Saturday, November 3, 2007

10/17 - Full impact of proposal finally being realized

Date October 17, 2007
Section(s) Letters
The Brunswick News

Now that the much anticipated "Private Partner" plum has been awarded by the Jekyll Island Authority to the Reynolds Linger Longer group, the full impact of this monumental giveaway of the Jekyll Island State Park by the authority is beginning to be exposed.

The Reynolds plan calls for intensive development of two-thirds of a mile of beachfront extending from Days Inn to Shell Road (near Blackbeard's Restaurant). This requires rerouting of two-thirds of a mile of Beachview Drive and the elimination of most all of the public beachfront parking on Jekyll Island.

Elimination of beachfront parking impedes and denies access of Georgia day visitors to Jekyll's most visited beaches.

In essence, the Reynolds development privatizes a main stretch of public beaches on Jekyll Island. Proposed parking areas within the Reynolds developed condos, hotels, shopping and residential homes would not be convenient nor useful to Georgia and other day visitors.

This is a clear violation of the public beach access confirmed in HB 214 and other legislation concerning Jekyll Island State Park.

The outrageous Reynolds proposal saddles the Jekyll Island Authority with $84.5 million of debt against only $67 million in revenues.

In other words, the state of Georgia is paying Reynolds to acquire rights to 67 acres of prime oceanfront property in a state park.

The Reynolds proposed development threatens to destroy the ambiance of Jekyll Island and turn it into another crowded Hilton Head with all of the attending destruction of habitat, water resources and public beach access.

The entire scenario cries out for thorough investigation.

Joe Iannicelli

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