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Friday, October 19, 2012 - 6:15am

Jekyll Island Reviews Land Use Plan

Updated: 2 years ago.
Georgia law requires that 65% of Jekyll Island be undeveloped. The definition of "developed" is under debate for a clearer meaning. (photo Anne Norman)

Jekyll Island officials are looking at what's natural and what's not on the state-run island.

State law says 65% of the island has to be kept undeveloped.

Defining the term "developed" can be tricky when a host of man-made lushness surrounds nature itself.

University of Georgia land use planning expert Langford Holbrook says just ask whether golf course ponds are natural.

"If you look at them and their mowed all the way up to the edge, they're probably not," Holbrook says. "So, it is time to go back and make some decisions about land-use definition."

The answer could affect future plans at a park beloved both for natural beauty and public accessibility.

The island is in the middle of a periodic land use review.

Holbrook says, the size of the island needs to be defined first.

"The first thing this committee is doing is looking at the best available data today to figure out how big the island is and then they're looking at land-use definition."

This comes after $50 million in renovations including a new convention center and a new beachfront park.

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