TELEVISION PARK-- It's a place that's very special and pristine along the Georgia coast. Cumberland Island is a 45-minute ferry ride from St. Mary's... and as Mark Albertin explains, that 45 minutes is the beginning of a decompression period.
The National Park Service is negotiating with landowners on Cumberland Island over the potential development of 1,000 acres. Albertin, an Augusta filmmaker, has produced a documentary about potential consequences of such development called Cumberland Island - The Shrinking Sanctuary. These screenings will include a presentation and a Q&A afterwards.
Three local screenings are scheduled for September 13th, October 1st and October 17th.
SAVE CUMBERLAND ISLAND background: A decision to grant a hardship variance to allow construction of a 10-home subdivision on Cumberland Island has generated a variety of possible solutions among environmental groups.
Most environmentalists, including groups like St. Simons Island-based Center for a Sustainable Coast, oppose any new construction on an estimated 1,000 acres of privately-owned land on the national seashore. However, a handful of groups, including Brunswick-based One Hundred Miles, Georgia Conservancy and the Southern Environmental Law Center, favor limited construction on the island as a compromise.
One Hundred Miles supports a plan that would allow one house for every 25 acres, with an exemption to allow property owners with smaller lots to build one home. The Southern Environmental Law Center is recommending a density of one house per 40 acres. The Georgia Conservancy is supporting one house for every 25 acres. Camden County officials are suggesting one house for every 15 acres.
The National Park Service is currently negotiating with island residents to try to reach an agreement. Negotiations could take up to a year to complete.
The recommendation included suggestions on setbacks of 150 feet from rivers, marshes, dunes and National Park Service boundaries.
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