Recommendation 3-E: Revise the Jekyll Island Authority’s Design Guidelines to further limit the height of new buildings on Jekyll Island

The non-intrusive, low-slung look of Jekyll Island’s commercial structures, particularly its oceanfront hotels, has long been one of the island’s more endearing characteristics, giving it a low key feel as a state park and helping its natural elements overshadow its built environment. This special ambiance is part of what brings visitors back to Jekyll year after year, yet it is now threatened by the Jekyll Island Authority’s recent adoption of design guidelines that will allow for buildings up to 64 feet in height, or six stories tall.

If the commercial footprint on Jekyll Island is to remain a relatively small  one, and if the integrity of Jekyll’s beachfront is to remain in tact, the JIA’s building height guidelines—which are the most liberal in the Golden Isles area—should be revised to limit new buildings on Jekyll Island to four stories or less.

Low-height, unimposing development nestled into the native landscape should be the norm on Jekyll Island; not beachfront structures that will dwarf the natural environment and change the look and feel of the island for the worse.
- By David Egan, Co-Director, The Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island []