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Friday, June 28, 2013 - 5:00am

State Attorney Issues Jekyll Island Opinion

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens says Jekyll Island officials have correctly followed state law by counting marsh above high tide as land to determine how much of the state park is open to development.

Olens issued an opinion Thursday that says excluding all marsh when figuring the island's size would be an "inappropriate alteration" of the 1971 law that limits construction on Jekyll Island to 35 percent of its land area.

A task force appointed by the Jekyll Island Authority concluded in April that the island long ago exceeded its maximum footprint for building hotels and other amenities because the authority incorrectly counted hundreds of acres of marsh as land. Olens rejected that interpretation.

He said the island's size should remain "status quo" without input from the public and lawmakers.

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