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COMMENTS ON LINGER LONGER'S ORIGINAL TOWN CENTER PROPOSAL EXPRESSED ON IPJI SURVEYS
Development is totally out of proportion to the island's character and needs. Object to development along beach obstructing views and eliminating public parking and beach access. Could support convention center with adjacent hotel and retail area, adding additional shops and restaurants. Economy hotel should be beachfront, as are current affordable hotels, which is unique for coastal development. Totally oppose rerouting Beachview Drive so ocean cannot be viewed and construction of time-shares and condos. Overall, it is too much development for this small island and violates the trust citizens have in the JIA. Our delicate coastal environment and habitat, including that of sea turtles, is at risk from this type of overdone development.
Joe Krewer and Patty Goodwin, Watkinsville, GA If beach goers want to stay in crowded back to back condos and hotels with strip malls on every corner---let them go to panama city. Jekyll deserves to remain the jewel that she is. Untouched as much as possible to offer a true vision of the beach experience.. What would Rockefeller and Vanderbilt say about the proposals? Vicki M. Brown, Ashburn, GA
My biggest concern, despite the obvious harm to the local ecosystem, is the subversive way this proposal has been implemented. It lends one to think that the development proposed by Linger Longer is harmful. Who will pay for this? Who will pay for it if tourism does not improve the local economy? The Georgia taxpayer, who will not be able to afford the proposed Jekyll Island accommodations, will have the pay for it. Angie Hardy, Atlanta GA
Three years ago I introduced my wife to Jekyll Island during a brief stay after our wedding and prior to our honeymoon. Since that time we have visited the island on several occasions with additional family and friends. It would be an injustice to have Jekyll Island go the way of every other ocean front destination on Georgia's coast, developed for the greater good of the developer. We, as tax paying residents of Georgia, must FIGHT to preserve the pristine beauty of Georgia's Crown Jewel. Jekyll Island is the people's island and it should remain in that state for our children's children. Robert and Tammy Fisher, Macon GA
I believe the island is beautiful just as it is. The natural environment of the island needs to stay as it is; the beauty, peacefulness and tranquility that a visitor feels when they are on Jekyll is much more appealing than a commercialized condominium environment. I would love to see the island stay as it is and not turn it into another Hilton head Island. The best part of visiting Jekyll Island is the chance to see a loggerhead turtle or a school of dolphins; those are some of my family’s bet memories of visiting the island. Please keep the beauty as it is! Tonya Williams, Pine Mountain, GA
There are too few areas left that have not been "sold out" to the big developers.. They are ruining our state--to benefit a few and restrict access for the general public. Jekyll is one of the few public areas that still has the option of remaining a limited development resource. It would be a real shame to see it over-developed.. Thank you for your efforts to restrict this development. Kathy White, Winder, GA To most of them, not only "no" but absolutely, positively no---on ecological grounds, on grounds that the island belongs to us, not the JIA, on grounds that it will kill the turtle nesting grounds and the plover nesting sites and many other species' habitats-----not to mention the dunes. As I wrote in my letter to Linger Longer and the JIA and a host of other entities---build it if you must but not on this fragile barrier island, and not on land that does not belong to you. Don't remove the only protection we have from storms and hurricanes, don't kill off native species.. When they die, we die. Don't overpopulate Jekyll, especially with time share people and hotel residents who have no interest in preserving this gem of nature, this wild place which we are fighting so hard to protect and which you only want to destroy---for what? For the almighty dollar? Global warming is not coming---it's unpacked its bags and is here today. What you are doing is making it welcome in one of the last remaining free and wild places for our sea and sky creatures on the Georgia coast, and for the two legged species called humankind. Don't do it. Mimi Harris Waite, St. Simon’s Island, GA Condos and time shares have no place in a state park. Renovating current family affordable housing is imperative. This is not Hilton Head! Retain the rustic, environmentally friendly island that granted everyday folk such as us a place to vacation with family at a reasonable cost. Renovate the conference center and consider it a historic building modified to accommodate larger conventions. Don't turn the island into time share venues where time shares stand mostly empty most of the year using up beach fronts that should belong to the people of Georgia. Please act responsibly and save the island from high rises. Senior citizens as well as our children raising their families deserve to return to the island through the years to carry on tradition.. That is the American family values way! Do other state parks have time shares and condos? I hope not because if so, we have blown it. Mary Sue Holmes, Stockbridge, GA There has been no comprehensive ecological study made of the island. Jekyll is far from being pristine and is in need of some attention to better manage many of its natural resources. There is a great need to invest in this NOW and not wait until there are serious problems. I have been coming to Jekyll since the mid seventies and love it for its quiet, the bike trails, the minimally disturbed natural areas, and its affordability. It is truly a unique part of the Georgia coast in its accessibility and fairly intact natural features.. JIA needs to examine other possible design solutions that would upgrade the convention facilities and hotels as needed. Connie Gray, Clarkston GA I have spent many weeks and long weekends on Jekyll for various conventions, conferences, and weekend getaways. It has always been near and dear to my heart. The thought of how detrimental this development would be to this little patch of heaven is deplorable. It is unconceivable what we do to the environment and our world for the sake of progress. Cheryl Childers, Macon, GA I do feel that Jeykll Island needs some upgrading, but not to the extent of commercialization. I love the peace and low profile of being at Jeykll Island. I would not want to see the Islands "State Park" status and affordability to be compromised in an effort to make money. Clint Weatherby, Ball Ground, GA I am absolutely against ANY changes to the existing infrastructure of Jekyll Island, especially as have been proposed in the plan submitted by LLC. As a native Georgian, I have visited Jekyll Island throughout my life with my family, and I now take my children there as well to enjoy a beachfront that has as-of-yet still not been polluted with endless beachfront hotels and condominiums and commercial venues. The ONLY changes needed to Jekyll Island are renovation of the existing structures as a matter of routine repair and upgrade. The proposed changes/additions will be devastating to the island's ecology/ecosystem, and will drive the average citizen inland, as the beachfront hotel and condominium rates will be unaffordable for the average family income. Also, the destruction of the children's park and miniature golf course are actions that serve no benefit to anyone but the wealthy, and would add another measure of deprivation to our children, to whom this state park truly belongs. I consider it a true tragedy that these proposed changes would ever take place. The so-called "improvement" to the island via LLC is a poorly disguised, thinly-veiled maneuver to turn the only oceanfront area in Georgia that is still accessible to the average citizen into yet another resort for the wealthy (as if there aren't enough ocean front getaways for the affluent). I would consider any actions to proceed with these proposed changes to be of the most vile and deplorable nature, and those who are trying to destroy the park and its original intent should be ashamed of themselves and their actions which are clearly driven by greed and profit, with no concern at all for the island's ecosystem and the state's citizens whose tax dollars will be supporting these changes. Marshall W. Ivey, MD, Augusta, GA
Georgia has only one good public-access beach. Tybee is overdeveloped and has little natural beauty left, and Cumberland has limited access by design. It would be very foolish to turn Jekyll into another Hilton Head. It's impossible to beat back development of this scale once it has been built. The only chance to save the island for future visitors is to stop this travesty NOW. The island charter was constructed to prevent just this kind of expropriation from the citizens of the state. How did this asinine project get so far? Mark Dobbs, East Point GA I think that the proposal is a real loss to the state and citizens. It seems to be a tremendous waste of taxpayer money that could easily be put elsewhere (wonder why our schools are 49th in the nation?), it is potentially devastating to the local wildlife/environment, and it ruins the character of the island. The island is beautiful as is; please don't mess with a good thing! Joey Fones and Alison Faupel, Decatur, GA
I am deeply saddened by the prospect of Jekyll Island becoming another Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach or anything close. The amount of natural wooded land and the chance to ride a bike along the ocean with no buildings in the way has made it a special place to me. I saw Hilton Head when it was natural and beautiful 40 years, and I saw North Myrtle Beach when it was small and family-oriented with no condos and now that feel is forever lost and the loggerhead turtles have mostly left there and it is just such a shame. Susan Whitlock, Marietta, GA Leave the island alone. It is a beautiful place to visit and has enough hotels. If you want to spend 84 million then put in a passenger train from Atlanta to Savannah so more of us can make it down there to enjoy the coast. David Lamothe, Powder Springs, GA
I am not opposed to construction of a new convention center. However, the size and scale of this proposed project scares me. We MUST retain as much of this portion of the park as we can for our children and their children. Progress is important but not at the expense of destroying such a beautiful place for our children to enjoy, resplendent with so much history.. Too much of our coastal beaches are succumbing to the concrete, steel and high-rise mentality--from Georgia's Golden Coast to Florida's First Coast. It deeply saddens me to see the LAST of pristine and preserved, quiet areas destroyed in the name of progress. Is nothing sacred anymore? Is the almighty dollar so important that we forge head-long into disaster just for the sake of making money? Whatever happens on Jekyll must be balanced and handled with a long-range view, not shortsighted greed. Julie Lowery, Wray, GA
I strongly do not want any major development to occur at Jekyll Island. I'm a 15 years old, and our family has been taking trips down to Jekyll for many years. I love the island just the way it is. I like the seemingly remoteness of the island, and the lack of major commercial businesses. If I somewhere built up, I would go to St Simons, but we like the atmosphere currently present at Jekyll Island. I think it is important to keep as much of the island as possible in its original, natural state. Newer, bigger, fancier lodging would raise prices of everything on the island, not just hotels. If new developments are added, I'm not sure that our family could still afford to be able to make yearly trips. Jonathan Hill, Lilburn, GA
I'm very much against the elimination of the oceanfront parking and the elimination of the playground and putt-putt courses. Also, the re-routing of Beachview Drive is an appalling idea. I think upgrading the conference center and refurbishing the hotels that are currently on the island would be a step in the right direction to encourage conference goers to return to JI. It would also ensure that the island is an affordable place for families to spend their vacation. Lisa Smith, Statesboro, GA Reynolds' Linger Longer project brings huge construction and population density to an already threatened and sensitive coastline. We are very concerned, no matter what their assurances to the contrary, that this project would be devastating to land and sea creatures. Rick and Kay Hoffman, Jekyll Island, GA The consideration of expanding the area on Jekyll Island to be more suited for human activity at tne expense the natural setting is not needed. There is plenty of area very close the island that would fill that need. Jekyll Island is worth preserving as close to its natural arrangement as possible. This is something that cannot be replaced. John P. Walsh, Decatur, GA
I have been visiting Jekyll Island for over 20 years. It is a State Park and I have never seen any other State Parks subject to a development plan like is being considered for Jekyll. I do not want to see any condos and time shares on Jekyll. This island can not accommodate the increase in visitors and still be a park where you can get away from the city and shopping.. A state park is not a place for high end rooms and shopping. A state park should be for all the people and a place to be with nature. I do not want to see Jekyll spoiled. If they destroy the parking lots, where will the average citizen go. It will change the vista from the beach and spoil the dunes to have condo and higher rise hotels looming on the horizon. And what will happen to all the birds and sea creatures, like the turtles? There are so few places left to be with nature and to find solitude, why spoil one of the last gems. We all know this is about money for the real estate developers and others who are benefiting. If the JIA had been truly concerned it would have been doing it's job all along and helping to keep up-keep the island. Why not just refurbish the old hotels and let the Jekyll Island club built at the old site of the Holiday Inn. Certainly there can be improvements but keep any building to two to three stories. Please do no do away with the play ground and miniature golf. My grand children look forward to these as family outings when we visit Jekyll. If we wanted to shop, we could stay in Atlanta.. Instead we ride bikes, walk the beach and enjoy the magnificent trees. Thank you IPJI for being a voice for those of us who care about preserving Jekyll as a Georgia State Park for all citizens. Lisa Mahon, Marietta, GA
Beachview Drive is the only place in the state of Georgia that a family can drive and view the ocean from their automobile.. maybe the only place left in the southeast. please don't take that away from all of us for the benefit of a small handful. We need to revitalize the existing motels and the commercial center within the existing current footprint. also the building height should restricted to current limitations. our beautiful island needs much "fixing up" but within the current limits. Another very important thought is not to change the current road onto the island that takes one straight to the ocean. Maurice Crenshaw, Brunswick, GA
I do not support any development that would add permanent residences on the island. in fact I think that the permanent residences that are there now should be phased out. I do not support any development that decreases parking at the beach. Too many beach-side picnic sites have already been eliminated. B.J. Stokes, Brunswick, GA I would support extensive renovation of the current motels as well as a new town square. However, I do not think the size and location suggested in the current and proposal is necessary. I am very concerned that we as a nation, leave some areas as natural as possible and consider the negative impact of beach front buildings on the environment and weather liability. We have enough condos and high rise hotels along the whole Atlantic ocean where a person can no longer ride down a road and view the ocean. Surely every decision does not have to be ruled by greed! Deanne Veal, Tifton, GA Do not ruin the natural beauty of the island just for a few people and a few businesses to make a buck. In a very literal way you are ruining one more garden of Eden for nothing more than greed. Jekyll has been a wonderful place to walk, to ride bikes, to go birding, to relax without high densities, and to enjoy what God has given us. Many people have done just that because it was affordable. The people that develop these places thinking they are affordable for the average person are people who are really out of touch with the economic realities for many Americans. You have tasted the apple and it has given you the knowledge of how to generate more wealth. The cost, unfortunately, is more than you can understand. Annette Burdges and Diane Schellack, Roswell, GA I do not support a convention/town square center in the center of Jekyll Island at all. If the proposed center was off the island then that would be fine. The amount of foot traffic, trash and pollution from increased human traffic would be very detrimental and irresponsible toward the environment which is where we are at this point in our history. If we are to be stewards of this earth (inclusive of all the animals that reside on it, ourselves included), we have to make wise decisions.. This proposed development is not that. There will no uniqueness about our state from any other coastal property. The balance of how much money will be made compared to the environmental devastation? Truly now, is it worth it? The rare sea turtles, native to no other coast would be pushed to extinction. Surely, we can't be that greedy. Can we? Debra Bonaparte, College Park, GA Being a native Georgian, I have taken many vacation trips to Jekyll Island in the past.. I have many happy memories from childhood / adulthood and I consider it to be a very special place. Whenever I need to get away to rest and relax, I have always been able to count on JI to be very affordable, close to home and quiet. By commercializing JI it would only destroy the peaceful rest haven that many of us find there. WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER OVERPRICED VACATION RESORT!!!
