Dear Friends of SLEAT:
What to do about an organization that’s always either premature or after-the fact? I’m referring, of course, to the Glynn County Commission, whose actions and decisions are never timely, but an item on the April 7th Consent Agenda (not to be discussed and voted on in bulk), is really egregious. That is, they are proposing to approve a subdivision on Sea Island (Tract IX) BEFORE any strategy to stop the steady erosion of the dunes has been agreed to and AFTER an asphalt road not meeting County standards has already been built. Not to mention that water lines to under-pressurized fire hydrants have been installed and, in the process, the natural vegetation holding the dunes in place has been decimated.
Puddy Smith has sent recommendations to the Board of Commissioners, as follows:
On the consent agenda for your April 7th meeting is item 10, a request for approval of FP3206, the final plat for an eight-lot subdivision identified as the “Reserve at Sea Island”.
I respectfully request that this item be pulled from the consent agenda for discussion–and that it be deferred or denied for the following reasons:
1. Giving final plat approval will make it possible for the current or future owners of these eight lots to apply for building permits to construct expensive and uninsurable single-family residences in a flood zone. Such construction would be premature because the proposed new groin and dune enhancement application designed to protect future residences on these proposed lots has not yet come before the Islands Planning Commission or the Board of Commissioners for the conditional use permit required under the provisions of Section 727.5 of the Glynn County Zoning Ordinance. Before you give final plat approval, the IPC and the BOC should first determine that it is appropriate to build a new groin in waters of the state and to excavate sand from a public beach to enhance a dune or renourish a beach elsewhere.
2. In note 8 on the final plat survey in your packet, the surveyor bases his opinion regarding the potential of flooding on a F.I.R.M. (Flood Insurance Rate Map) dated 09/06/06 despite the fact the current F.I.R.M. dated 12/11/2015 is available and that this new map FEMA map shows relevant information regarding wave action not found on the earlier F.I.R.M.
3. The Shore Protection Act jurisdictional lines on the proposed final plat are nearly identical to those on the preliminary plat and do not accurately reflect the significant erosion that has occurred since the preliminary plat was approved in January of 2014. If a copy of the preliminary plat is not in your packet, you should request one be supplied to you.
4. Because the final plat survey dated 2/04/15 is substantially different from the preliminary plat survey dated 12/20/13, if this application is deferred, it should be be referred back to the Islands Planning Commission for reconsideration as an amended preliminary plat.
5. The description of this item on the agenda, as well as in the memo in your packet, states that the parcel to be subdivided “is located on the proposed Dune Lane”. That is incorrect because Dune Lane has been paved, which means it is no longer “proposed”. The description also indicated that it “will extend” when it has already been extended.
Finally, I suggest that this application not be approved until after the BOC and the IPC jointly conduct a properly noticed public site walk of the area in question at the time of a high tide, and that the IPC then hear from the public at a properly noticed meeting following that site walk.
As we know from experience, Robert Shupe is in the habit of updating his surveys by merely changing the date and then the Coastal Resources Division, having given lip services to the fact that the ocean’s shore and dune fields are dynamic (ever changing), accepts the surveyor’s update as gospel truth, despite the representations of what’s on the ground being inaccurate.
This past week, the Tree Advisory Board held another public hearing on the tree preservation ordinance. If developers and contractors are starting to object, it may well be because getting a tree survey and plan approved BEFORE any other permits are issued is just starting to register. It seems that, at present, the County does not actually issue construction permits for roads and utilities and land clearing and filling. Consequently, and while this may be incidental, it is important that nobody knows how much the “improvements” installed by private contractors are actually worth. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for appraisals for tax purposes to be accurate before any sales take place.
In this context, I’d call your attention to the next meeting of the Glynn County Board of Assessors (4:00 PM, second floor of Pate Building) when an appeal to the Superior Court is likely to be addressed. Several of our developers seem to think that because their lots haven’t sold, their tax bills ought to be less.
I am going to append a couple of documents for your perusal. One is a proposed contract for the clear cutting of a hundred acres of County land to generate a little more income for the Airport Commission. If you’d like a detailed critique, I’d be happy to forward what I sent to Mr. Burr and Mr. Ours.
The map of the Coastal Barrier Resource area NO 4 is hot off the presses, having been published on March 15, 2016.
On a lighter note, shooting turkey and deer is now called “harvesting” by the DNR and has to be reported.
Fishing, on the other hand, is a sport
Bonus Holland pic: