A key state senator says he supports changing a law that limits the amount of development on state-owned Jekyll Island. Perry State Senator Russ Tolleson says the proposal has broad support from both environmental groups and the park's state-appointed managers.
Jekyll Island authorities say they don't need legislative approval to enact a big change in the state-run park. Officials want to limit how many acres developers can build on there. Right now, state law says 65% of land on the island must remain natural.
The governing board for Jekyll Island is proposing a big change to the 42-year-old Georgia law that guarantees the coastal state park remain vastly undeveloped. A 1971 law limits hotels, golf courses and other amenities to 35 percent of the island's land area. But there has been heated debate over how large Jekyll Island actually is and how it should be measured.
Jekyll Island says residents and others who buy annual passes for cars they drive on the island state park must switch to a new type of ID tag by early October. The Jekyll Island Authority says it's getting rid of the barcode scanners that annual pass holders have previously stuck on their cars.
Jekyll Island Authority Board officials say they may ask for legislation to set a firm acreage for development. Board officials said Monday that they're looking to end a dispute over a decades old law that restricts development of hotels, golf courses and other amenities to just 35 percent of the barrier island's land area above the mean high tide.
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 would alter the 1971 law that limits construction on Jekyll Island.
The Jekyll Island Authority is giving tour guide operators more time to provide input on a plan to test their knowledge of the island's history. The plan would require tour guides in the historic district to pass a test on Jekyll Island history.
Culinary students are taking over a money-losing state-owned restaurant on Jekyll Island. College of Coastal Georgia will be sending culinary students to operate Fins on the Beach. A Jekyll Island Authority official says the concept will take the profit pressure off the state.
Developers are set to start construction on a new convention hotel for Jekyll Island after long delays that largely resulted from difficulties getting a bank loan for the $41 million project. Members of the state park's governing board were scheduled attend a ground-breaking ceremony Monday for the 200-room Westin hotel.
A task force appointed to make recommendations about Jekyll Island's future says the coastal state park may have exceeded the legal limit to how much of its land can be developed. The Jekyll Island Authority governs the island. It has asked Attorney General Sam Olens for a second opinion.