Wednesday, November 14, 2007

11/03 - Jekyll Island proposal to get more feedback

Date November 03, 2007
Section(s) Local News
The Brunswick News

Jekyll Island residents say they will be ready to voice their concerns about the proposed revitalization of the state-owned island at public hearings that will be held around Georgia this month.

But some who plan to attend say they aren't confident that their voices will have any impact.

"My sense is the fundamental plan isn't terribly flexible," said David Egan, founder of the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island. "I hope I'm dead wrong."

Egan said he has major problems with the proposal and hopes the contractor and the Jekyll Island Authority listen to concerns about legal, moral and environmental issues.

Linger Longer Communities will oversee a proposed $441 million revitalization of Jekyll, a project that includes new hotels, condominiums, convention center and shopping complex.

"We're primarily concerned with the fundamental concept behind proposing buildings of that scale on a three-quarter mile stretch of a sensitive barrier-island beach," Egan said.

"This just isn't well thought out. These proposed concepts jeopardize the character of the island."

Frank Mirasola, president of the Jekyll Island Citizens Association, said he is disturbed by many facets of the redevelopment proposal.

"Many of us have a problem with the concepts of the proposal," Mirasola said. "They should design around what's there."

Input from the four public meetings will be used to help shape the proposal's master plan, said Eric Garvey, senior director of marketing for the Jekyll Island Authority.

"We put a high value on the public input," Garvey said. "We won't be able to accommodate everyone, but we will record and consider all input."

Misinformation is fueling many of the concerns, Garvey said.

The public meetings will include a presentation of the conceptual plan that should clear up any misconceptions, and questions will be answered, he said.

"The public input will be considered," Garvey said.

"This is a first run to get people to react. Then we can go through the master plan process, making changes once we're further along."

Four public input meetings are planned on Jekyll Island's proposed redevelopment plan.

* Nov. 14 at 9:30 a.m. at Heritage Bank in St. Marys and at 3:30 p.m. at the Jekyll Island Convention Center.

* Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the Knox Room at the National Science Center in Augusta.

* Nov. 20 at 3:30 p.m. at the Cobb Galleria on Cobb Parkway in Atlanta.

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