This serves as notification from the Shore Protection Committee and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of a request from the City of Tybee Island for a modification of Shore Protection Act (SPA) Permit #460 under O.C.G.A. 12-5-230 et. seq. for improvements to an existing pedestrian promenade associated with The Strand Area Parking Lot on Tybee Island, Chatham County, Georgia.
SPA Permit #460 was issued on March 30, 2018 to the City of Tybee Island and included dune restoration, modification to existing DNR-Approved Vehicular Access Points, and enhancement of an existing pedestrian promenade. Total jurisdictional impacts of the existing and proposed hardscape were approximately 153,405 square feet (31%). Approximately 340,930 square feet (69%) of the State’s jurisdictional area was to be retained or improved to a more natural vegetated and topographic state.
In addition to the already completed portions of the permit, SPA Permit #460 authorized improvements to the existing pedestrian promenade landward of the toe of the landward dune, including approximately 1,650 square feet of additional impervious surface to create outdoor seating areas and shower areas serviced by a shallow well enclosed in a well house. Drainage from the public shower facilities is to be directed to rain garden retention areas. Bike rack stations will also be installed within existing impacted areas. All lighting on the promenade will be turtle friendly lighting.
The entire project area for SPA Permit #460 is approximately 492,285 square feet (11 acres). Approximately 340,930 square feet (7.5 acres or 69%) of the project area is currently dry sand beach and vegetated dunes. The remainder of the project area is comprised of a parking lot, a pedestrian promenade, pedestrian amenities, three (3) public access dune crossovers and sand retention fencing. Existing and permitted impacts total approximately 153,405 square feet (3.5 acres or 31% of the project area).
The applicant proposes to modify SPA Permit #460 to construct and maintain public amenities landward of the toe of the dune and seaward of the existing pedestrian promenade adjacent to the City of Tybee Island Strand Parking Lot between the Walter Parker Pier & Pavilion and 18th Street. The proposed improvements include construction and maintenance of two (2) trapezoidal shaped shower platforms, with sides 8ft. and 12ft. and a width of 8ft. (300sq.ft.), three (3) 30ft. X 12ft. changing decks (1200sq.ft.), two (2) 29ft. X 16ft. restroom facilities (1000sq.ft.), and an associated 700sq.ft. utility line trench. Total impacts for the proposed modifications total approximately 3,200sq.ft.
As proposed, the total jurisdictional impacts from the proposed modifications and existing and permitted hardscape total approximately 156,605 square feet (32%). Approximately 335,680 square feet (68%) of the State’s jurisdictional area will be retained or improved to a more natural vegetated and topographic state.
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. In passing upon the application for permit, the permit issuing authority shall consider the public interest which for purposes of this part shall be deemed to be the following considerations: (1) Whether or not unreasonably harmful, increased alteration of the dynamic dune field or submerged lands, or function of the sand-sharing system will be created; (2) Whether or not the granting of a permit and the completion of the applicant's proposal will unreasonably interfere with the conservation of marine life, wildlife, or other resources; and (3) Whether or not the granting of a permit and the completion of the applicant's proposal will unreasonably interfere with reasonable access by and recreational use and enjoyment of public properties impacted by the project.
A detailed public notice with drawings has been distributed and is available by visiting the Department of Natural Resources website: CoastalGaDNR.org under “Public Notices”. 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 by the close of business on July 9, 2021 to Deb Barreiro, Department of Natural Resources, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, Georgia 31520.