A number of comments have been made recently regarding the City Market horse carriage stands. Leases between three carriage companies and the City will expire on January 12, 2013. These stands are located on City rights of way. City staff has recommended the leases not be renewed.
The City has long supported horse carriage tours, and views the industry as vital to the local tourist economy, a significant employer, and key to the vibrancy of our Historic District. Downtown has always been a diverse, mixed-use area that has constantly evolved to meet the needs of Savannah. The City frequently mediates solutions in this area to ensure that sometimes competing uses can co-exist in this dense urban landscape.
In recent years, we have received concerns from management of City Market about the location of three carriage stands at Jefferson and St. Julian streets. These concerns grew more urgent when a new restaurant, with outdoor dining, announced plans to open at the intersection. When horse carriage stands have temporarily relocated to other locations near outdoor dining, health concerns have arisen relating to odor, flies and horse hairs. Because the stands are located on public property, the City has an obligation to the public to address these concerns.
The City has identified 10 alternative locations for the City Market carriage stands, including a location just one block away from the current stands, and we are open to discussions about other potential sites. There are five other horse carriage companies in Savannah with stands located outside of City Market, and those companies continue to enjoy success. We’re confident that the three located within City Market will as well. The City is also extending an additional 30-day period beyond the 90 days required by the terms of the lease for the companies to relocate.
The City’s position is one of mediator between surrounding businesses and the carriage companies to ensure that all businesses will thrive in our Historic District. We are committed to working with all parties involved to create a solution that works for everyone.
Please contact Saja Aures, Public Information Office Administrator, with any questions or comments at 912-651-4255.