The Brunswick News today had an article on changes in Glynn County’s development (destruction) procedures, to which I appended the following when sharing to the Facebook community:
Various entities have claimed that it is normal for preliminary plats to be reviewed and approved at the planner’s desk and that is how it is done in most places. That is probably correct because most land is buildable. That is not true in Glynn County where, in fact, most land is either too close to sea level or the water table is too high and, if the vegetative cover is removed, the land risks being either wahed or blown away. Never mind the major river systems and fresh-water swamps making up a significant portion of the rest of the land. None of that is taken into account when subdivisions are laid out and the roads, utilities (water, sewer, electric, drainage) and “amenities” are installed. A tree survey is absolutely worthless if land has to be filled more than an inch or two with sandy soil because covering the established root system kills the trees as surely as cutting them off (not right away, but within a few years–vide the buffers at the Reserve at Demere and Mariners’Landing). Dead trees standing make good nesting sites for some birds, but they do not divert the wind, modulate the temperature, catch the rain, capture carbon or participate in the water cycle via transpiration. The planners’ recently acquired preference for form over function means they they go by what things look like, rather than what they do. That is fine with people for whom seeing is believing, but is impractical. It does not work when one is building in a watery environment. Sadly, the most egregious agents of deforestation recently have been our agents of government: Georgia’s Department of Transportation, the Brunswick and Glynn Economic Development Authority, the Georgia Ports Authority and the Golden Isles Airport Authority. Oh, and the Glynn County Commission has reserved to itself the right to take down any tree on county property, including rights of way, at any time and without notice to anyone. Another reason why the tree ordinance for Saint Simons Island is a palliative without a purpose.
Somebody seems convinced that, if they just cut down all the trees, industry will come. And they call that “shovel ready.”