Deb Loden, Decatur, GA
Georgia has a gem that we have been proud to protect for many years. Jekyll Island has been a place for relaxing, enjoying history and solitude. Unlike most of it's neighbors, Hilton Head, Daytona, etc., it is special. We need to preserve this special place for all of us to enjoy with our families and appreciate that we have preserved it's special beauty. To develop it more that what is already there, would be to over develop it and destroy the peace that one feels when he/she is there. Please, let's remember the history and preserve Jekyll Island.
Melinda Scarborough, Lilburn, GA
I have lived on Tybee for 50 years, keep the " big money " out. ( IF YOU CAN )
If they build out this island, the condos and homes are just the beginning, now you have to build the water /sewer system it will take to support this. Is the DNR going to permit the additional water to come from wells or are you going to have to desalinate? ( very expensive) how long before you will have salt water intrusion? big money means BIG problems.
Where will we park the cars. ( a huge problem on Tybee) How much "tourist business is enough? " can your present levels of public works and safety support this? how many fire trucks /fire fighters will you need to handle the new " fire loads" this will effect the size of the water system and DIRECTLY EFFECT your fire insurance rates. will you need more police and EMTs? In the event of a hurricane will the existing roads / bridges allow for a timely evacuation? I am a 28 year vet of the Tybee fire dept, and a 20 year water / sewer employee ( city of Savannah.) if I can answer any questions please feel free to E-M me.
Joey Solomon, Tybee Island, GA
I am opposed to additional new development on Jekyll Island. If they want to replace existing development with new development, it must have the same footprint and size. Jekyll Island belongs to the Citizens of Georgia and should not be sold off. It is not replaceable.
Brooks Bollman, Atlanta, GA
I have no comments that have not been stated by others at length. My family has been on Jekyll for some time and this just brings me to tears.
Jane Cox, Decatur GA
Jekyll needs to stay a state park of the people. If you add the LLC proposed development, it were merely be any other overcrowded and overpriced beach location.
Ed and Sue Speir (no city given)
We believe there should be a state campground for tent camping and small camper units on the south end of the island (beyond the 4-H property). We have camped in the current campground on the north end and it should be continued as well.
Thanks for your efforts to bring some balance to this "upgrade" project.
John Bond, Athens, GA
It is almost inconceivable that this corporation (Linger Longer Communities), in addition to proposing to over develop to suit the wealthy, is requiring our tax money to use as the foundation for increasing their own bottom line. Up until the past few months I had a fairly good opinion of this corporation but seeing their proposal and now finding out they want the same people whom they would be denying accessibility to pay for it is just mind boggling. Not to mention the detrimental environmental impacts of such development. To try and force tax payers foot the bill for their hellish plan is unscrupulous.
Bethany Sellers, (no city given)
I like Jekyll Island just the way it is. I think too many beachfront properties are being ruined by the gargantuan condominiums of property giants. The beach may not be all natural, but it's a whole lot closer now than if we load it up with buildings that obscure the beautiful views and force everyone to pay astronomical fees for even a glance at the beach. We don't need more places to pay for, we need more companies who will leave the more natural environments alone. Just because there's a strip of land that "doesn't have anything on it" doesn't mean it isn't beautiful. Some things don't need huge attention-getting eyesores to be "beautiful." Ever take a look outside or are you too busy enjoying the mini-bar?
Anne Grace, Martin GA
I was recently down at Jekyll for a conference and do feel that the hotels and shopping area near the beach need sprucing up. The conference center and its facilities were great.. The motel where I stayed was old and needed improvement even though one could tell it had undergone some renovation.
But beachfront development/renovation need not be as extensive as what is proposed. Completion of this development will return Jekyll to its original status -- a playground for the very rich as it was in the Rockefeller days. To build expensive condos, time-shares and high-end hotel rooms is not at all in keeping with the original (and hopefully continuing) purposes of this state-owned facility. To even consider having the state pay for such improvements is beyond comprehension. I do NOT want my tax dollars being spent on facilities that will limit access to Jekyll's beauty to people willing to pay top dollar. Who will pay for re-building when this area is hit by an extensive hurricane? Will taxpayers again be required to re-build this development? Insurance doesn't pay for this type of rebuilding, especially when it is so close to the beach and is in reality over-building of a fragile coastal eco-system. We already have St. Simon's and its surrounding area, Kiawah, Hilton Head to the north, and Amelia Island to the south. The private entities that developed those areas know and accept the risks involved with coastal building in anticipation of the profits involved. That is a characteristic of private enterprise, but not necessarily one for state government. Let's not create one long line of high-end condo villages which greatly limit beach access to the general public.
I am also very concerned that the 4H center might be eliminated. So many children from across the state are exposed to beach ecology, wildlife and environmental concerns while visiting this facility. Then again, perhaps environmental concerns don't coincide with what's about to happen at Jekyll.
Debra Stevens, Jesup, GA
I grew up in Brunswick and we as a family spent many, many days on Jekyll Island picnicking with family and friends, swimming and just walking the beach. The island needs to be preserved as it is so that it can be enjoyed by many and not just a few. This restructuring for condos and the like was never the intent when Jekyll Island became a state park. This was a park for all of Georgia's people.
Robert and Martha Walker, Athens, GA
With current situation in real estate, how can the state be thinking of adding just the sort of development that is being vacated elsewhere?
Our natural resources, wilderness, native flora and fauna are rapidly disappearing. Why sacrifice one of the last places for middle class Georgians to enjoy the natural environment to the tourism/development industry?
Please make minimal changes to this lovely place.
Corie Stueber, Madison, GA
I believe that there are areas on Jekyll that do need to be updated/revitalized. But the proposed plan will make things too expensive for average Georgian's to be able to afford to visit, even for a day. It will completely change the look and feel of the island, so that the only ones that will be able to enjoy it will be those who are in the upper class and make enough to afford the condos and time shares that are proposed.. It is not a fare deal at all. Not to mention the impact that it will have on the environment. Yes, I understand that they have said they have done studies and have made plans to have as little an impact as possible. But any more development will have an adverse reaction. A main example would be the sea turtles nesting habits.. The more condos and buildings, the more lights that will distract them from areas of the beach more suitable for their nests. Other animals will still be affected as well. There seem to be good intentions, but it was NEVER really publicly known that this idea was even on the table before the company and plan was already made of what was going to happen.
I believe Jekyll needs to stay the way it is in many ways. If we let this go through the way it is going now, there will not be a Jekyll in the future the way it was left to us to be. Instead it will look more like one of the barrier islands along Florida's coast. And this is NOT what Jekyll was intended for.
It is a responsibility of EVERY person that holds a public office to be ethical in ALL decisions they make. It is also their responsibility to make decisions in the best interest of ALL stakeholders, public and private (and wildlife). The JIA needs to adhere to these unspoken rules while making decisions that will affect the future of Jekyll island. I believe if you were to ask the members of the JIA to honestly answer the questions above, their answers would be the same as mine (no to all of Linger Longer‘s proposed development).
Billy Roberts, Martinez, GA
I believe that one of the most important aspect of the LLC proposal needs more emphasis. I have heard little or no discussion concerning the deleterious effects of the substantially increased demand on the existing infrastructure. Nor have I heard anyone say who will pay for the inevitable expansion. The current water and sewage system, public safety system( fire and EMS in particular), roads etc. cannot possibly support the increase in population density that the LLC proposal entails. This includes an increase of 500 workers to service the facilities as well as thousands of new residents (in hotels and condos). Imagine, among other things, trying to evacuate the island under the proposed circumstances using the fragile 2 lane causeway.
Frank Zagami, Jekyll Island, GA
To make Jekyll a "commercially advantageous", to the wealthy was NEVER the idea behind the purchase of the island! My father, Vincent Connerat, director or Tourism at the time of purchase, and then Governor Talmadge, NEVER wanted this to be only a destination for the wealthy, which is what seems to be the current developers' ideas. This is supposed to be a wildlife refuge, KEEP IT THAT WAY, PLEASE!!
Mary Anne Kendall, Efland, NC
I believe the proposal to eliminate the miniature golf course and children's playground, rerouting Beachview Drive, building condominiums will irreparably harm Jekyll's ecosystem.
Phyllis Rowberry, Lilburn, GA
Please do not impact the Jekyll Island State Park so severely and negatively by doing what some call "improvements". We enjoy the Island for what it is today.. Some of the most pristine beach in the U.S. Please don't ruin this natural environment with the impact of massive construction projects. A few more nice restaurants, sure. Facelifts, fine. But, please, no massive condo's, hotels, etc.. Leave these affordable and more natural beaches alone.
William Burbank and Barbara Christopher, Decatur GA
This proposal is inconsistent with the character of Jekyll Island and the intent of the Founders. It illustrates the influence (read that as money -- for political contributions) have on our politicians. This proposal should not have gotten to "first base" -- not even as far as public hearings. It should have been killed by the Authority (if they were working for, and responsible to US) long before now.
Dr. R. M. Patterson, St. Simons Island, GA
We are disgusted that this proposal is even being considered. Jekyll should be kept in pristine natural condition and should remain affordable and accessible to mainstream people - not an exclusive rich person's playground. High-priced condos and hotels will only cement Jekyll as a rich-folks' territory, off-limits to average-income people.. The oceanfront should remain as free as possible from development, and public money should not provide incentives for developers to rape the area for their own benefit. The town center proposal will have a negative environmental impact on a sensitive area. Jekyll should retain its natural beauty; it is a marvelous site for seeing and appreciating nature, unimpeded by traffic congestion and the ugliness of high-rise hotels.
Dr. Charles Baldwin and Mrs. Bette Baldwin, Tifton, GA
Jekyll Island should not be overdeveloped with condos, hotels and shopping areas. To do so would be to take away the reason my family and I love to visit the island - a quiet, relaxing place to enjoy the ocean and nature.
Anne Wheeler, Rockmart, GA
Thank you IPJI for your support in helping keep Jekyll Island one of Georgia's most prized islands - as seen by the human and wildlife visitors alike. By maintaining Jekyll's unique charm with historic and environmental preservation a top priority, the island will be a choice destination of all forms of life for many years to come.
Phil and Kitty Spivey, Thomasville, GA
Jekyll Island is truly one of the last non-commercial, natural environments left on the eastern seaboard. My husband and I visited for vacation and ended up getting married there. We plan to vacation yearly with our son, as a family tradition. I dare say that will never happen should the current, reasonable rates skyrocket (as will surely be the case with the significant development being attempted). I have only one question. Why? Why do we need another beach community of the same ilk as the rest of the resort-y spots that line the Atlantic Ocean?? Why can we not have ONE place left to go and not see orange construction barriers that are EVERYWHERE else? I live in the Asheville, NC area and the same thing is happening here. It is really too late for Asheville. It is turning into what so many people have moved here and fled from. But it is not too late for Jekyll Island. IT was created as a park with specific guidelines for development to prevent this VERY thing from happening.. Laws were created to provide this protection. Would it really be so horrible to maintain this beautiful and peaceful island for EVERYONE'S enjoyment?? Not just for the privileged. I am sure there are other waterfront communities that can be developed. Why can these developers not find another area, one that is not so special to so many people? Let's keep Jekyll Island the way it is. let's keep it as it was intended to be kept so long ago.
Beth Melton, Hendersonville, NC
Jekyll Island has been a get away vacation paradise for a lot of families for a very long time. If it is not broken don't fix it. Leave it alone and let people enjoy an unspoiled area. Some families look so forward to Jekyll being their home away from home for a few weeks a year. There are not a lot of areas you can take a young family and feel comfortable.
Richard and Geraldine Storey, Stanley N.B. Canada
This plan will ruin the character of Jekyll Island forever. It is heartbreaking. Jekyll Island needs to renovate the hotels that are part of the island now, and it would be nice to see some (local) shops on the island, but it should remain low-key and available for all Georgia's citizens. One of the nicest things about Jekyll Island right now is that the beaches go on and on so beautifully. This plan is sure to cause erosion and devastation.
Teresa Pacheco, Gainesville, GA
The current proposal to redevelop Jekyll is an obscene abuse of power by the Georgia State Legislature. I feel especially betrayed by Speaker Glenn Richardson, who has allowed the developers to drive the process and write the plan to rape Jekyll Island, rob Georgians of a precious natural jewel, and make the developers rich.
Thomas J. Spach, Atlanta GA
There are already more than sufficient places that the wealthy can go for vacation & recreation. Jekyll Island was intended to be for the average citizen. The island is beautiful and it's heartbreaking to imagine huge condos, etc. taking over the island and destroying the atmosphere & ecology of the area.
Lynn Samples, Acworth GA
I would hate to see Beachview Drive rerouted and the public access parking lots demolished. It's so nice to drive there and watch the sunrise/set, especially when you are staying in a hotel that does not have a beach view. I don't believe there is need for 102,000 sq. ft. of retail space either. When I come to Jekyll, I come to see the beach, not a T-shirt shop selling cheap souvenir made by workers in China. That's the whole point of Jekyll, it's not like any other beach I've been to. I recently visited Hilton Head Island, SC. While I had a nice time, I couldn't help thinking how different Hilton Head is from Jekyll.. Overpriced hotels, packed restaurants with 2 hour wait times and hoards of people littering the beach is not my idea of a relaxing vacation. Don't let Jekyll turn into this. Recreate Jekyll wisely, otherwise, we'll lose a treasure..
