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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 3:02pm

Amendment 5 Affects Only A Handful Of People

Voters across the state next month will decide a ballot measure that affects smalls areas of just two counties.

Amendment 5 deals with city annexation.

A small group of property owners in unincorporated Chatham County wants to be annexed into a nearby city.

That's normally a matter for local government.

So why is the entire state voting on it?

Garden City State Rep. Bob Bryant says, it's a legal quirk that deals with industrial areas, two of which were enshrined long ago in the state constitution.

"This is last one on the books," says Bryant, who sponsored legislation in the General Assembly to put the amendment on the ballot. "And consequently, once we get this done, we'll be finished with this type of action."

Still, the amendment's reach is amazingly small for the entire state to be voting on it.

When asked exactly what's in the Chatham County industrial area that could be annexed into either Savannah or Garden City, Bryant says, "You have an Applebee's, a weekly stay type hotel and a few trucking locations where they keep containers. However, most of it is just land that's not being used."

Bryant says, he sponsored the legislation because he was responding to his constituents, who want the choice of being annexed to access city services.

The other industrial area enshrined in the state constitution is in Jeff Davis county.

Amendment 5 has drawn little interest or controversy.

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