It has been more than 60 years since Glynn County comprehensively updated its zoning ordinances. Our understanding of threats brought by sea level rise and population growth have expanded significantly in the years since, and it’s well past time we bring our zoning ordinances into the future. That is why One Hundred Miles advocating for responsible zoning ordinance updates throughout the county.
Glynn County COAST
In 2018, One Hundred Miles launched a campaign to “Create Our Adaptation Strategy Together” (COAST). Nearly 300 community members were gathered to explore ideas for improving Brunswick’s and Glynn County’s resilience.Neighbors and community leaders exchanged ideas and priorities, leading to five emerging themes:
- Mitigate Coastal and Inland Flooding
- Responsible Land Use and Development
- Addressing Toxics and Pollution
- Expanding Public Access to the Waterfront
- Improving Mobility and Community Connectivity
These themes encompass a comprehensive approach to improving Glynn County’s resilience to sea level rise and population growth. One Hundred Miles works toward these goals in our advocacy efforts. The Glynn County zoning ordinance update provides the most promising opportunity to implement solutions that address these concerns.
Development In The Right Places
The first step to preparing for sea level rise and population growth is implementing responsible land use policies. That means building further from our waterfront, encouraging redevelopment over new development, and allowing for efficient mixed land use.
We have used the input we collected through the COAST process to guide our advocacy work and involvement in the Brunswick’s and Glynn County’s comprehensive plans—plans that are required by the State to guide land use and zoning decisions until 2028. OHM contributed during the public comment period for the Envision Glynn plan and sat on the steering committee for Brunswick’s Comprehensive Plan and will continue to engage throughout the rezoning process in Glynn County. Learn more about our recommendations through this short video or click here to watch our comprehensive plan webinar.
The ability to move about town without having to rely on vehicular transportation is a major component to improving quality of life in Glynn County and Brunswick. Improving mobility by implementing complete street policies, connecting our communities, and incorporating multi-modal routes will provide social and environmental benefits while helping our community cope with expected population growth.
OHM has worked closely with the City of Brunswick to address mobility concerns. Beginning with our walking audits in 2016, OHM has advocated for the installation of a footbridge to offer students a safer route to school and the incorporation of bike lanes in downtown Brunswick to connect waterfront resources. Learn more about our efforts to improve mobility around Brunswick.
Soil, Air, and Water Contamination
We are currently working on several issues regarding contamination in Brunswick and Glynn County. Alongside our partners, we are monitoring Superfund site cleanups (i.e. Terry Creek, Hercules, LCP) and have submitted comments on cleanup plans. We are committed to holding the responsible parties accountable for remedying the contamination’s impacts.
Contamination in our community is also found at Brownfields, which are former industrial or commercial sites where redevelopment is inhibited by either real or perceived contamination. OHM has partnered with the City of Brunswick, Glynn County, UGA Marine Extension, and The Georgia Conservancy to apply for funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to address brownfield sites. The grant is intended to initiate redevelopment for some of the County’s and City’s most promising brownfield sites.
Coastal and Inland Flooding
Flooding is a major concern for all of Glynn County and Brunswick. Many of the best solutions are linked to our land use decisions. Infill, or choosing to redevelop our land rather than clearing and developing green space, is a primary solution.
We’re monitoring county rezoning applications, speaking during public comment at Commission meetings, and advocating for both local and state-level policies that promote coastal resilience. In the City of Brunswick, OHM advocated for the passage of the stormwater utility fee, which is assessed annually to generate funding that will address drainage and infrastructure concerns specific to stormwater management.
Access to the Waterfront
A major theme observed through the COAST workshops was the desire for more access to the waterfront throughout Brunswick and the County. Many solutions for this issue are nested within land use and zoning decisions.
We incorporated this feedback into our support for the Glynn Avenue Design Framework, which passed in 2019, and in our recommendations regarding brownfield redevelopment in Glynn County.