An island family is proposing to build a new 10-lot subdivision less than a quarter-mile from Sea Camp on Cumberland Island, a national park and wilderness along the Georgia coast.The land is owned by heirs who did not sell their property to the National Park Service when the park was created 45 years ago. As a result, they own the land outright as a private inholding within Cumberland Island National Seashore.However, the developers still have one logistical hurdle to clear. County regulations require that all subdivisions be fronted by a paved road. The Main Road on Cumberland is unpaved. The developers are requesting a special exemption from this requirement so that their 10-lot subdivision can proceed.

You can comment on the special exemption variance by contacting Camden County’s Director of Planning and Development Eric Landon at elandon@co.camden.ga.us 

This is the only opportunity for the public to comment on the proposed subdivision. Comments must be received by December 7.

An excerpt of the letter announcing the subdivision developer’s proposal and request for a special exemption variance appears below:

RE: Special Exception Variance #ZV2016-07

To Whom It May Concern:

Glenn Warren requests a Hardship Variance from the requirements of the Camden County Unified Development Code (UDC) Sec. 501(b)(3), to allow a 10 lot split with unpaved road frontage. The request is to allow subdivision of the property into 10 lots fronting on Main Road, an unpaved road, since there are no paved streets on Cumberland Island. The Camden County Tax Map shows the property as Tax Parcel 181 006 and located in the C-P, Conservation Preservation Zoning District with access via Main Road. Lumar, LLC is shown as the owner.

A hearing on the special exemption variance is scheduled for December 7 in Kingsland, Ga. at 6 p.m. If you are unable to attend the meeting and would like to comment, or have any questions, contact Camden County Planning and Development Director Eric Landon at (912)729-5603 / elandon@co.camden.ga.us

According to environmental groups, the proposed 10-lot subdivision is completely inappropriate for the sandy, rutted Main Road and the property’s location, less than a quarter-mile from the Cumberland Island Visitor Center and main dock. Construction of a subdivision so close to the headquarters of Cumberland Island National Seashore and its 50,000 annual visitors will be detrimental to visitation, tourism, viewsheds, watersheds, and the sensitive ecology of Cumberland Island. Rare and endangered species could also be affected.
“A 10-lot development in the heart of the visitor experience will detract from the beauty and serenity that visitors seek when planning trips to Cumberland,” says a spokesperson for the group Wild Cumberland. “Cumberland Island’s founding legislation mandated that the island gradually evolve into a wilder, less developed national seashore as retained rights expire. Allowing a 10-lot subdivision would be a violation of Congressional will and the public trust.”

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