Aimee L. Harmison, Cedartown GA
Although we accept the concept of improving the available facilities for visitors to Jekyll Island, we believe that the proposed TSC goes far beyond what is necessary to provide reasonable and affordable accommodations and facilities..
Ira and Roberta Block, (no city given)
The Island needs to remain accessible to the average and low-average citizens of GA. I enjoy the beach walk and the natural state of the island. I don’t want Jekyll to turn into another St. Simons where the public access to the beach is a rare small area.
Kathleen Weeks, Mt. Vernon GA
I strongly believe that while areas of the park need to be updated, this massive overhaul of beachfront property is unnecessary, and will ruin the look and feel of the island. Beach access, be it views or physical access, has been consistently diminished along the eastern seaboard - let's not let Jekyll fall into this ugly category as well.
I may live in NJ, but am an avid Jekyll island fan. We've already ruined our shoreline in NJ through greed and overbuilding. Learn from our mistakes!
Lesley Krautheim, , River Edge, NJ
My husband and I normally visit Jekyll Island twice a year. As teachers, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Jekyll Island with my husband's parents during spring break each year. In the summer we return with my extended family. I have grown up building sand castles and swimming with my cousins along the east coast. In recent years, I have come to treasure Jekyll Island in particular because of its lack of development.. As soon as I drive on the island I begin to relax. I know that my days there will be filled with long walks and bike rides. I rise early and stay up late to watch birds and participate in turtle walks. I spot sharks and dolphins in the water with the excitement of a child. I marvel at the deer and alligators in the islands interior. I don't worry about locking my car or the house when I go out, and I am comfortable going out alone. My husband and I play miniature golf multiple times in a single visit. The women in my family enjoy the small shops in the shopping center and the historic district. We have department stores and outlet malls at home, and we don't miss them when we are on Jekyll Island.
In addition to the joy that I experience at Jekyll Island, I also know the joy that many of Georgia's children experience on Jekyll. My husband and I have worked in Jackson County, Barrow County, and Clarke County public schools. All of these systems have offered trips to various groups of students over the years. When I taught in Barrow County, some of my students had visited Jekyll Island with their families. They spoke fondly of staying in the camp ground and fishing off of the pier. This was an affordable family vacation for them. In Clarke County, many of my students have never seen the Atlantic Ocean and I wonder if they ever will. What a shame that Georgia's children may never get to experience one of its remaining unspoiled jewels. My primary concern in regards to the development of Jekyll Island has always been the environmental cost of any development. What I love about Jekyll is its natural beauty and wildlife, and I would be heartbroken if it was lost. The Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island has also led me to realize the monetary cost of developing Jekyll Island. At this time, my family can comfortably afford to stay in a hotel on Jekyll for a long weekend or rent a house on Jekyll for a week. The average cost of the proposed developments would be at the upper end of our budget. If the cost presents a challenge for my family, I know that it will prohibit many Georgia families from enjoying Jekyll Island. Georgia has many exclusive ocean front and lake front developments that can be enjoyed by those that can afford them. Jekyll Island should remain a public park, set aside for the general public to enjoy.
Jessica Barr, Athens, GA
This is clearly a give-away to the rich and well-connected of a resource that is supposed to belong to residents of the entire state. The proposed development will not be affordable to the vast majority of Georgians and that is NOT the intention of the island's donor. This project should be STOPPED.
Jim Smith, Decatur, GA
I propose the first of any construction to be an environmentally friendly "Eco-Village", state of the art complex built where the tear downs are and accessible to loggerhead nesting as the centerpiece to an integrated Eco-tour of the Georgia
coastal birding areas, fish nursery watershed areas and perhaps even an eco-train to the Okefenokee Swamp. I want to see Georgia make a big statement as to how it feels about the future of our state and our commitment to treating the earth and our people as more important than some outlandish .extravagant give away of our heritage.
Martin McConaughy, Tucker, GA
I think that any increase in development will be harmful to the ecology and environment of the island and violate the original intent of the establishment of Jekyll.
Jerry Banks; Barbara Horwitz, Decatur GA
Please leave the island as a place for the people of GA.
Build new hotels, fine, but $183.00 per night? That's off the scale on what the average
Georgian can afford.
Don West, Cumming, GA
I love visiting Jekyll Island because it is so undeveloped and wildlife friendly. If the proposal is approved this will not be true any longer. There are so many other islands that have already been overdeveloped. Humans and wildlife need undeveloped areas for the good of our mental and physical health. Please look deeply at this proposal and see how this will damage forever the wildlife that use the island and destroy the respite that Jekyll provides to us humans.
Jo Hamby, Pine Lake, GA
We have visited Jekyll Island frequently over the past 30 years and are impressed with the lack of consideration for the average working Georgian expressed in plans for the future of Jekyll. While the State of Georgia has done an outstanding job of protecting the fragile coastline and its' barrier islands, there is very little beachfront available to Georgians of average means: those of us who pay the taxes which support our valuable natural resources.
We do not understand why a huge tax incentive should be given to the developer of a property which is guaranteed to be a money making enterprise.
The average family in Georgia cannot afford a vacation on Jekyll at the rates which are proposed in the current development. Nor do we want to be banished to second or third rate accommodations, while those with more financial resources enjoy the ocean front view which was intended for all taxpayers.. Is anyone listening?
George and Susan Roberts, Tucker, GA
In this time of water shortages over much of the state, has the environmental impact of at least two thousand more toilets flushing several times a day been addressed. Where is the sewage going to be treated? I believe any retail units should be built away from the beachfront. Timeshares should not even be considered. The beachfront should remain open. Buildings should not be allowed where there are none now. Any new hotels should be away from the beach. The dunes must be protected.. With climate change, no matter the cause, we will someday be looking at a shoreline much different from the one we have today.
Barbara Diemmer, Monroe, GA
This entire proposal is an outrage to the citizens of Georgia. This island and all its resources belong to all of us....It is one thing to advocate for a strong private sector, but it should not be at the cost of the citizenry and the fragile environment of this, one of the few remaining coastal barrier islands that is a breeding ground for the loggerhead turtle, Wilson's plover, the Right whale, and many other threatened species. It is hideous for the JIA and the State legislature to allow such a greedy, rapacious proposal for redeveloping the town square to even be entertained..
Terence L. Chorba, MD, Atlanta, GA
My family and I have been going to Jekyll Island for many years. It would be a shame to lose the beauty of this place. We choose this destination for family vacations every year because it is isolated, non-commercialized and very affordable for everyone. Jekyll Island is a very relaxing place where you can spend quality time with your family. It is as though companies are now starting to cater to the wealthy instead of the everyday family. We wouldn't be able to afford to go to Jekyll Island anymore if these companies are allowed to build these horrible condos, etc.
DONALD AND VALERIE WISNIEWSKI, ACWORTH, GA
Save the beach parking and save the sand dunes for the turtle nests. No condominiums on the beach.
Reba Stone, St. Simons Island, GA
We must protect the island for the future of Georgians by protecting the environment, keeping it affordable for Georgia families, while allowing for upgrades of the existing hotels and restaurants on the island.. This is not merely a matter of which pot the infrastructure dollars will come from, but is the capacity available and at what cost to the environment! Most people do not spend time thinking about their impact, therefore those who are AWARE need to think through this aspect. It should be mandated that ANY new development use solar energy, reclaiming gray water for irrigation, flushing toilets, etc., using rain barrels and at a minimum a 150' undisturbed buffer from the beach. NO LIGHTS ON THE BEACH!!!!!
Jan Dunaway, Ron and Alexis Powers, Stone Mountain, GA
Given the fact that this is public land, I find it strange that there has been no environmental impact study with opportunity
for public comment. There must be substantial impacts on the environment caused by water use, sewage, relocation of roads, lighting, increased noise and pollution from traffic (not just tourists, but supply trucks and construction trucks).
Rebecca Bell, (no city given)
One of the tenets I held sacred growing up in S. Georgia in the 50's was the inviolability of Jekyll Island as a public state park for ALL Georgians...the only state park on the ocean beach. And still 50 years later as I walk on the beach and ride on
the bike trails and park my car right next to the beach I am amazed at Jekyll's rare pristine quality. Having seen other coastal communities go the way of high priced condos, tourist shops and expensive restaurants I feel deep gratitude that we have Jekyll...a precious anomaly in a world of vanishing space and beauty and nature AND affordable vacation opportunities for all Georgians.
The development proposed by Linger Longer of Greensboro, Ga. would build more that 1,100 hotel, condo and time-share units with plans for a $352 million residential and commercial 'town center" on 64 acres. Only 125 out of 725 would be "economy" hotel rooms. The view of the beach would be obscured. Wildlife habitats disturbed. Bike paths rerouted. Beachfront parking eliminated. And on and on. Sen. Jeff Chapman can be highly commended for questioning the legality and public good of this proposal.. I adamantly oppose this project and will fight tooth, hand and nail to prevent it's going forward.
Susan Murphy, Winterville, GA
The single public meeting in Atlanta is scheduled for the afternoon of the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, when many interested individuals will begin traveling for the holiday weekend.
Miriam Lancaster, Smyrna, GA
I have grown up here my whole life and have enjoyed the peace and nature of this island. I am not wanting this to become like St. Simons or even worse Sea Island. I already have a fear I am going to lose where I live and if these changes do occur I may not want anything to do with living here. I want Jekyll to remain a state park with never more than 35% developed. I don't want parking garages, or expensive condos and hotels along the beachfront.. DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO MOVE BEACHVIEW DRIVE. That is part of why people love Jekyll. My girlfriend lives in Walmar Grove on St. Simons but stays here over half the week because she cannot stand the traffic, shops, and all of St. Simons..
Eric C., Jekyll Island GA
What we really need is updated hotels and an updated convention center. No condos and reduce the size of the village.. Smaller footprint please.
M. Cram (no city given)
Jekyll Island is one of the last places that Georgians have left to enjoy without all of the city trappings. I see Jekyll becoming the "new St Simons", not to mention a traffic nightmare in the making. .Even though I recently moved away from the area, I still have my annual pass to Jekyll Island and plan to keep renewing it each year, but if the common Georgian as myself will not be able to go there and enjoy the island in it's natural beauty, we may as well drive on into St Simons where there is no toll anymore and spend a half day in frustration trying to get from point A to point B. I am not against improvements on the island, which serve the greater need.. The new turtle center, the bike paths and the constant improvements of island facilities all enhance the islands natural beauty. What does concern me is the lack of accommodations for the average Georgia resident who isn't interested in staying a week or longer. Many of us commute there daily at times just to get away for a few hours and have become familiar with when and where we feel the safest on the island. To even consider taking away the parking lots near the bathhouses or convention center would take away a very popular area for locals. While this is just my one voice, I have given my opinion. I just have one question. If Jekyll Island really belongs to Georgia, then why is Jekyll being sold out? Someone should be reading the fine print on what may be done with Georgia property that the taxpayers own.
Susan Chambless Hickox, Pooler, GA
Considering the fact of global climate change and the fact that more and more insurance companies are refusing to sell homeowners' policies to residents along beach front areas, I am amazed that anyone is interested in building such a high density beachfront community. Not to mention the fact that there are already too many swarms of people invading the natural habitats of other animals besides homo sapiens thus ruining them! I am not for any of this "Linger Longer" group's proposals. What a laughable hyperbole their moniker is. Give me a break. Give Jekyll Island a break! It's just another example of the stratification of our society being forced on the bulk of the population by the wealthy elite. You're only allowed to linger longer if your checkbook allows you to.
Karen Strelecki, Madison, GA
It sound like they are doing away with the free parking so they can put in parking meters & get rich. I went through that same problem at Tampa Beach & vowed to never return.
It also seems they are determined to cut most of the old big trees down & make the easy access to the beach be private, like at St. Simons Island is. If I go down there & fine the easy going wild look has been replaced with-- mine, mine, mine you can't cross because it is PRIVATE. If you think rich people will give up, the place they have been going all along, just because you built some expensive buildings, YOU are nuts. It might last a couple of years, but the ocean water looks two dirty to hold their interest very long & the poorer people won't feel welcome. Also look at the mess they have done to Savannah Beach. I went there once & couldn't find a parking space or a way to walk to the beach, soooo never will I waste money going there again. We know everything on the Island will be about BUCKS, & the camping, fishing, boating & strolling on the beach will be done away with, unless they can find a way to charge us.
Sincerely, 20year visitor,
M. Tiffin (no city given)
While I am not opposed to any and all change in the retail and convention area of the island, the proposed development is too extensive, too intrusive, and too expensive. Back to the drawing board, for something a little more "small-is-beautiful"!
Sarah Trowbridge, Decatur, GA
With this kind of development you are basically killing the natural beauty of this Island. My family has totally enjoyed going there because it is quiet and natural. Where else could you walk on a beach with a chance to see a loggerhead turtle. With this much building and development what is going to happen to the area. It becomes crowded and natural beauty gets destroyed. I am in favor of redevelopment but not to this extent. there are some hotels that are vacant and these are ones to redevelop.
Robert Knezek, Roswell, GA
The coast is full of high cost development, such as Saint Simon, Hilton Head and the like. I favor and would continue to use a more natural environ, with continued beach access and parking for day visitors. Reasonably priced accommodations would serve a broader base of visitors.
