Fri., October 18, 2013 2:15pm (EDT)

Rare Agreement On Jekyll Island
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 9 months ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
State Senator Ross Tolleson chairs the Jekyll Island Legislative Oversight Committee.  (photo Georgia State Senate)
State Senator Ross Tolleson chairs the Jekyll Island Legislative Oversight Committee. (photo Georgia State Senate)
A state senator predicts Georgia lawmakers will pass a bill next year changing development limits on Jekyll Island.

The idea has an unusual consensus.

Environmentalists, business groups and the park's state-appointed managers often clash over what to do on the island.

A new proposal would limit development by acres rather than by percentage of land.

Perry State Senator Ross Tolleson leads oversight for Jekyll Island.

"The percent rule is really kind of a moving target," Tolleson says. "And you can argue different ways about how many acres that really is. So this solves that problem."

The plan would change a law that's been in place since 1971.

"I just think that that's because everybody's been rational and been willing to sit down and talk and have discussions," Tolleson says.

The 1971 law limits development on Jekyll Island to 35% of the island's land area.

But the Jekyll Island Authority and conservation groups have clashed over how to define "land area."