Thursday, March 21, 2019
Text Size

Politics & Local Govts.

Dec. 14 - Glynn County Legislative Delegation responds to call for Development Control of St Simons cy Its Residents

Category: Politics & Local Govts

Brunswick Business Journal Staff Report

December 14, 2015 - After hearing from many advocates and opponents regarding the incorporation of a city encompassing St. Simons and Sea Islands, and reviewing numerous reports and documents dealing with this initiative, it is the position of the Glynn County legislative delegation that this issue is indeed one requiring a reasonable resolution, according to a press release issued over the weekend by

“However, any solution reached should in turn not be detrimental to the citizens of the City of Brunswick, Sea Island or the other unincorporated areas of Glynn County, nor should it result in an unreasonable expansion in the size, scope and cost of government,” they state.

The Glynn County Legislative delegation will draft and support legislation early next year, that, if approved by the legislature and passed via a constitutional amendment by the citizens of Georgia, authorizes St. Simons Island residents to vote to incorporate the "Township of St. Simons".   This measure is a more limited and less costly form of government than a city.  It will be a newly created legislative model which provides a more focused, less burdensome, response to the primary concerns of St. Simons Island residents, while at the same time protecting the interests of all the citizens of Glynn County, the delegation states.

“If approved, this measure will authorize the citizens of St. Simons Island to directly elect their own Township representatives who will then have exclusive oversight and control over all zoning and code enforcement on St. Simons Island, independent of county government.  However, all police, fire, sanitation, courts, recreation and other services will remain under the control and responsibility of the existing Glynn County government,” they explained. 

This limited and focused measure, if voted on and approved by the citizens of St. Simons, would then authorize the Township to self-fund via franchise fees and/or up to no more than a ½ mill of tax revenue.  “Of course, the citizens of the Township would certainly be authorized to approve a lesser amount of revenue to run the Township or to vote to reject the concept entirely, if they so desire. Nothing above this adequate and limited level of funding and responsibility could ever be increased by the Township governing body and would only have a local impact on St. Simons Island.  It would not have any negative impact on the existing Glynn County government, the City of Brunswick, Sea Island or any of the other unincorporated areas of Glynn County,” the delegation explained.

“Over the past several months, as we have received input from many constituents regarding the proposed incorporation of St. Simons and Sea Island into a city, the one recurring theme we have heard is the understandable perception of what many see as the destruction of the natural beauty of one of Georgia’s most attractive barrier islands by over development.  It seems clear that the incorporation movement is not so much a matter of some folks simply wanting another layer of government but more as a reluctant decision to pursue what they see as the only alternative to a preservation crisis.

“Most citizens who support incorporating St. Simons and Sea Island into a city have not expressed dissatisfaction with existing county fire, police, EMS, recreation or garbage services.  However, many perceive that county government is not adequately addressing issues related to code enforcement and zoning.   Other citizens are also understandably concerned about protecting individual property rights and the possibility of an overly burdensome taxing entity being created.

“Whether perception or reality, there is no serious disagreement that St. Simons Island is indeed a valuable resource that benefits all the citizens of Glynn County and is certainly as worthy of protection as the other barrier islands of Georgia.  However, the issue is one of balance, and this is a conversation that we, as a community, need to have. 

“We need to come together as a community and determine where the point of balance between reasonable land use and the preservation of irreplaceable natural assets is, and, whether a separate governmental structure on St. Simons Island is the best way to achieve that balance. Finding and agreeing on that balance and structure will require some level of sacrifice on the part of all concerned.  Land use issues such as density and its impact on traffic and other required infrastructures should be balanced against tree cover, marsh preservation and the very real need for St. Simons Island to continue to feel like the casual, comfortable place where citizens want to enjoy their homes and visitors wish to rest, relax and vacation.

“As we move into the next legislative session, we look forward to hearing from all concerned regarding this proposed solution,” the press release concluded.


Follow Us!

  • Facebook: BrunswickDailyNews
  • Google+: brunswickbusinessjournal
  • Twitter:


BBJ Top Jobs
Coastal Empire News
Headquarters: 35 Barnard St., Suite 300, Savannah, GA. 31401.
Tel: 912-388-4692 | Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Copyright 2019 - Coastal Empire News | Designed by Absolute Marketing