Craig Bowman, Decatur, GA
We have let money and greed destroy quite enough of our Georgia coastal Isles. Somewhere, sometime, someone just has to stand up to these developers who want to make a Disneyland out of our culture and say NO. This is our last chance
really to take a stand to protect this Island. St. Simons is a real mess... all faux-villas made of the cheapest and ugliest materials. .silly gift shops and just a few book stores with any integrity left to save the "village"'. Tybee Island, long lost to developers, but at least they put up a serious fight (Old Desoto Hotel) even though they lost out in the end to big money. Yellow Bluff, long one of the most beautiful fishing camps on the coast is now made up of plastic Victorian homes all in a row and so tacky that it would break your heart. Mostly the Big Money Boys have very bad taste and make huge ugly
messes and leave out any sense of integrity or sense of place. They make big, ugly-proportioned building out of the worst materials...Then add columns on the porches or victorian cutwork and call it appropriate. It is not acceptable.. We demand protection of this precious resource that belongs to the citizens....not another insult to our intelligence and esthetics.
April Chapman , Athens, GA
I don't agree with any of the changes that Trammell Crow, Linger Longer and the JIA want to make. First off, Jekyll Island is a "STATE PARK" for the "Average Family" to be able to enjoy.. This is Public Property and not "Private Land". There is not a State Park in Georgia that has a "Town Square" in it bounds. It just doesn't make any sense, it is not even feasible. I don't feel that the JIA had the right to make any decisions without Public input. As far as I am concerned they are breaking all of the rules and regulations that were set down by Gov. Marshall many years ago. If I had the power I would make a protest at the Welcome Center area and not allow one person to step foot on the Island if all these changes go through. What about the factor of our environment and protecting the wildlife, the turtles, the dunes, the sea oats and just "Mother Nature" in general. What about the ruling that only 65% of the Island can be developed.. The proposals that are being made surely do not fall in that category. What happened to our present Gov. Sonny Perdue, why isn't he backing the Public, instead of the Developers? Something is just not right with this whole picture.
Barbara Driggers, Harlem, GA
I am a Georgia public school teacher. I have taught Georgia history in third grade for many years and have been proud of our state parks and their availability to the citizens of our state.. It is distressing to learn that I will no longer be able to afford visiting one of the parks that my tax dollars support. The Linger Longer plan is an outrage to the citizens of our state. Wealthy citizens have many other choices for beach resorts. The state of Georgia has no business subsidizing a private company to build a facility that ordinary citizens cannot use. Jekyll belongs to the citizens of Georgia.
Mary Lindsey Lewis (no city given)
Jekyll is one of the last areas on the ocean that is not over developed.. I definitely think that there is a need to rebuild the old hotels and convention center. I like the idea of condos as well. I don't like the high density of this proposal. I think there might be a compromise with new hotels, condos and convention center, but no so crowded as to ruin the peacefulness of Jekyll. It breaks my heart to know that the one place I always went to for rest and peace will become just another Hilton Head.
Lisa and Ken Zoodsma, Alpharetta, GA
Simply put, don't do this to Jekyll. Georgia, and the entire south is having a drought which could affect us financially for years to come. Not a good time to start a project. .Besides, how does the state justify turning a state park into anything other than what the taxpayers should have a say over. Also, which barrier island inext, Cumberland? Don't do this.
C. Mark Walker, Jasper GA
I would not refer to "Linger Longer's" proposal as a "winning" one. It might be the one favored by the JIA as a representative of the State of Georgia, but it does not represent a winning proposal for the people of Georgia.
Kathryn Evans (no city given)
I have been visiting Jekyll Island annually since I was an infant. Since that time, Jekyll has become a place of incredibly fond memories, of my family's shared times together, and I was married at the Faith Chapel in 2005. The proposed Town Center initially struck me as bittersweet, as I would hate to see the demise of the current shopping center with the IGA, pharmacy, and other shops, but thought that maybe there was a place for this sort of thing if it stayed true to the character of the island's past. Seeing where all of this has gone, I am absolutely appalled. To have towering condominiums, TIMESHARES!!- to see the removal of the miniature golf course and playground- is anything but true to the island's character or purpose. Jekyll Island is and should remain a place for Georgians. If people want to eat at chain restaurants, visit their condominiums, and ruin the environmental integrity of a place, there are plenty of other places to go. The eastern seaboard is awash with such places, and Jekyll Island is supposedly protected from these sorts of things by our government. Furthermore, the rerouting of Beachview Drive to a more inland location would certainly mean more destruction of habitat for the creatures of the Island. As a photographer, I have navigated the current dirt roads of inland Jekyll, and I find it to be just as distinctive and beautiful as the long beaches of Jekyll. To take any of this away would be devastating, not just to me, but to hundreds of birds, deer, and other animals that make this space their home. We do not need another commercially-driven space in Georgia. Jekyll is a place of timelessness, a place that means something, has maintained its integrity in a world of fast paced, money making, do-it-and-ask-forgiveness-later mentalities that are quickly destroying not only habitats, but cultures, values, and character. Please, do not do this. Find somewhere else to cut your cookies out of cheap building materials and sell them off to the highest bidders. Jekyll Island needs you to find another coastline to conquer..
Sara Mosser, Cory Mosser, Evelyn Mosser, Carrollton GA
I believe that if LLC is allowed to carry forward with their plans, Jekyll Island will be lost to the average Georgia citizen. My husband and I are both county school system employees here in Georgia and we will not be able to afford many of the accommodations listed nor will we wish to go to the Island if we cannot freely see and access the beach. We've been vacationing there yearly for almost 10 years but I fear that with these proposed changes, this precious time to our family will be lost. -Holly Moore
Holly Moore, Suwanee, GA
Jekyll was created to preserve a segment of relatively pristine coastal environment for ALL Georgia citizens. We solely support renovation of existing facilities, with no construction - except for interpretive purposes - in previously undeveloped areas. It is wrong to expend precious public funds to subsidize the Island's commercialization for the benefit of a few wealthy people and those with no appreciation for the natural environment, who already have St. Simons, Tybee and other such beachfront developments.
Jerry and Sylvia Flowers (no city given)
I can see 2 new hotels, convention site, and new stores, but not at the expense of a children's playground, much needed parking lots, and moving Beachfront Rd. to the interior. Also having places cost so much(who can pay $183.00 a day!!! I can't) that the average income family can not have the money for.
And where is Georgia getting the money for this?
Mrs. Victoria Werner, Snellville, GA
I have gone to the Island with my family for many years and look forward to a quiet affordable stay. If there are to be improvements, I go for the upgrade of hotels and possible newly contracted restaurants, and possible upgrade of the historic area with new dining opportunities. I like the middle to lower end class accommodations for the average families. We don't need another overcrowded and dirty St. Simons. We need common sense upgrades and precautionary actions to keep Jekyll a place for the average Georgian in need of an affordable and historic getaway. Thank you for the good work!
Barbara Belcore, Decatur, GA
It is my opinion that a compromise can somehow be reached, whereby the rebuild/renovation of the conference center and shopping area will not impose restrictions of use on the people for whom this State Park was intended. I question how a private organization can make profit on land that is owned by ME...I pay taxes on that land. Will there be some way they plan to share the profits with all Georgia citizens...I think not. Then we can only surmise that the big money will get bigger and the average visitor will be denied privilege to the last natural shoreline of our great state. If our Governor and his "friends" allow this travesty to occur, what can be far behind? Wonder how many people have seen LLC's Reynolds Plantation development...won't find any reasonable accommodations there! And it is highly unlikely they will downgrade their plans, building, etc. PLEASE, PLEASE, Save our beautiful island from the encroachment of greed.
Carol Sue Ravenel, Roswell, GA
For 7 years I was Director of Elderhostel for Mercer University, and during that time, facilitated 50-participant programs every week for 9 months a year on Jekyll. (This comes to t total of 12,600 OUT-OF-STATE VISITORS who were drawn to Jekyll ) Elderhostel: guests who came to the island for its pristine and natural beauty, free from the clamor of "city life." These elements have been Jekyll's premium attraction and to change those dynamics in favor of more population and building would destroy the natural ambience that has been so attractive to visitors from ALL OVER (not just Georgia). We don't need another urban area in this remaining little corner of beauty and nature. Let visitors go to St. Simons, Jacksonville, Amelia Island if they want high-end accommodations and an urban lifestyle. LEAVE JEKYLL ALONE!
Dick and Jill Bigler, Peachtree City, GA
I have recently relocated to Denmark through February 2008 for my husband's work assignment. However, my heart is in Georgia and especially on Jekyll Island. I cannot even begin to describe the way this island has impacted me throughout my life as I have more memories than time! But I can tell you that the first pictures of me on the beaches of Jekyll Island take place when I was less than a year old.. My family has been visiting the island for 50 years beginning with my grandparents and continuing down to my 3 boys and my nieces. My sister got married at Faith Chapel and the simple beauty of Jekyll Island is unsurpassed. There is one reason that investors want their hands on Jekyll. Clearly, that reason is an issue of greed. There is no other explanation. There is money to be made and Jekyll is one of the few places left that is untarnished by big money. Yet our capitalistic hearts yearn to turn it into something bigger and better. I am obviously not opposed to capitalization as it is an ideal that has made many things possible in our wonderful land. My question is, when does the good judgment come in that tells us to leave certain special places alone...letting them be special? As Americans, if we are going to preserve our heritage, we must learn to draw a line and stop ravaging our land in the quest for the dollar. Since the deer and the birds and the turtles and the rabbits cannot vote or have their voices heard....please hear this loud and clear: Leave Jekyll Island alone and take your conquest elsewhere. There is something much more sacred on the line here. Jekyll Island is a place for quiet, still moments, family laughter, encounters with nature, beautiful morning sunrises on the beach, undisturbed dunes, miles of bike trails and more.. When are we, as Americans, going to choose to recognize the beauty of our land in it's current state without ravaging it and stealing it from the animals that were here before us and the children who will grow up to care for it when we are gone? Please don't change Jekyll by adding all this "stuff". Jekyll is the kind of place that just doesn't need high rise condominiums to be magnificent...it already is.
Amanda Hood, Macon, GA
The Linger Longer plan for the proposed TSC is nothing but a sell out to corporate greed and the wealthiest visitors who can afford such high end accommodations. Even worse, the precious treasure of this barrier island will be spoiled, its fragile ecosystem endangered. The present plan will replace the real thing (unspoiled beach, dunes, sea creatures) with a Disney-type caricature of the real thing.
Martha Hughes (no city given)
I think it would be terrible to take JI out of the range of the poorest of GA citizen's. I first saw the ocean there, when I was a student with only enough money to camp on the island. It was a wonderful place for my children and me to go, when we had nothing.
Diane K. Lavett, Atlanta, GA
The state should not pay for any infrastructure improvements for private development in the park.
Dennis Fennell, Mableton, GA
I can't believe the JIA is even considering letting a development of this magnitude take place on Jekyll Island. I thought the Authority was supposed to act in a stewardship capacity over the island. They are selling out the people of Georgia who have average income (or lower).
Not everything is supposed to be about revenue.. Quality of life for all Georgians ought to be considered as well.
Nancy Scott, Tifton GA
For most people living in Georgia, about $100.00/night is the most we can afford for a
hotel room. We are a family of 4, with both parents possessing 4 year college degrees and we have to compare prices of hotels for the most reasonable.. This kind of re-shaping of Jekyll Island would definitely make it un-affordable for our family and would force us to vacation elsewhere.
Kim Evans, Rentz GA
Keep JI small and quaint. If people want big and developed, let them go to Hilton Head or Jacksonville. JI is for people who love nature and want to bring their families to a small, intimate, quiet, natural setting. Do NOT commercialize "our" island!! Keep it as it is for the generations to come. There is nothing like this any where else. Stop, stop, stop the over-development; promote what is currently there. Don't create "luxury" at the sacrifice of the simple life-style, get-away that JI offers. Society needs sanctuaries like JI. It's a "mental health" vacation spot; please don't pollute its tranquility and simplicity.. Hands off my Jekyll!!! There are some things that money can't buy (JI being one of them); for every thing else there's Mastercard!!
Tom and Kathy Edry, Augusta, GA
The plan for the 64-acre Town Square Center is plain and simply a clear violation of the spirit and intent of the original design for Jekyll Island as a place for recreation for ALL citizens of the state of Georgia, not just the wealthy, politically-connected minority of the Georgia population. Removing children's recreation areas, rerouting roads in order to develop currently undeveloped areas, and blocking public beaches are all examples of a flagrant private land grab at the expense of $84 million to the public! This is an outrage and should be stopped! Yes, I'm emotional, but the facts are clear. Keep Jekyll as it is, with a few minor improvements to current facilties or upgrades on current building footprints.. Somewhere, somehow, the common people need to stand up to the privileged few who only ask for more and more. Thank you.
Mark N. Freeman, Watkinsville, GA
We feel that Jekyll Island needs a new convention center and a face lift in the shopping area. We do not welcome buildings over 3 stories, nor removing parking spaces near the water. Surely a plan can be proposed that will be acceptable to residents of this state park!
Pamela & Michael Mueller, Jekyll Island, GA
The view of the expanse of beach is what makes Jekyll unique. How could you even call it Beachview Drive as proposed? Just too much density too close to the ocean and too much density for the size of the island.
Karen Brown, Kalamazoo, MI
The beach front parking lots are the one thing that makes the beaches useable to all.
The Florida development theory of blocking the view and access to the ocean except to the select few living orienting beach front lodging makes me very sad. With this proposal, the natural beauty and attractiveness of Jekyll Island's State park will be severely and adversely impacted. We're all for progress but not to the extent proposed here. This sounds more like something more appropriate for a private development and not for a State Park which should be available at reasonable cost for all State residents..
