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Board approves revised hotel lighting fixtures

Subheadline: 
Home Wood Suites installed structures without approval

  • Josh Galemore/Savannah Morning News - The Homewood Suites hotel on the East end of River street has been under review by the Savannah Historic District Board of Review for the installation of unapproved lights which have been deemed as not visually compatible with the rest of the city.

The Savannah Historic Review Board and the Homewood Suites reached a compromise Wednesday on the hotel’s rooftop lighting, which was installed last year without board approval.

The board voted unanimously to approve a new lighting plan for the hotel’s rooftop pool area at 611 E. River St. that removes all but two of the 16 20-foot-tall structures.

In March, the board voted unanimously to deny the after-the-fact installation of the 20-foot-tall structures after neighbors complained about the lights, which are visible from Bay, River and East Broad streets.

The owners of the hotel, Atlanta-based North Point Hospitality Group, said they didn’t know they needed approval from the board and installed the lights after they learned about a Chatham County Health Department guideline for pool lighting. It states that any pool that permits night swimming must have adequate lighting to illuminate the entire pool area.

Since the fall, board staff has been working with the hotel to determine an alternate solution since the health department doesn’t permit any variances in this situation.

The two remaining light fixtures will still be visible but are set back 20 feet from the building’s facade, which brings the fixtures up to compatibility standards, according to a staff report.

A trellis that spans perpendicularly above a section of the raised pool was also revised to incorporate additional light fixtures and raised in the center by 4 feet to meet electric code.  

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