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

we should be able to vote on it.


What can be done?


  • The Island is going to continue to grow in population.  So, how can we maintain the character of the island, as this growth continues? 

  • The first thing necessary is for those who control island planning and zoning to have a consistent vision of what the character of the island should be.  We believe that if the island growth process is controlled by those living on the island it will provide a better, more consistent result than the random results which the Glynn County Board of Commissioners (BOC) have produced over the past decades. 

                  (See the “Island Growth Issues” tab for past BOC development issues.

  • The county has hired a company, TSW to suggest to the BOC a re-write of the ordinances controlling development within the county and the island.  If the county chooses, this ordinance rewrite could limit some of the density of future development on the island.  We do not expect the county to act on these recommendations until late 2000 or 2001.  If the county does not implement the changes suggested by TSW, an island municipality could do so. 

  • To accomplish our own re-write of ordinances, the island will need to become a municipality with the power to control its own planning and zoning.  

                     (See the “Why a Municipality” tab for further discussion.)


  • The question is not:  What can a municipality do that the county cannot do? 

        The question is:  What can a municipality do that the county has not done, and seems unwilling           to do?


  • Here is what can be done through an island municipality.

    • Have a consistent vision of the future character of the island.

    • Have a development approval process which is not swayed by a few prominent citizens who will financially gain by unpopular development.

    • Have public visibility of the development process, with public input prior to approval of preliminary plot plats.

    • When available, use existing ordinances to prevent over-dense development.

    • Change the size of lots allowed under new development in Forest and Agriculture zoning.  (Currently, FA zoning allows subdivisions with 1/2 acre lots.)

    • Phase out Planned Development zoning (PD) which allows land owners to have special zoning on their property, different than the zoning of the land surrounding their property, and allowing them to have higher density development on their land than the surrounding area. 

    • Put a sunset clause on existing PD development. 

    • Move some ordinances which are currently only relevant at the final plat level of the development approval process to the preliminary plat level in order to more easily control growth and density.

    • Create new ordinances that require traffic studies that measure the impact of a proposed development as a part of the approval process for any proposed development.

    • Create a new zoning overlay of the island, with "form-based" ordinances that are specific to the character of specific parts of Saint Simons Island.

    • Create an impact fee ordinance that will allow impact fees to be collected for new developments.

    • Until the above changes are made, constrain the expansion of the water and sewer system northward on the island, thereby preventing more multi-family construction in that area.

    • Be willing to go to court if necessary to defend legal zoning decisions which would prevent development that would destroy the character of the island


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.