Gordon and Whit Robbins, Atlanta, GA
In a time of global warming and rising tides, we develop beach fronts;
in a time of drought, we invite more use of the precious island water
supply; in a time of rising energy costs, we add big energy users and
count on tourists arriving by car; in a time of a fragile economy and a
tanking dollar, we build new shopping centers to attract big tourist
dollars; and in a time when of our loggerhead turtles are more and
more threatened, we add more lighting for development just behind the
beach. None of this makes any sense!!!`` Why has there been no
environmental impact study and review period?
I'm sorry I can't make it to the meeting today, but hope my comments
will still count.
Rebecca Bell, Little Cumberland Island, GA
If the town center is built, it should be dense (include condos, see question 10), and the developers should have to buy the development rights from every other parcel on the island, ensuring it's perpetual protection through a conservation easement. AKA "transfer of development rights."
I would plead with JIA to reconsider their plan to develop the island. Not every barrier island must be developed, despite GA's tendency and despite what developers will tell you is their "right". GA's barrier islands are the most protected from hurricanes and will therefore be the most marketable for development along the east coast as we continue into this global warming phase.. We must ensure environmental quality, quality of life and sustainable economic growth, and developing Jekyll will not do any of those things. It is not sustainable economic growth - the public resources required to accomplish this plan ensure individual profit, not public profit, and the spurred growth and environmental degradation associated with a project like this is not sustainable. Environmentally, this plan would reduce the effectiveness of "barrier" islands (name such for a reason - they protect the mainland), it would negatively impact marshes (nature's filter), and it would severely disturb wildlife habitat. These services provided by nature are often too costly to reproduce, reaffirming the non-sustainability of this project. Quality of life is hard to measure, but it is doubtful that anybody thinks that the construction, increased traffic, increased noise, increased air and water pollution would be an improvement in quality of life for the residents of the island. I would argue that even though the new condos may be seen as an improvement to many visitors, it is not the State of GA's place to cater to those visitors on Jekyll Island - they have already permitted, encouraged, and funded development of this type on other barrier islands in GA, none of which have in their charter the purpose of remaining natural and affordable.
JIA, please be responsible in this decision.
Christine McCauley, Atlanta, GA
Jekyll has been enjoyed by our family for over 25 years. We stay at the campground for several months during the winter. The reason we come to Jekyll is for the peace and tranquility. If we wanted shopping and throngs of people then we would say on St. Simons. Upgrade the existing structures and allow the island to remain open and affordable to the general public. Perhaps the Governor should review the financial management of the current Jekyll Island authority.
Ginger Hicks (no city given)
I am opposed to the entire project.. Jekyll is the only place where I can afford to enjoy a week at the beach. Its unspoiled beauty is very rare and should not be ruined. I can have decent lodging ON THE BEACH and enjoy a quiet, slow paced vacation. I can wander the ruins, study the history, take photos of the drowned forest on the south end and watch baby turtles erupt from their nests in the sand. I can sit on the beach at midnight and watch stars that are invisible from my home near Atlanta. My children, grandchildren and myself have vacationed here since the 1960's.
As a retired grandmother, I applaud the efforts of the Protect Jekyll Group for working to save something so precious as the unspoiled island.
This "upgrading" is another example of how any developer with grandiose ideas can come into an area that has been protected and, with enough political influence, money for greasing palms, and compliant local officials (who also stand to make a fast buck)can destroy, not only habitat for our precious wildlife, but a wonderful place of peace and beauty untouched by commercialism.
No name -----no city given
We have been coming to Jekyll Island for several years, staying at the Jekyll Island Campground, because it was quiet, relaxing and had an awesome natural environment. Riding bikes, walking on the beach, eating in local restaurants and taking part in community activities for the Christmas holidays give us pleasure and keeps us coming back year after year. The proposal that we have been reading about seems to present a picture of a resort that would NOT appeal to the people who come to the island now. We do NOT want an atmosphere of constant activity, traffic, overcrowding, and crime like Myrtle Beach...this seems to be the way this plan is headed.
Janet and George Senka, Cranberry, PA
I grew up in Jesup, but now live in Maryland and have visited many of our Eastern beaches. I've always been impressed with
how Georgia has managed to maintain Jekyll Island while much of the rest of world has gone towards high-density beach communities. I still own property in Jesup, so am vitally interested in what happens to Jekyll. it is wonderful that your organization is fighting for the place we all love. I do think that a parking lot is poor use of beachfront property. Couldn't the majority of them be inland?
Jodie Olson, Takoma Park, MD
It would be a shame to destroy one of the last non-commercial beach areas in the area! I would hate to see the beauty and tranquility destroyed in the name of progress. The main attraction of Jekyll Island is the feeling of going back in time fifty years or so to a simpler time. Don't take that away from the upcoming generation!
Heather Blankenship, Brunswick, GA
We have been enjoying Jekyll Island since I was a young girl 30+ years ago. We now take our 3 boys there at least twice per year. My parents camp there frequently throughout the year. Our entire extended family consider Jekyll to be one of the last great "undiscovered" gems of Georgia. We love the fact that you can ride your bike without fear, walk on the "back beach" and discover nature, and enjoy an uncongested beach. The play area and miniature golf area are visited every day of our stay. We enjoy walking on the golf trails. Our favorite pastime is riding around slowly at night looking for deer and counting the "critters" we see. I am not against development to some extent...the conference center definitely needs updating. However, I would HATE to see our Jekyll become another or commercialized "tourist trap." We have PLENTY of beaches along the east coast and gulf coast that are "high end" and overly developed. I would like to see a few upgrades around the convention center, but leave the fast food joints, condos, and town squares where they are...on paper. My boys love Jekyll Island, Reed Bingham State Park, and Vogel State Park. I hope we as Georgia residents recognize these gems and preserve them. I want my grandchildren to be able to enjoy the unadulterated beauty at these parks.
Deanna Sanders, Tifton, GA
We are so fearful that the Jekyll we've come to treasure is about to be demolished by the greed of developers. They have done their dirty work throughout the land, and the results are not pretty---hideous over-priced monuments of steel and concrete dominating once-pristine stretches of natural beauty. The charm of Jekyll Island is now threatened, and it will never be the same if these modern-day barbarians are allowed to proceed with their rapacious plans. The State MUST stand firm against them...the common people MUST stand against them. We are not Americans. But we are prepared to do what we can in joining our fellow lovers of Jekyll in repudiating and repelling these modern-day invaders with their plans and promises of "betterment".
James and Elaine Prebble, Kemptville, Ontario, Canada
Jekyll means many things to many people but it was never intended to be viewed with dollar signs. While I do think the convention center needs to be revamped, the propasal ruins many of Jekyll's finer points, namely the pristine environment. If the hotels and conventions center are clean and useful people, they will want to come to Jekyll Island because it is a beautiful place. The idea of handing a development company money to develop on the island is insane. With adequate facilities and maintenance the island will be a beacon of environmental and fiscal excellence. The proposal by Linger Longer will add a commercial "anywhere" feel to the island that disregards its stance in history and environment.
Laura Tant, Brooks, GA
We are a family of many families that camp on Jekyll. We strongly disapprove of any NEW development on the island. Yes--Improve what you already have but, by any means, DO NOT BUILD CONDOS OR MOTELS--that would take away any of the open beaches you now have. This is a beautiful, natural island as it is now--PLEASE do not spoil it like so many other islands have been spoiled -- just to accommodate and satisfy the wealthier people who already have so many beaches to go to.
Last but not the least, you will destroy the beach for those wonderful sea turtles that have come to this beach for centuries to lay their eggs. The creature is already on the endangered list you cannot afford to lessen it's ability to reproduce. This is a crime against nature - and dare we - say we have already done that to so many animals.
Please reconsider and only build where you tore down the other facilities.
PLEASE RECONSIDER-----SAVE JEKYLL ISLAND AS IT IS !!!!!!!!!!!
Don and Jo Anne Armstrong, Bluffton, SC
Leave the 64 acres alone....more development=environmental degradation. Who are you kidding? This is about someone trying to make a lot of money...not about keeping the natural beauty of the island's wild life. Once you destroy the 64 acres...you destroy a fragile environmental chain of life that will never be recreated. I know you want to make a lot of money...but step outside of your greed for a moment...think about your children....your grandchildren...if you destroy the natural environment now...they will never see it.
Diane and Mac McMahon, PGH, PA
I believe building new lodging facilities, new restaurants, new shopping center and convention center is absolutely necessary for the island to get out of the slump it has fallen into, however, I believe it should be done within the confines of the current buildings for the most part. I do not believe that re-routing roads, removing recently installed playgrounds and aging but quaint miniature golf facilities is necessary. This free playground is wonderful for people who come here with small children, and the miniature golf is also an affordable activity for families with children and older people alike.. This island needs an update to attract people to vacation and spend money here, but I think LLC's plan is TOO big. Too much change!
Maureen Miller, Jekyll Island GA
It has been forgotten that Jekyll is a state park and should be available to all economic levels. There is no need for multi million dollar condos. The plan shown is too dense and too crowded, loosing the fact that Jekyll is special due to the less crowded conditions and the natural beauty. There is an indication that the footprint of the existing golf courses have been reduced by using only the green area which does not include the total developed area of the golf course. This concept decreases the 35% of developed area.
Susan & Charles Bagwell, Brunswick, GA
None of the questions or discussions thus far have considered the impact of this project on significant archaeological resources that are recorded and known to exist within the proposed development area. Attention should be given to preserving and protecting these cultural resources..
Ray Crook, St. Simons Island, GA
Jekyll is so very dear to our hearts.. I, a single mother, alone with 4 young children, made the 1600 mile roundtrip trek from Ohio every Spring break for many years. I found affordable beachside cottages, worry-free, clean beaches and simple fun. It was perfect for our family, worth every minute of that 13 hour trip in the van, and a godsend for my circumstances.. Sometimes I wonder how I did it, but I never wonder why. Never did I lock my doors or fear for encounters with drunken college kids or littered broken beer bottles.. Please don't make me fear for that now and/or price this wonderful place out of my limited budget.
I am one of many, many families who has been bringing my children and now my grandchild to Jekyll. All its special, unique, quiet comfort would be lost in development, making it just another cookie-cutter tourist destination.. There are so few authentic places left in our world, not to speak of in our lives, what a loss it would be!! I LOVE how safe and friendly it is. (If you leave your shoes on the beach, you will return not only to find them there, but moved away from the rising tide by some friendly passer-by). I LOVE that there is no McDonalds there. I LOVE that there are the same funky gift shops with the same shopkeeper faces there year after year. I LOVE that the entertainment choices are miniature golf, bicycling and beach. I even LOVE that my daughter couldn't find a bar open after 11:00 pm. There are plenty of other fancier, sophisticated options should that be your vacation desire. But for those of us seeking authenticity, what is left? When it goes away, it cannot be replaced. Please save Jekyll Island, the one we know and love.
Connie Redwine, Madison, WI
I'M 60 years old. I have seen the results of uncontrolled development of Ocean City, Virginia Beach, the Outer Banks and Myrtle Beach. Jekyll is the last safe haven in the mid Atlantic area. We have been visiting there for 10 years because it is the only safe haven. When we want loud, neon, garish and traffic we go to those other places mentioned. When we want laid back, peaceful, sidewalks rolled up at 9 p.m. we choose Jekyll. We can ride bikes, walk, jog and cross streets without worrying about being hit by a car. It's affordable.
We are not opposed to change but replace, repair and rebuild. It appears your ideas will destroy the very reason we come back for 30 days each March. Should I start looking for another safe haven?
Timothy & Ginny Brown, Jackson, WY
I strongly believe that while areas of the park need to be updated, this massive overhaul of beachfront property is unnecessary, and will ruin the look and feel of the island. Beach access, be it views or physical access, has been consistently diminshed along the eastern seaboard - let's not let Jekyll fall into this ugly category as well.
I may live in NJ, but am an avid Jekyll island fan. We've already ruined our shoreline in NJ through greed and overbuilding.. Learn from our mistakes!
Lesley Krautheim, River Edge, NJ
I am one of many Canadians that visit Jekyll Don't mess with a great thing we come there for the peace and space not high
priced condos and St Simons traffic!
Keep Jekyll the way it is or lose Canadian tourists
John Ritu, Kitchener, Ont., Canada
I would just like to know whose pockets got lined in order to present such garbage as a fair and equitable way to develop the park. I cannot see that anything needs to be done except to refurbish the present facilities.
Gerta Eddins, Rex, GA
Why are they contemplating removing the drive to inland areas and building along the beach, thus depriving those of us who love to watch the ocean by eliminating a great deal of the view now available by auto, by bicycle, and by foot? Why would they wish to deprive the visitors of the mini-golf course and other affordable activities to promote housing for the wealthy? If they are determined to develop our beloved Jekyll, why not develop the interior, rather than "hide" the beach and ocean from view. The promise to keep the island only slightly developed is pure fiction., Once the door to development is open, overdevelopment will soon follow, and the Island will be only another St. Simons etc. There are only four places on the planet where our turtles can come to breed, REGARDLESS of their promises, this will be destroyed further ruining the plan of nature and nature's gifts!
Carol Handy, Hesperia, MI
The entire concept of condos and shopping center taking over the most pristine areas of the island are repugnant....the island would become another exclusive playground for the wealthy and elite.....beach access would be denied to many families as parking availability and distance to would be hampered by lack of parking facilities....Many R-Vers use lots to relax, eat, and rest prior to either checking into the campground, or taking advantage of the gorgeous weather before starting back to their distant homes. The campground needs to be updated, and expanded, but maintained....the experience of camping should continue.
The wilderness areas, picnic areas, the soccer complex all add to the laid-back atmosphere. The bike trails that go everywhere are tremendous fun for all ages, whether walking, roller blading, running and biking or taking babies for rides...Can't imagine how changed it would become if this development succeeds...The historic district with the wonderful hotel, and specialty shops are super.
