The Glynn County Commission recently held a public hearing on proposed amendments to the Beach and Dune Ordinance. Perplexing questions remain unanswered regarding how and why the proposal was initiated, as well as time available for public review of the final proposal.
Ordinance amendments adopted at the May 17 meeting were significantly different than the publicly posted text. Substantial revisions in the proposed amendments were recommended by the planning commission only two days before the board meeting.
The primary purpose of legal requirements for advanced public notice and circulation of applicable text for public review was undermined through the hasty action taken by the county commission. Revisions presented were made publicly available only a few minutes prior to the board adopting them. Due to this violation of the regulatory intent of notification procedures, concerned citizens were deprived of sufficient time to review and evaluate the amendments.
Furthermore, the amendments were intended to exclusively accommodate a beach renourishment project proposed on Sea Island. A portion of that scheme includes depositing sand along a 1,200-foot-long fragment on the island’s south end, reviving contentious plans to develop the “spit.”
That development proposal, previously withdrawn due to ravaging hurricanes, had been particularly controversial because of extremely high risk of flooding and storm surge. Dangers on the spit are deemed so extreme that federal flood insurance is not even available.
Damage caused by hurricanes Matthew and Irma unmistakably validates precautionary deterrents.
By approving the amendments, the board disregarded procedural intent and encouraged hazardous, speculative development at the public’s expense.
Center for a Sustainable Coast