Several months ago, our Board of Commissioners stated publicly that they did not want to be involved in lawsuits regarding zoning on St. Simons Island. They subsequently removed all powers from the Island Planning Commission which could result in a lawsuit. They then reversed every IPC decision which resulted in a lawsuit, allowing every development which the IPC had denied to proceed.
I understand why the BOC doesn’t want to spend money defending lawsuits which they were not a party to create. I also understand why those who live on the islands want the power to decide what goes on here. There is the conflict.
There is a solution. With the support of our state legislators, the island could become a city controlling only planning and zoning related services and removing the county from the costs of resulting lawsuits.
All other services would be consolidated under the county’s control. Due to this consolidation, Brunswick would not be financially affected. To balance the county’s budget, the city would agree to have the county continue to collect and use taxes such as Hotel / Motel & LOST. This was done in Peachtree Corners.
This concept solves the problems with a bill Sen. Ligon supported on “Townships” years ago. But when I met with Sen. Ligon, he felt there was not enough support on the islands for him to back this concept now. It will take people who live on the islands contacting Sen. Ligon to get him interested.
St. Simons Island