Glynn County Director of Community Development Pamela Thompson has filed an appeal against a decision of the Board of Appeals to prohibit access to Guale Preserve via Village Drive on St. Simons Island.

In the appeal documentation, Thompson offered three reasons as the basis for her appeal.

She stated that Village Drive is a public road maintained by the county and that the board of appeals has no legal authority to prohibit its public use.

Thompson also said that the board lacked the authority to require site plan approval for future development by the land trust at Guale Preserve, even if approval would not be necessary under Zoning Ordinance Section 619.

Lastly, Thompson explained that the board was supposed to consider whether her initial approval and issuance of the construction permit was in accordance with existing county ordinances. She said the board provided no evidence that it was not.

The Community Development Department requested that the Glynn County Board of Commissioners reaffirm the approval of the construction plan for Guale Preserve and strike both conditions imposed by the board of appeals at its June meeting.

Thompson issued a construction permit for parking spaces at the end of Village Drive to the St. Simons Land Trust in January. The Village Bluff Property Owners Association then appealed the issuance of the permit, claiming that the land trust had alternative options for accessing their property that didn’t use a road through the German Village neighborhood.

On June 6, the board upheld their appeal by affirming the construction permit with the condition that Village Drive could not serve as an access and that site plan approval would be required for any further development on the property.

The appeal of the board’s decision by the Community Development Department marks the latest development in the dispute between the land trust and German Village residents over the future of Village Drive. The land trust had 30 days to appeal the board’s decision but decided to wait for action from the county instead.

The board of commissioners will have a public hearing on this and other matters on July 18 at 6 p.m.

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