With all the hoopla surrounding the German Village issue, a major rezoning for increased development on St. Simons has gone unnoticed.

In June, the county sought a change to the PD text for the McKinnon Airport (ZM4034) to allow unlimited commercial use. That seems innocuous but for the fact that the McKinnon tract includes property on the east side of Demere Road across the street from the airport, on Demere Road from Gary Moore Court to Skylane Road and on the southeast side of Skylane Road, all of which abuts on residential property. Although the land is zoned commercial, these tracts outside the airport proper have limited uses because of the established neighborhoods nearby. The airport commission failed in 2014 and 2016 to add hotels and restaurants to this zoning. Both times, there was significant public resistance because there was ample notice of the proposed change. In June, the plan was posted only a few days before the IPC meeting. Although there was voiced opposition from a few, the IPC recommended approval.

Imagine the commercial corridor on Demere Road extending to Skylane Drive, East Beach Causeway and beyond. Imagine the new roundabout at Demere & East Beach Causeway with a fourth road leading into the airport property with a hotel and restaurants. All this would be possible, and likely, if the Board of Commissioners approves the recommendation, which is put forth solely to increase the Airport Commission’s revenue. Please urge the BOC to reject the proposal on July 18.

Mary Helen Moses

St. Simons Island

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