Carol and Gary Spencer, Traverse City, Mi
Many people contributed funds for the construction of the playground just a few years ago. To tear it down is ridiculous!
The ecology of the island is so important-leave the beaches alone! The open space along Beachview Drive is such a beautiful space and should be kept as is.
James S & Susan Merrill, Valatie, NY
New hotels, retail space and convention center are definitely needed on Jekyll. High-priced condos and time-shares are out of place and can be found elsewhere. Jekyll's unrestricted, protected beach is a treasure that must be sustained. Surely Jekyll can upgrade its facilities and improve its economy without ruining what makes it desirable in the first place, that is being naturally beautiful, simple and affordable.
Dennis and Judy Smith , Fayetteville, AR
My very large family (3 houses worth) have been vacationing/reuniting on Jekyll Island since the early 1960's. It is the only place I have felt safe letting my children "run free" with their cousins. It is so wonderful as a family vacation spot...as it currently stands. The fact that it is mostly undeveloped is a rare find. I can't imagine the damage to the precious wildlife and landscape by bringing such a large population of people to the island. With St. Simons so near, I do not see the need to change the environment on Jekyll. Please protect our 'Golden Isle'.
Betsy Johlgren, Golden, CO
My family and I love Jekyll Island because of it's natural and peaceful atmosphere. We love the birds and turtles and the fact that it is a quiet, relaxing place to regroup as a family and enjoy God's creation. I have am 31 years old and have wonderful childhood memories of Jekyll, the same wonderful memories my children are building now. If Jekyll Island becomes commercial, crowded and loud we will no longer visit. Right now we visit two or three times a year. There isn't a place anywhere that my family enjoys more than Jekyll Island, we beg you to leave it be!! -Lawson Family
Robert, Carrie, Brianna, William Lawson, Nebo NC
As avid Birders and beach walkers, it would be hard to imagine a worse overall plan for the re-development of a great, affordable and presently accessible property like Jekyll Island to Seniors. We have traveled extensively and Jekyll is among the very few places still accessible to throngs of us who enjoy these low-key activities. We do not need to be entertained grandly or with grandeur.. Some improvements in facilities for others would not be objectionable but this overall plan is way, way over the top.
Frank & Patty Parrish, (no city given)
I visited Jekyll Island in 2005. My friends and I were looking for a unique spring break destination for our senior year of college. One of my friends suggested Jekyll Island since her family had been there many times. We looked into it and it looked perfect! As we are all nature lovers, it was the perfect spot, with forest areas, beaches, wildlife preserves, and plenty of places to bike & run. We spent pretty much the entire week on the island without leaving other than one time to find a part for a bike. Even that trip wasn't very far, just over to neighboring St. Simon's Island. I thought St. Simon's island was a very pretty island, however it was too commercial and too crowded. It didn't have the same charm or relaxation factor that Jekyll Island had. Plus, being college students, we didn't have a whole lot of disposable income. Jekyll Island was very affordable, and should remain that way. It's pretty much the only vacation spot that actually still allows you to get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. When I take a vacation, I don't want to be surrounded by the same scene that I experience in every day. Jekyll's commercial establishments do need some upgrades and a few additions, but other than that, there's no need for the extent of development that is being proposed. If I remember correctly from my visit, Jekyll Island was set up to be an affordable option for vacationing Georgians, as well as no more than either 40% or 60% (I can't remember which is correct) of the island must remain undeveloped. This was a great idea and I applaud the people that made and/or passed this legislation. If the island doesn't remain this way, it will be a great disservice to the people of Georgia. I'm not even a Georgia resident-I'm from Indiana-but I'm still very concerned about the future of the island. I hope that the opinions of the citizens make an impact, and that those of you in leadership positions remember that you're public servants...not the other way around...
Brady K. Helms, Boonville IN
1. I don't think any building of any type should be taller than the tree tops..
2. Any building located near the beach should restrict lighting for nesting turtles.
3. Before any additional project should be considered, let's rebuild the beachfront hotel that was torn down, and remodel the convention center and then explore a Town Center. Quite frankly, I like the old one best, it's quaint. And my children love miniature golf and the playground..
4. At no time, should roads and traffic be re-routed to the interior of the island. The disruption this would cause to the ecosystem would be devastating
5. If this is a profitable adventure, then LLC doesn't need the 84.5 million which surely become a tax burden to the average Georgian
6. I really think the Johnson rocks should be removed and a solid beach restoration project undertaken otherwise any building one day might find itself floating in the ocean.
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Crisci, Milwaukee, WI
The development plans (past and present) for Jekyll are terrible. The only thing necessary was the renovation of some hotels, and that too without exceeding height and other restrictions, and without cutting any trees.. It’s shocking that so much development has already been sanctioned, with demolition of existing hotels instead of renovation, and worse, the cutting of trees around them. As for the thousand plus new employees already expected to come daily to the island, this will cause all kinds of concerns. All of this is doing, and will continue to do, irreparable harm to the island's unique charm and natural beauty, and most importantly, its magical wildlife.
The Linger Longer Web site is frightening rather than appealing. It looks exactly like the Pier area at St. Simon’s. Why would someone take a place as naturally beautiful as Jekyll (that thousands of visitors have said they love for exactly what it is), and make it into yet another cookie-cutter, beach city? The planned and proposed cutting of so many beautiful, old trees (something so far forbidden on Jekyll, but now strangely allowed?) and the new elaborate oceanfront plans will not only ruin Jekyll for the people who love it, but will cause serious upheavals to the deer, migratory birds, turtles, and ocean birds that make Jekyll the unique and magical place it is. It is a terrible thing for “stewards” of the island to do to the many people who love the island just the way it is and to the beautiful creatures who make it their home. No trees should be cut, period. And certainly no swapping of the 34% developable and 66% non-developable areas should even be considered – that’s totally unacceptable and violates the provisions protecting the island. And why does everyone involved in the development plans seem to forget this is a state park? Also, Bill Donohue had said that 50% of Georgia's parks operate in the red, but Jekyll does not. If so, why this haste to build on such a large scale simply to attract tourists? If all of this is just to raise income for the state and/or JIA, it is a real shame -- as almost all of the planned (or proposed) development of the 34% area will definitely change the beautiful and peaceful nature of Jekyll.. Every place that has seen any level of construction has lost a huge part of the wildlife that was there before, and nothing can bring the lost magic back. Even leaving the 66% area undisturbed will not do much good if the rest of the island is developed to the extent proposed. What a shame to do this to a pristine island like Jekyll. The ideas about changing the causeway in any way, but especially to cut back the naturally growing marsh plants, is scary. The only “uncontrolled growth” on or around Jekyll is of the approved, proposed, and planned development. Also, the idea for possibly building underground parking (to handle the expected surge in employees and tourists) is infeasible and inadvisable – let’s not forget this is all marshland! But aboveground parking structures are equally inappropriate as they would ruin the look of the island. The best thing is to put an immediate brake on the extensive future plans and not to change this magical island in such drastic ways. Why is this not obvious? From all the letters sent to the Golden Islander and the Save Jekyll website, thousands of visitors to Jekyll feel so very strongly about keeping Jekyll just as is. But apparently all the heartfelt letters written by the many people who care about Jekyll have done nothing to prevent politicians and developers from doggedly pursuing the idea of developing Jekyll into a tourist attraction. It's sadly obvious that the people who are labeled as the “stewards” of Jekyll are developers at heart themselves and very much focused on economic development and gain -- instead of understanding, appreciating, and protecting nature and wildlife, and safeguarding a unique state treasure for the simple people to enjoy and cherish. Let us keep hoping they will become enlightened before it is too late. Pratibha Dabholkar, Knoxville, TN
This proposal is sounding more and more like St. Simons. Jekyll's unobstructed ocean views from two to three story buildings----not multi-level condos---is part of what sets it apart from other coastal communities (Myrtle Beach, St. Simons, Hilton Head, etc.). The additional tourist traffic would destroy the natural feel to the island, which is what most return visitors love. A "shopping center" is not necessary.. Again, if shopping is an activity you're looking for, go to a more "touristy" area. I've been coming to Jekyll for almost forty-five years, but it's not to shop or stay in an expensive hotel. It's to experience a secluded beach, a quiet island, and uncrowded bike trails. Upgrading the existing hotels is necessary.. What's being proposed will end Jekyll Island as we know it.
Pamela Long, Wentzville Missouri
Space, such as that provided on Jekyll, is becoming more and more endangered in North America. The proposed 64-Acre Town Square Proposal would simply extend this phenomenon to the Southeast shores of the State of Georgia.
For so many years, nature has lived in harmony with humans on this special island. We fear that the legacy envisioned by the founders of the Jekyll Island State Park will be seriously jeopardized, particularly with respect to wildlife, should this proposal be approved.
Over the years this Park has provided scores of less fortunate youngsters, their families and schools, a unique opportunity to explore nature while enjoying all the beauty of a seaside experience. The proposal negates these opportunities for future generations of young people, particularly those who are less fortunate. Of course, they are the ones who one would expect the State to support and encourage through the Jekyll experience. In so doing the State might just reduce or minimize future social problems while opening new horizons of possibility for these students. If the state needs revenue, surely there are other ways to attract it than to turn Jekyll into a cash cow. What a loss it would be.
Bryce Leggatt and Barbara Seldon, Burlington, ONTARIO, Canada
To make Jekyll a "commercially advantageous", to the wealthy was NEVER the idea behind the purchase of the island! My father, Vincent Connerat, director or Tourism at the time of purchase, and then Governor Talmadge, NEVER wanted this to be only a destination for the wealthy, which is what seems to be the current developers' ideas. This is supposed to be a wildlife refuge. .KEEP IT THAT WAY, PLEASE!!
Mary Anne Kendall, Efland, NC
Jekyll Island is one of the few remaining ocean access areas available to the average person. We "Have-Nots" deserve to enjoy our environment just as much as the "Haves" do.We live in the Finger Lakes region where most lake access has already been acquired by the "Haves" unfortunately.
Chris & Gail Snelling, Pittsford, NY
We have been coming to Jekyll since the mid-1970's. We come because it is beautiful, peaceful and affordable. We are heartsick that retirees and middle income folks will be priced off the island and worse, that this Jewel, Georgia's Jewel will become just another resort, and similar to St. Simons Island and Hilton Head. More disturbing is that citizens who care about the island, who bought property and invested in the island are speaking out and not being heard by the folks who think of it as a gold mine or cash cow. Sadly, many in the Georgia government, who apparently do not believe in honoring agreements made in the past and support the plans to rape the island, have never even visited the island. We are retirees and cannot afford more than we are spending to find peace, beauty and mental and spiritual re-creation Jekyll. But OUR years at Jekyll are numbered anyway. But it is sad to think our children and their families ---young doctors, psychologists and teachers--- will never be able to afford the "new" Las Vegas-Jekyll nor experience with their children the peace and beauty and simplicity of the Jekyll we have known.
Professor Charmarie Blaisdell, Stanley Levy, Tenants Harbor, ME
The north end of Jekyll needs beach restoration or it'll soon be under water. Everything else is ok some hotels do need updating or restructuring but new construction on the scale you speak of will destroy the attraction of the place they think they can improve. We've been enjoying Jekyll island for 10 years and a big part of the mystique is the fact that everyone has a fair share of all it has to offer. we play miniature golf everyday we're there we liked the old water park better, but it's still part of our trip. we saw more wildlife in the wild on Jekyll isle then we did after 10 days in Alaska. If the scale of building goes on as you speak of the Jekyll island as was intended from the start will be lost
Christopher/Antoinette Wilson, East Rockaway NY
1. I don't understand why oceanfront property is too valuable for lower priced motels. It appears this is only the case if one is bottom line oriented as both JIA and developer could make more money from higher end facilities..
2. The elimination of the ocean vista along the drive from Convention Center to Captain Wiley will eliminate one of the major attractions of Jekyll.
3. I have never seen anything that spells out how much additional revenue the JIA "needs" and what it needs it for. I would think this would be the starting point for attempting to increase revenues. I have also not seen a projection of what additional revenue would occur if existing motels were replaced in kind (size and price range. It appears JIA is caught up in the idea that "bigger is better."
K CLOONAN, GRAHAMSVILLE, NY
THERE SHOULD BE NO, AND I MEAN NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, HOUSES, CONDOS, TIMESHARES, OR RESIDENCES BUILT ON THE BEACH! The beach is the main feature of JI and needs to be preserved including the drive along the beach and the parking for visitors. This proposal is ugly and will make JI look like all the other destroyed barrier islands. It will put it out of my financial range, that is for sure. It will also require us, as taxpayers, to pay lots to rebuild all those expensive homes after the next hurricane to hit the island through federally funded flood insurance and disaster aid. What a stupid place to put residences! In addition to that, there may be liability on the part of the state for any damage to buildings here or for any lives lost or people hurt.. What are they thinking!......!
Any building that takes place should be ONLY on the non-beach side of the current Beachfront Drive.. The parking lots need to stay to allow use by ordinary citizens. The new hotels must also be placed in the interior of the island, so the beach is free for all to use. Only the current hotel sites should be used for hotels. If any private residences are added, they should only be allowed to be the same size and price as the average current residence on the island including height limits, and they should only be built OFF the beach in the interior part of the island near the golf course. Wish I could be there to speak. I am stuck in PA for now with tears falling for the pending destruction of the last pristine east coast barrier island!
Sally Klein, Bedford, PA
How are the developers and their supporters able to circumvent the restrictions inherent in the original state park designation that the island should be, and remain, affordable for the citizens of Georgia? This proposal is just the first step to convert Jekyll into another St. Simons. If this proposal goes forward in its present form, our February-March visit in 2008 will be our last.
