The Marina They Deserve?

Last week, in a case involving a proposed coastal Georgia development, the GA Supreme Court voted (5-2) for a narrow interpretation of Georgia’s 38 year old Coastal Marshlands Protection Act.

The central legal issue before the Court was whether development on land adjacent to coastal marsh, rather than just in the marsh itself, is covered by the CMPA.

You can read more background on the case and the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act HERE.  Savannah Morning News coverage is HERE.  Summer Teal Simpson’s excellent piece of journalism about a related case is HERE.  And if all that isn’t enough, check out the Court’s final order HERE.

Reading about the decision in the Savannah Morning News, I was struck by a quote from the CEO of Cumberland Harbor developer, Land Resource.  He said, “We are pleased with the court’s decision and look forward to working with the DNR and Army Corps of Engineers to finalize our permits so the residents of St. Marys and Cumberland Harbour can finally get the marina they deserve.”

The marina they deserve?
The Marina = the largest on the GA coast at approximately 3.5 miles of floating docks

They = people who are able to afford 2nd homes in the area

Deserve = be entitled to, have a right to

I don’t think that I am totally against coastal development,  but putting our unique, productive and irreplaceable coastal marshlands at risk to create more luxury coastal developments for deserving 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. property buyers seems like such a ridiculous proposition -especially given the recent state of our economy.

When, if ever, is coastal development okay?
Would love to hear from readers on this . . .

This entry was posted in Conservation, Government, Planning, Politics, Water on by .

About Clara Fishel

I live in Savannah with my husband and two sons. My time is divided (albeit not always as evenly as I would prefer) between playing with family and friends, work and ongoing involvement with groups like Savannah USGBC, Starland Farmers' Mkt., SDRA and Step-Up. I am a LEED Accredited Professional with a B.S. in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis.

4 thoughts on “The Marina They Deserve?

  1. Bobby

    I am also not totally against Coastal Development, however, I do not beleive it is a smart venture to go and develop million dollar 2nd, 3rd, 4th… homes on land that is not suitable to build on. Suitable meaning protected as well as not up to building code. If you have to significantly alter the land you plan to build on just so your structure will not shift, don’t build there! Also, that land is protected for a reason. In Georgia, we have already developed a huge percentage of our coastal land. I beleive the state should protect the undeveloped land like they are doing on Jekyll Island. It is a state owned island, and there are people that wanted to develop more of that land, but since it is protected land the developers bought existing property, demolished it and re-built (or are re-building). I think this is a great idea. Why not take the money that you have to build on undeveloped land, buy some property with an old home or structure, demolish it and build what you would like there? There is a lot of property like that between St. Simons and Savannah that I have seen. In this day and age, It think we all need to step up and protect what we have and leave it for future generations to enjoy. Also, aside from old properties on the water/coast, the Real Estate market is flooded with homes and land that anyone could buy. When I was living on St. Simons a few months ago, there were over 700 pieces of property for sale! If you think about it, those people who can go out and afford another home could buy an existing property and that could be their way of recycling as well as stimulating the economy. I do agree that more coastal development is a rediculous proposition.

  2. cat-tailes

    That comment from the Land Resources CEO jumped off the page when I read it too. It struck me as – well, as greedy and selfish. The Northern right whales, the manatees, the sea turtles, wood storks and gopher tortoises – and innumerable other creatures – don’t they “deserve” to live in their God-given habitat without fear of being killed and maimed by humankind’s machinery?

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