Saturday, November 3, 2007

10/05 - Proposed Jekyll village plan has drawbacks

Date October 05, 2007
Section(s) Letters

The editorial "Jekyll Island plan an excellent idea" overlooks some drawbacks to Linger Longer's proposal.

The plan eliminates four large ocean side parking lots used by day visitors.

Linger Longer has made inadequate provisions for parking within its proposed village, and there are no beachfront parking lots.

Under the plan, the JIA would assume responsibility for $82,500,000 in bonds for infrastructure improvements, a huge debt that would negate much of the revenue gain Linger Longer projects for the Authority in touting its proposal.

The proposed village would create traffic and population density problems for the park's core, and would erode Jekyll's well-deserved reputation as a model of restrained development. When the town square concept was raised by the JIA several years ago, it was a modest one.

How this concept mutated into a 60+ acre village--meaning into a major real estate development project--is anybody's guess. The plan eliminates the park's popular miniature golf course and adjoining children's playground.

A few neighborhood parks are proposed, but they will not offer the same kind of accessibility and recreation experience the existing playground provides.

Only 27 of the village's 277 condos are priced under $400,000. Room rates at Linger Longer's 400-room convention hotel average $183.

Add these rooms to those of the Club Hotel and the upcoming Trammell Crow hotel, and over half the park's lodgings will be unaffordable for most Georgians--a far cry from what was originally intended for "the people's park."

David Egan
Jekyll Island

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