undesirable conditions and activity resulting from the concentration of establishments engaging in the sales and or service of alcohol. It aims to limit or prevent these establishments from diminishing property values and the quality of life for nearby residents and property owners.
Short-term Vacation Rental Overlay District
The STVRD identifies how the Short-term Vacation Rental regulations found in Division II, Part 8, Chapter 11 of the Savannah Code of Ordinance are applied in the areas of greatest tourist impact, including the Downtown, Victorian and Streetcar local historic districts described above.
Each zoning district has specific standards for different types of permitted development, including setbacks, lot coverage, height limits and related requirements. A building in the RSF-6 district may have a 20-foot front yard setback, for example, while a structure downtown may have no setback requirement. The "Regulations by District" component of the City's ENCode Viewer includes a list of permitted uses along with the development standards particular to that district. It also includes tables of development standards. Consult the zoning map to determine the zoning district of a property.