2021 Master Plan Falls Short
In September, the JIA released the 2021 Master Plan Update, which is meant to guide decisions on management, development, and preservation of the island. The master plan update includes some positive aspects, such as increasing the lands designated as undeveloped. Unfortunately, the plan’s update fails to:
- include future land use designations; and
- address over-development and crowding on the island.
Georgia Law requires the master plan to delineate “ future uses of the land area,” but the proposed Master Plan Update does not. This glaring omission allows the JIA to ignore the issue of density for designated “developed lands,” a major concern expressed by the public.
The updated plan fails to address a leading concern of Jekyll residents and visitors – growth and overdevelopment on the island. A 2018 carrying capacity and infrastructure assessment of Jekyll warns that the island will reach functional capacity by 2021. The proposed Master Plan Update only vaguely references this critical study but allows “developed” lands, including golf courses, to be redeveloped with dense residential and commercial uses.
We’re working to safeguard our island
Before the plan is adopted by the JIA Board, an Oversight Committee, appointed by the Governor of Georgia, must review the updates. The Oversight Committee is made up of elected officials serving in the Georgia General Assembly. By law, the Oversight Committee members must review any Master Plan Update before it moves to the next stage in the approval process. The law also grants the Jekyll Island Oversight Committee the opportunity to object to the Master Plan Updates.
There is still time for JIA to incorporated meaningful changes into the 2021 Master Plan Update. That is why we’re working with communities along our coast to ensure the JIA Board and elected officials serving on the legislative Oversight Committee hear from us before voting on the plan’s update.
We’re asking the JIA to address residents’ and visitors’ primary concerns: overdevelopment and overcrowding on Jekyll Island. Until this is done, we’re asking Governor Kemp and the Georgia General Assembly to place a moratorium for new development on Jekyll Island.
You can help
Don’t let the JIA hoodwink the public into thinking this 2021 Master Plan Update will protect the “People’s Island.” Email our elected officials on the Jekyll Oversight Committee to let them know we want to see a meaningful plan update that includes the measures necessary to protect our beloved state park from overcrowding and overdevelopment. Sign the petition to encourage Governor Kemp and the Georgia General Assembly to place a moratorium for new development on Jekyll Island.
“Even without planned development, visitation is expected to continue to increase significantly. Everyone has been feeling these growing pains, and the JIA must address our concerns before it’s too late.”
Contact Susan for more information about OHM’s work to protect Jekyll Island and other barrier islands—and how you can help.