Stanley Levy, Tenants Harbor, ME
I wouldn't suport any proposal for a new town center, but if one has to be built, I am in favor of keeping it condo-free We like Jekyll pretty much as it is. It's very relaxed and relaxing for us to visit there as we do a few times every year. We love the Miniature Golf and the playground. IF Jekyll changes like it will with this proposal, we'd quit coming. Why should we? It would become just like Amelia, Island, Jacksonville Beach, St. Simon's or any number of beach communities in Florida. Jekyll is beautiful the way it is, and because of the way it is. Why not promote eco-tourism instead of trying to become what every other vacation spot on the coast is. I don't think you'll have many sea turtles is these fat cat folks build their condos. Please leave Jekyll alone.
Erik and Dell Kaldor, Jacksonville, FL
We're not really sure we would support the TSC if it didn't include the condominiums. But we definitely don't want the condos! I've been going to Jekyll with my family for over 15 years. I started when I was a young child and now bring my two young sons for vacations. The best part of Jekyll was how affordable, uncrowded and relaxed it was. Jekyll is beautiful and wonderful as it is. It's charm is that it doesn't have all the stuff being proposed. St. Simon's is a lot more built up than Jekyll is and is not near as nice of a place to vacation..
Tiffany and Beau Drew, Archer, FL
Wish we had the education and vocabulary to express how we feel about the proposed rape and pillage of our beloved Jekyll Island and the average Georgian and out of state visitor to this one of a kind treasure.. Why does this natural wonder have to be like Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, Amelia Island, St. Simon Island, etc, etc., etc, etc.!
Bill & Judy Griggs, Salem, VA
They can't take away the last thing we have to show our grandkids what it was like when we were little. It's all about$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ they don't care who what they hurt they just want to get paid! Mrs. Bruce A. Hunt coming ever year 8 to 10 times
Bruce A . & Shari Rozell Hunt, Vonore, TN
Every Spring we have scheduled an annual camping trip to Jekyll Island . We stopped for a night on our way home from Fl. years ago and loved it so much that we ended up staying a few extra nights. Now we make sure that come Jan. when it is time to plan our annual vacations we include Jekyll island and also encourage friends and relatives to join us. Last year we met a great family from Ohio and hope to return with them this year. Sadly with all this news of growth, this will probably be our last trip. The WHOLE,ENTIRE REASON that we visit your lovely town is that we find peaceful relaxation in your serene location. If I want a beach littered with expensive condos and hotels, I'll drive fewer miles and head to Myrtle Beach. Is that really what you hope to become????? We can still walk the beach and see sand dollars and hermit crabs or watch dolphins playing right off the beach at Jekyll Island. The family can play miniature golf and ride around in red bugs. But the real issue is-what was the intent for Jekyll Island when the state of GA. took it over. Will there be nowhere left in the U.S. where corporate greed has not destroyed the natural beauty of the land. Your state has a chance to do something remarkable in maintaining the islands innocence and following the original mission of Jekyll Island. As visitors, we will wait to see what becomes of you but I guarantee you that I will plan our vacations elsewhere if the LLC's proposal goes through.
Michelle Robertson, Mooresville, NC
I have made the trip to the island for the last 10 years for golf with other Detroit Michigan Fire Fighters. We have been very pleased with the State Park program for Golf and beach enjoyment. I have visited neighboring islands locally and in other states North and South and there is no other place that is for the average citizen with an average income. Any golf or beach visit at these places require a large expense that preclude my staying for more then a day trip.. In Michigan we try to keep our parks with golf and beaches open to everyone by setting up Metro Park Authority that controls the operation at a slight extra tax for the Tri-County area. They keep it as natural as possible with out condo's or commercial outlets in the parks. A one day pass is available for residents or non-residents at $8 dollars. There is also an annual pass at higher cost for those that drive in regularly. That should be maintained at Jekyll island State Park.
L. DiNatale, Livonia, MI
In general we feel there is a need to replace the convention center, provide more up to date hotel/motel accommodations. We do not feel a need to add condos/time shares, since we have always felt the ability to rent existing houses was an affordable way to accommodate families of 4 or more wanting to vacation on the island. Establishing a somewhat more modern shopping area with a few more family type restaurants (do not have to be fast food) would attract more visitors to the island/park. If a portion of Beachview Dr needs to be relocated to the west to accommodate these suggestions, we don't have a major problem with that.
FRED & BRENDA FORSBERG, NORTH RIDGEVILLE, OH
I have only been to Jekyll island once but it is beautiful the way it is. It is peaceful, quiet and a nice place to relax. The beach is beautiful.. If you put condos on the beach fronts it will look like every other island. Leave it the way it is.
Judy Hummel, Lima, OH
We absolutely do not agree with the the current thinking of the JIA, nor with the plans that have been developed by the LLC. When will the people of Georgia wake up and figure out what is going on. No beach parking. Paying someone to make money off a state park, that will be mainly used by the wealthy. It is absolutely ridiculous. I just wish that I could attend. I would have plenty to say and it would not be what the JIA wants to hear. So far it seems like a yes man audience.
David and Nellie Buckhout, Three Rivers, MI
Although we are in favor of updating the island, the scope of these proposed plans are way out of line for the original intent and size of the island. These developers will forever ruin a beautiful, natural environment. There will be those who will no longer be attracted to the island for it's natural beauty and peacefulness.
A much smaller change - i.e. the convention center and stores and restaurants, we are in favor of. Beyond that, we only need to rebuild or update the current hotels and possibly a new hotel connected to convention center. We do not need condos and timeshares.
JI should be kept as a peaceful island, unlike any other, and not made into a Hilton Head or every other island we as Americans in pursuit of the almighty dollar have ruined. Once ruined, it can never be replaced!
Walter and Caroline Edmonds, Jekyll Island (permanent address is NJ)
I honeymooned on Jekyll and don't want it marred
Don't trash this beautiful state park for Georgia residents or visitors (that's me).
I want to visit Jekyll again and again to relive my honeymoon (have already done so once) and don't want its beauty to be marred by development.
Becca Cipriani, Pittsburgh, PA
My husband and I have visited Jekyll every year for over 10 years, and his parents owned a condo (Villas by the Sea) there for years before the maintenance fees became too expensive. It's my favorite place in the world, a place I would love to live if we could afford it and didn't need any current income! But the TSC proposal, while it might provide a slight bit more affordability, would completely change the character of JI and make it just like every place else on the coast. There would be no reason to go there anymore, because the appeal is exactly that TSC plans to destroy: the funky mini-golf and shopping center, the relatively unpopulated beaches (even at the high season!), the relative lack of development that allows turtles and many birds to use the island as a hatchery, the lack of commercial crap and the plentitude of quiet and unspoiled places on JI. I love the almost haunted feeling of the abandoned amphitheatre at the bird rookery -- it's like going back in time to a more peaceful, simple era. I think this is what appeals to most people about Jekyll, and it's something that's not true of most other islands off the east coast, including St.. Simon's. The most important issue for me is that Jekyll is a haven for sea turtles and birds. The more people, lights, building, erosion-causing development, and general human activity there is on the island, the less chance that turtles will continue to find a hospitable place there to lay and hatch eggs, the less chance that birds will return to the rookery. I can't imagine why those with the power to decide would choose to spoil Jekyll as a unique place in the world (certainly unique on the east coast of the U.S., except perhaps for the even more isolated and unpopulated Cumberland Is., which is hard to get to), a viable turtle-nesting spot, and a quiet haven for those who live there already. Think about the unique place that you have on Jekyll, and please re-consider. Development can rarely be reversed.
Molly Williams, Bath ME
I am familiar with other Linger Longer property(Reynolds Landing and Reynolds Plantation) and thus am horrified at the thought of them in any kind of partnership, let alone a long-term deal that gives them control of golf courses and other recreational facilities. This whole affair strikes me as (1)An abdication of responsibility by the Jekyll Island Authority and(2)very likely a bit of very nasty "pay and play" political cronyism. An honest and committed J.I.A. could get a more than satisfactory revitalization done much less invasively and much less expensively. Jekyll Island need not be "all things to all people" as developers would have it. It seems to me that the members of J.I.A. board, in main, does not truly know how to value and respect Jekyll Island, and should be removed and replaced by ones that do .Jekyll Island sure as hell does not NEED Linger Longer. .Linger Longer sees a gold mine and I seriously doubt that the Reynolds' have any great love for Jekyll other than as a moneymaking vehicle, B.S. on their website notwithstanding!!!
Charles Jeffrey Catlett (no city given )
I am a ten year old girl who loves turtles and I attended the dedication of the Turtle Center this year. This development would scare the Turtles from the Island by putting out a huge amount of light onto the beaches. The lights from the four story buildings can be seen for miles out in the Ocean. I will be taking the petition to save the Turtles to my school, Watkins Elementary in Washington.. My whole class knows that the Sea Turtles are in danger because of bad men and woman who want to build this unnecessary project.
Camille G. Capozzi, Washington, DC
We Have come all the way from Ohio for vacation there for years and if it goes the way of condos and development we probably will stop coming.
Joseph Fowler, Stow, OH
As I have stated many times before, I do see the need for a new convention center and updated hotel rooms. However, I believe this can be done without destroying the beauty and the unique personality of the Island. I also understand the need for an updated shopping area. I think where it is located now is fine and cannot understand why it could not be expanded into the area where the old Huddle House restaurant was. Some quaint shops and small cafes would be beneficial but is it worth destroying beautiful beachfront just to have some high end clothing shops and cheap souvenir joints. The visitors who come to Jekyll are not looking for that type of entertainment. What is so hard to understand? The Island and wildlife are the entertainment! One of the things we enjoy is driving along Beachview Drive and looking at the Ocean. Please do not destroy that view. As we sit in Indiana and read about these changes we are sickened by the underlying greediness we see and the helplessness we feel at being able to change any of this. The true fact is....Jekyll Island is being wrestled away from the "common" people so that the "elite few" can have a new playground. There is no fairness in that! Jekyll is one of the very few quiet peaceful places left. Why can't it be protected? If these changes go forward Jekyll will be forever changed and something precious will have been lost. Sure, the wealthy will be there, but the people who know and love it so well will not be able to afford to come, nor will they want to. It will be too painful to see the Jekyll we love so much altered to fit the desires of a few. I pray that those who have the ability to make these decisions hear us and comprehend just how dear Jekyll Island is to so many. Speak up for us PLEASE!
Lu Ann Monize, Kokomo, Indiana
If you want town squares, costly hotel rooms and over priced condo's................. visit St Simons Island.......who are these people to decide that this is what is needed on Jekyll, have they ever visited the island with their families, walked along the beaches collecting shells, rode their bikes on the sand or played miniature golf after strolling along the beach looking for turtles............ I think NOT, or they would be as protective of this serene island as we are.
Shelley Mason, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
We are regular visitors to Jekyll, traveling from England at least once a year, we were married on Jekyll in Faith Chapel and my wife has been coming to Jekyll for nearly 30 years. Why do we continue to pay around $8,000 to visit Jekyll simply because there is no where else so special where you can cycle, walk through beaches the same way as you could 100 years ago, Jekyll is a retreat a place of peace and harmony where families can enjoy a special island where the environment matters, where you can see deer and other animals close up, where you can walk in safety and know that the people you meet there are the same as you are and care about the island. Why would an island with Jekyll's history want to go down the same route as other big brash islands, there are plenty of these if people want to visit them. Keep Jekyll as it is, reinvest in quality small scale hotels with reasonable pricing on their current sites it seems strange that just as the rest of the world is waking up to the idea of looking after our environment those that push for the expansion of building on Jekyll should start to do so just for the sake of it. We love Jekyll but I am afraid that our holiday dollars will be spent else where if these plans were to continue we would sadly look to spend these dollars else where and probably avoid traveling to the US altogether.
Eric Mason , Tyne and Wear United Kingdom
We do not see how the "Linger Longer Proposal" is consistent with the aims &
philosophy of maintaining a positive environment for sustaining the preservation of sea turtles and the aura of a "Park" or "reserve".
Ron & Carolyn Collins, Toronto, Ontario,Canada
My husband, my children and I do NOT want to see ANY changes to Jekyll Island!! We vacation on Jekyll Island at least twice a year because of all the things that are NOT there. We love the island's natural beauty and all of it's unspoiled, non-commercialized simplicity. I can not emphasize strongly enough how much we would hate to see Jekyll Island become just like every other beach where you can't even see the beach from the road because of all the buildings built right on the sand blocking the view of the ocean. We feel that to change Jekyll Island as is proposed would be extremely detrimental to the environment and beauty of this very rare and precious place we love so much, Please let us know what else we can do to help stop this horrible change. We would like for our opinion to be heard loud and clear even though we can not make it to any meetings. Thank you both for caring enough to try and stop these unneeded and useless alterations to Jekyll Island.
Terry and Betsy Swope, Soddy Daisy, TN
My comments are based on vacations on JI. It is a pristine island of wetlands and should not be modernized for the sake of investors. We have enough of that in other coastal areas in the US. Leave JI the way it is meant to be - to explore and enjoy the true nature of this wondrous coastal region. Building up will have such an environmental impact for the future of this island. JI must remain as is. Let investors go elsewhere and stop trying to create disaster when it is not necessary. Think about the future of the wetlands. There is nothing more special than to visit and vacation on JI. No building, no refurbishing - it is a simple island with simple inhabitants and blessed nature.
There are plenty of coastal areas to visit with all the proposed amenities and JI is not meant to have these.
