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We are a group of concerned citizens, residents of Saint Simons Island, who care about the future of the island and want to do something to protect this wonderful place we call home.

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Email: SSIfuture1@Gmail.com

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Whether or not you agree that a municipality is a good idea,

we should be able to vote on it.

Current Issues: 2016-2019

2019:  Board of Commissioners hires a company, TSW, to revise the ordinances regulating zoning in Glynn County.  

  • One stated purpose of the revised ordinances is to look into regulating the growth of development on SSI.

  • BOC staff decide that the public will not be advised of proposals by TSW to accomplish this.

  • Instead, the staff will advise the public of which poposals from TSW the staff are considering implementing.

2019:  Property behind the Waffle House

  • Patrick Duncan, a developer, a member of the Island Planning Commission appointed by a mainland BOC commissioner, and 2018 chairman of the IPC, requests the ability to build larger homes on small lots than is allowed by current zoning.  (More Density!)

  • This development request is currently under discussion by the BOC.

2018:  Law Suits

  • Although all law suits brought against the county as a result of Island Planning Commission decisions are won by the county, certain members of the Board of Commissioners state that they “do not want to be involved in law suits” regarding the island.

  • The BOC is sued by island residents multiple times (including a suit about the Benny's property) regarding approval of developments on the island which seem to violate local ordinances.

Property behind Benny's Red Barn Restaurant

  • 2005:  Two of three parcels of land behind Benny's are rezoned by the BOC to "PD", allowing row-houses to be built on that land.

  • The owner of the third parcel, which makes up the center strip of the overall property, never rezones his land to "PD."

  • The owner of the two "PD" parcels acquires the third parcel of land, but does not rezone that parcel to "PD" after purchasing it.

  • 2018:  A proposal is brought to the BOC to build row houses on all three parcels behind Benny's.

  • Islanders protest this development due to already overly dense development in that area resulting in traffic jams, and the fact that the third parcel of land has not been zoned for row houses.

  • Despite protests from those living in the area, apparent lack of appropriate zoning for the entire parcel, and given a perfect reason to reject this overly dense development, the BOC approves the development of row houses on the entire three parcels of land behind Benny's.

2018:  Sea Palms West

  • Sea Palms West golf course is put up for sale.

  • Due to past BOC actions the homeowners surrounding the golf course fear that the BOC will approve development of the property into cluster-homes, shopping centers, or condominiums.

  • The property owners in the Sea Palm West purchase the old golf course to protect their interests, fearing that the BOC will not do so.

2016: "The Study":  Glynn County Board of Commissioners (BOC) paid for a study showing various ways which the island becoming a municipality would financially affect Glynn County and Brunswick

  • While the study shows that the county could be negatively affected by the island becoming a municipality, the study also shows specific taxes which the county could negotiate with the new municipality to transfer to the county to mitigate any financial loss to the county.

  • Some members of the Board of Commissioners and a group who fight the concept of the island becoming a municipality scare the population by falsely stating that, if the island became a municipality the county would have to raise property taxes on everyone by 12% or more. 

  • These statements are based on an unrealistic scenario in which the BOC, negligently, does not do any negotiating with the new municipality, even though their own study shows them exactly what to negotiate for, and the fact that those advocating incorporation are willing to concede these points.  

  • Contrary to the narrative that nay-sayers promote, assuming that the county were to negotiate as indicated in their own study, the county would not have to raise property taxes at all.

  • The study makes various premises and shows the results of three types of municipality scenarios, only one which is advocated by locals. 

  • The BOC uses the results of the two types of municipality not advocated by locals to nay-say the results of the islands becoming a municipality.

2017 - 2018:  The Land Trust

  • The Land Trust purchases land at inflated prices to preserve the character of the island as property owners with old “PD” zoning threaten to develop highly dense home sites on these properties.

  • With over 1,500 acres of undeveloped property on the island still zoned “PD,” the Land Trust recognizes that they cannot purchase, at inflated prices, every property which the owner threatens to build multi-family homes or worse on when it comes up for sale.

2018:  The Glynn County Board of Commissioners (BOC) removes powers of preliminary plat approval granted the IPC in 2005 as an alternative to becoming a municipality. 

  • This makes the IPC nothing but an advisory panel.

  • BOC removes any and all visibility to the public regarding preliminary plats on the island prior to their approval by the BOC.

  • BOC overrides the IPC and approves various developments which the Island Planning Commission had rejected over the previous six months.

2018:  "The Event Venue"

  • A proposal is brought to re-zone 8 acres of north end property from agricultural to allow commercial use.

  • Scores of neighbors and islanders protest at meetings with emails and in the paper.

  • The IPC turns down the initial plat based on ordinance concerns of those living on the island.

  • Two “influential business owners,” who stand to gain financially from the re-zoning, speak up for the development.

  • A statement is made by one member of the BOC that “not everyone is against this rezoning.”

  • The BOC allows the rezoning to occur. 

2016-2017:  BOC raises the county tax millage rate for the general fund by roughly 50%.

2016:  "The Bill to Incorporate":

  • A bill is created by a committee of island residents which would allow those on the island to vote on becoming a municipality. 

  • Our elected state representatives re-write the bill  to satisfy certain preferences which these representatives have regarding incorporation.   

  • Hours before presenting this bill to the state legislature our representatives give assurances to islanders that they will present the bill to the Georgia House of Representatives

  • This is a standard bill with required language used in creating every municipality recently created in Georgia.

  • These representative understand that inter-governmental agreements (IGAs) with Glynn County will follow to finalize the format of the new municipality.

  • As required by the state, the bill does not include language which will later be included in IGAs with the county.  

  • These intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) address provision of various services by the county to the municipality and the transfer of taxes to the county.

  • The BOC and some key county business leaders who benefit from high density island development pressure our state representatives to not present the bill. 

  • At the last minute, our elected local state representatives decide not to present the bill and further, block it when it is presented by a sympathetic representative from another district.

  • Our state representatives excuse for blocking the bill is that they feel this standard bill for creating municipalities in the state of Georgia is a "Bad Bill."  However. they were involved in writing it.

  • No local vote is taken about becoming a municipality.

For island residents to control island development, our Ga. State Senate and House Representatives will need to present and pass a bill at the state level, subject to our later vote, creating an island municipality.

 

Not until they do this can we vote on whether or not we are willing to take on this responsibility.  

Please sign our petition calling on them to do this.

LET US VOTE ON IT!