This serves as notification from the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of a request from Benjamin J. Neufeld and Katherine L. Neufeld for a Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA) permit under Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) 12-5-280 et seq., to construct a private pedestrian walkway located over marsh adjacent to Grimball Creek, Chatham County, Georgia. The proposed project is under 1/10 of an acre, and therefore may be considered a minor alteration of coastal marshlands under O.C.G.A. 12-5-280 et. seq.
The applicant proposes to construct a private pedestrian timber walkway providing access between two upland components of the subject private property bisected by coastal marshlands. Currently, the site is comprised of a developed and cleared lot with coastal marshlands bisecting the upland areas. The northern upland property portion consists of a residence and a manicured lawn. The central portion is primarily cleared. Vegetated marshlands bisect the upland areas and are also located on the southern portion of the property.
The applicant proposes to construct a 6ft. x 87.6ft. private pedestrian timber walkway. The elevations on either side of the walkway are approximately 6.5ft. MSL and the middle section of the walkway will be approximately 7.5ft. MSL.
As proposed, the project will permanently impact approximately 525 square feet (0.012 acres) and will temporarily impact approximately 1,045 square feet (0.024 acres) of coastal marshlands.
The applicant has stated that there is no upland component with this project.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that the project is not contrary to the public interest and that no feasible alternative sites exist. Impacts to coastal marshlands must be minimal in size. In passing upon the application for permit, the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee shall consider the public interest: (1) Whether or not unreasonably harmful obstruction to or alteration of the natural flow of navigational water within the affected area will arise as a result of the proposal; (2) Whether or not unreasonably harmful or increased erosion, shoaling of channels, or stagnant areas of water will be created; and (3) Whether or not the granting of a permit and the completion of the applicants proposal will unreasonably interfere with the conservation of fish, shrimp, oysters, crabs, clams, or other marine life, wildlife, or other resources, including but not limited to water and oxygen supply.
Please provide this office with substantive, site-specific comments as to why the proposed work should or should not proceed. Comments and questions concerning this proposed project should be submitted in writing and be submitted by the close of business on August 17, 2017 to Jordan Dodson, Department of Natural Resources, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, Georgia 31520.