GeorgeAnne Tutunjian, Toms River, NJ
My Family and I have been coming to Jekyll for the past 15 years. That’s not counting the family on my wife’s side. We bring our young children there a couple of times a year because the area is Family friendly and safe. It is also affordable to us right now. I Love to come to the Beach with my family and not have to worry about what is going to happen. I have taken the trip to Cumberland Island and I have been to St Simons, and the difference between them is huge. It is very disheartening to see what can happen to our Coastal Islands when we let Developers do what they want. Jekyll is a happy medium at this point.. I'm not opposed to updating some of the facilities but I don't want that done at the expense of our Island. If people want high end places to stay, let them go to St Simmons and they can visit Jekyll on a day trip. This place truly has a piece of my heart and I like it the way it is. We truly need to do all we can to protect it. Please feel free to contact me if there is anything I can do to help.
Butch Denson, Peyton CO
I have grown up visiting the Island and have always loved it's rustic and historic beauty. I feel that the development will take away one of the few beautiful places that are left on the coast. There are plenty of fancy places to go on the coast. Meanwhile, people like me will always long for somewhere to vacation that doesn't feel like a shopping center.
Sarah Bradley, Sykesville, MD
WHAT SOME INDIVIDUALS ARE CALLING A REVITALIZATION I CALL THE RAPE OF A BARRIER ISLAND.. THE MOTIVATION IS PURE GREED. THE PROPOSED TOWN CENTER IS WELL BEYOND WHAT IS REQUIRED TO RETURN JEKYLL TO A MORE ATTRACTIVE DESTINATION AND WILL DESTROY EVERYTHING WHICH MAKES THE ISLAND ATTRACTIVE TO MOST OF IT'S REPEAT VISITORS. IT WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE A TOP TOURIST ATTRACTION BUT RATHER SOMEPLACE WHERE NATURE COULD CO-EXHIST WITH THOSE WHO WANTED TO ENJOY A RELAXED AND QUIETER VACATION. IF THE TOWN CENTER GOES THROUGH JEKYLL WILL BE LOST FOREVER AND THE CITIZENS OF GEORGIA AND THE REST OF THE USA WILL HAVE LOST A TRUE TREASURE.
JON STEVENSON, JEFFERSON OH
We've heard that Georgia's school system is in real trouble. Wouldn't that be a better use of the states funds. Would Linger Longer organization like to work on that? Schools could use some of their "expertise" if they have so many good ideas.
Seems like this would hurt every small business on Jekyll and the Historic Hotel too. How sad! If this is Georgia's Jewel, why are they willing to change the setting? Jewels don't need a new setting unless the setting is broken.. Jekyll isn't broken!
The uniqueness of Jekyll's Beachview Drive can't be found anywhere on the whole east coast. Don't destroy it for the sake of money! Some one wants to get rich on the back of Jekyll's "turtle."
Frequent visitors and promoters of Jekyll to everyone we meet,
Jim and Sharon Rapp (no city given)
Jekyll Island State Park should remain a state park. What state parks have developments of this magnitude in them? State parks should be natural, with minimal development not cluttered with multi storied buildings and limited public beach access and parking. What is going to happen to the Sea Turtles? There is the brand new Sea Turtle Rescue Center on the island.. They must have experts to give the bleak outlook to the powers that be about what would happen if this is allowed to be built. The existing convention center should be renovated. It would cost a whole lot less and the prices to the average folks who use it now, would not price them out of coming to the island for their events. Proms, weddings, anniversary parties, come here because the price is affordable. Where do they go if this is allowed? Yes, the hotels need upgrading but NOT tearing down!! Yes, the convention center needs upgrading, not tearing down. Yes, the island could use more restaurants. Yes, the shopping center needs improvements and expansion, not tearing down. Does anyone realize the number of police officers and firemen something like this development will require? What the estimated amount of traffic will do to the roads? Where will those additional personnel come from? There are problems finding firemen now, what would change that? We found this "Georgia Jewel" just 5 years ago and now come back every winter. We look forward to our arrival on the island because of the peace and quiet and laid back way of life. We make trips to St. Simons or Brunswick, and say "Thank Goodness, Jekyll isn't like this"! Builders want to do what they do and that is teardown and build. Otherwise, they would be out of business. Their only concern is making money, not the environment, turtles, eagles, owls, beautiful beaches or affordability for the average citizen.. THIS PROJECT MUST BE STOPPED AS PLANNED AND A MORE AFFORDABLE, ENVIRONMENTLY SOUND UPDATING BE UNDERTAKEN IN ORDER TO PRESERVE THIS BEAUTIFUL STATE PAKK!
Sincerely, Linda Strid
R.J. and Linda Strid, Mettawa, IL
Again I say do you want another St. Simons Island? Why can't the island stay as it is? All this seems like to me is something to make someone rich by taking this beautiful island and spoiling it. Thank you for your effort to save it.
Mary Martin, Westfield, WI
My family has been vacationing at Jekyll Island for over 30 years. The proposed changes would make Jekyll Island like Hilton Head. I prefer the relaxed family atmosphere of Jekyll as opposed to the commercialized environment of Hilton Head. If the proposed changes go through, this will no longer be a part of our vacation plans which would be a shame. The easy access to the beach, kids activities, and beautiful beach views driving the island would disappear. Please maintain the state park quality of Jekyll Island.
Sally Lacy, Powell, Ohio
Although it is obvious that Jekyll Island is due for upgrading in some areas, including an increase of lodgings, Questions 2, 3 and 4 represent destroying the original attractiveness of the island, destroying the availability of visitors to park, use the beautiful beach and enjoy the natural state of the special jewel of Georgia, that is Jekyll Island. Having condos directly on the beach represents the beginning of a congested scenario, and of course, the end of the view and the use of the beautiful beach for both visitors and Georgia's citizens who enjoy this island throughout the year for business and pleasure. The Beachview Drive view of the ocean is special and let's not forget, JEKYLL ISLAND IS SPECIAL.
Carolyn and Jacques BELEC, St-Lazare, Quebec, Canada
This is the 3rd year we have come to Jekyll Island. We are attracted to Jekyll because it is NOT like ST. Simons, Sea Island, etc. We like the wide open beaches, the bird watching, the turtle center, bike trail, the natural settings, quietness and the sense that nature is respected here, that humans can interact with nature in a non-intrusive way. I attended the information meeting on Nov 14. The open beach here as you arrive on Jekyll is i' signature feature. JIA should be protecting this asset. Development should be limited to rebuilding the old hotels that have been demolished, and refurbish the convention center. Once they are done, JIA will know how these will increase visitorship. Any further development needed should be off the beach and subjected to rigorous review a to ecological impact and how increased numbers of visitors impact golf courses, bike trails, beach use, etc. As to retail space, Jekyll Island has what it needs in terms of businesses. Perhaps upgrading, refurbishing or some increase in space would be good, BUT NOT ON the BEACH! Jekyll Island is a state park and nature preserve--Not a business park or a shopping mall. What makes Jekyll attractive is it's unique, unspoiled nature. Please preserve it.. Those who want glitz and shopping have many options. Those of us who want nature, civility and quietness have few choices outside of Jekyll Island. Patty and Ron Anderson, Cable, WI You are planning on turning Jekyll Island into a city. When we go there each year for vacation we enjoy the fact that there are no crowds, waiting in line, walking over people on the beach etc. This sounds like a place I would never want to come back to again. You can go almost anywhere and have that kind of atmosphere, why would you want Jekyll Island to be like every other tourist trap? Judy Schmidt, Oak Creek WI
We believe that if the TSC would proceed it would be the total down fall of the natural environment, the beaches would be destroyed by all the people, as the way the American people are they only care about their enjoyment and not mother earth. If that would happen the beach drive and bike trail would be cut off by the buildings. In my opinion it would destroy the ecology of the whole island. We must stop the raping of our natural environment.. All they are looking is to enlarge their bank accounts. Just look at history and you will get the correct message "LEAVE IT BE AS IT IS" Wayne & Dorothy Fondessy, Genoa, OH For several years I have been a regular winter visitor to Jekyll Island. During my first visit, on learning a little about the island, I was struck by the Georgian genius and foresight that necessarily went into the land-use provisions that resulted in this beautiful, easily accessible place. With thoroughly developed St. Simon's to the north, and nearly untouched - but not easily accessible - Cumberland to the south, Jekyll provides the middle range in a spectrum of public access, degree of development, and concern for wildlife. The motivations of those wanting further development on Jekyll are easy to understand: some see a lightly visited beachfront as a wasted opportunity. More residents and commercial attractions will result in greater numbers able to take advantage. However, the proposed town square center is large and intrusive enough to alter the essential character of Jekyll. Removing the central public-access/parking area is a particularly wrong-headed idea. I think that the less ambitious recommendations of the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island are more sensible. If what makes a place unique is eliminated, what you get is another not so special place - again. Michael Berry, Kingstown, RI
If all of this "redevelopment" happens the diamond will be lost from the setting of "Georgia's Jewel." It is hard for me to imagine anyone wanting to take away the atmosphere that Jekyll presently has. Just rerouting the road alone can destroy the residential/environmental balance. I understand that Jekyll has to have some income but I think with this proposal the visitation/attendance may actually decrease.. JIA and Linger Longer both need to realize why people treasure Jekyll and why they return there again and again. High-end outrageous housing actually makes me sick at my stomach to think about on Jekyll. It has so much more to offer than cardboard boxes with large price tags. In today's environment of promoting natural treasures and becoming more and more environmentally aware, why would anyone want to do the exact opposite with this state park? Susie Wright, Asheville NC
It is very sad that the Georgia state government would sell Jekyll Island out to developers who are only interested in making money, not in improving Jekyll Island, which, of course, is a state park owned by the citizens of Georgia. The proposal is far too extensive for Jekyll, and will destroy the ecology of the island and the affordability and accessibility for Georgia's citizens. Jekyll needs some moderate updates to the existing hotels and retail space, but not extensive, destructive overdevelopment. The east coast is covered with developments like this for those with the money to afford them, and for those who don't care about nature or crowds. Jekyll is unique and should not be destroyed for the benefit of a few rich developers and their cronies in government who undoubtably will also benefit financially. I suggest that an investigation be conducted into the connections between the developers and their supporters in the state government.. Obviously some members of the state government are more interested in their own pocketbooks than representing the people of Georgia. Mike and Barbara Minor, Lynchburg, VA Jekyll Island, as it is today, is one of the few remaining places that has not been ruined by commercialism. This is the only place that we have found to be close to paradise exactly as it is! We have no desire to enjoy a winter anywhere else but on Jekyll Island. It's unspoiled beauty, wildlife, the ocean and meandering paths through the island are delightful! We can cross the causeway if we miss all the noise, traffic and commercialism.. Please do not bring it on Jekyll Island. Hotels/motels should be kept in good condition, of course. Do not make this beautiful place unaffordable for the average family. The time a family has together is too precious to loose.. Do not return it to a place that, as in the past, only the rich can afford. John & Connie Boyle, Etters, PA I am NOT in Favor of a town square at all! Please do not take this magical place and ruin it's beauty. The State of Georgia should be protecting this eco system not destroying it. I have just returned from my annual stay there and am heart sick at what I saw! build new hotels to replace the ones torn down, but keep them simple and affordable. Lourdes M. Ludlow, Chattanooga, TN My main concern would be rethinking the development on Jekyll to be scaled down a bit, but am not opposed to condos, since I have considered purchasing property on Jekyll Island in the past. The homes are now out of my price range, so condominiums are the only alternative within our price range. I vacationed on Jekyll Island as a kid 25 years ago with my family and thought that the beauty and nature that was protected there was rare and should be kept. I'm concerned that the Island could end up like Hilton Head, Saint Simon's, St. Mary's or even Amelia Island. The one thing that Jekyll has is its natural beauty and undeveloped feel. That "undeveloped" feel is an asset. Development should remain limited to 30% or less and be carefully thought out. I understand that the Island is completely owned by the State, so renovating and upgrading to bring in revenew would be good for them, but not necessarily good for the residences or the Island's environmental protection. I am in the process of reviewing your website and would like to get updates on the legal status of the proposed developments. Can the state of GA go ahead without citizen approval? What type of government process is necessary to move forward? What percentage of home owners/business owners support new development? Jonathan & Lydia Mayo, Belleview, FL As a visitor to Jekyll Island for the last 20 years, I would like to maintain its charatcter and peacefulness with minimal development. I feel that development would totally destroy the feel of the island and be a major detriment to the wildlife of the area, particularly the sea turtles. Melanie Ferguson, Weaverville, NC I have been visiting Jekyll for 15 years where I come to relax, unwind, and be reminded that there is still peacefulness and beauty and wildlife on this Earth. Jekyll Island hotels and shops may need some repair and renovation, but does NOT need change!!!! The Island was established to be "Georgia's Jewel" and this State Park must remain just that. I come to Jekyll Island for what it is! If I wanted to go to a "developed" retreat, I would go to Hilton Head, St. Simon's, or Myrtle Beach. PLEASE. Do not allow your calm, peaceful, majestic, beautiful Island to become yet ANOTHER commercialized, strip-centered, full of hustle-bustle, exploited place.. I come to the Island for peacefulness, natural beauty, the wildlife and environment. Mary Beth Bryman, Asheville, NC
This visit is our 8th in as many years. We come here because it is peaceful, affordable, beautiful, and because when we drive on Beachveiw Dr. we can, for the most part still see the ocean. We come here because we love to ride our bikes and because of the nature. If the proposed revitalization goes through, we'll no longer be able to vacation here - it sounds like bike trails will be gone - it certainly sounds as if beach access will be gone as well. This is very sad - I guess it really is all about the money - but oh my what you will lose!
Kathy & Ron Muder, Natchitoches, LA
Jekyll Island as it is, is a little piece of heaven. Should we not save a wonderful and rare place like this for future generations. How many places like this are left in the world? I am sorry we live so far away and cannot attend the meetings at this time, but if there is anything we can do to help, please let us know. Andre and Carol Cornut, Noyan, Quebec, Canada