TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 2015 AT 3:00 PM




PRESENT:                     Dale Provenzano, Chairman, District 2

Richard Strickland, Vice Chairman, District 3

Michael Browning, Commissioner, District 1

Bill Brunson, Commissioner, District 4

Allen Booker, Commissioner, District 5

Mark Stambaugh, Commissioner, At Large Post 1

Bob Coleman, Commissioner, At Large Post 2


ALSO PRESENT:           Alan Ours, County Administrator

Aaron Mumford, County Attorney

Cindee Overstreet, County Clerk



Discussion and consideration of the following:


1.         Certified Local Government Program (D. Hainley)


            Community Development Director David Hainley briefed the Commission on the benefits of and requirements for becoming a Certified Local Government (CLG).

            The benefits of becoming a CLG include eligibility for federal Historic Preservation Fund grants, the opportunity to review local nominations for the National Register of Historic Places prior to consideration by the Georgia National Register Review Board, the opportunity for technical assistance, and improved coordination among local, state, and federal preservation activities. Mr. Hainley reminded the Commission that Glynn County recently discovered it was not qualified for a grant to assist in renovating the Harrington School property on St. Simons because it was not a CLG. Reaching CLG status would allow the County to apply for more federal grants.

To be eligible, the County would have to enact a historic preservation ordinance and create a Historic Preservation Commission to enforce the ordinance. The County would also be required to: maintain a system for survey and inventory of historic properties, provide for adequate public participation in the Local Historic Preservation Programs including the process of recommending properties for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, and satisfactorily perform the responsibilities delegated to it under the Act.


The Commission asked staff to provide the estimated costs associated with implementing the program.


2.         Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST 2016)


A motion was made by Commissioner Strickland and seconded by Commissioner Browning to

defer item 2 to a later date. The motion carried unanimously.


3.         Draft Policy on Piping Roadside Ditches


Public Works Director Dave Austin presented a proposal for a ditch piping policy. He said currently an applicant obtains a ditch piping permit through the right-of-way coordinator in the Community Development Department and then hires a private contractor to pipe the ditch.


He had been asked to provide a proposal for the County to take over piping ditches for citizens. He said the Public Works Department was very capable of accomplishing this if the Commission decided that was the direction it wanted the department to take; however, it would take away from the department’s maintenance work which is its core mission. The proposal included the current procedure but also required the Public Works Department to install the pipe after the applicant had paid for the pipe and labor.


The Commissioners discussed the pros and cons of allowing the department to pipe ditches and decided the current procedures should remain in place. The Public Works Department will prepare a written policy outlining the current procedures and will not pipe right-of-way ditches for applicants.


4.         Discuss a tree ordinance for Glynn County


Assistant County Attorney Will Worley provided a first draft of a proposed tree ordinance on St. Simons Island. Mr. Worley provided an overview of the current tree ordinance then highlighted the proposed new tree ordinance as follows:


Current Tree Ordinance:

The current “St. Simons Island Tree Canopy Preservation” ordinance is codified at Section 624 of the Zoning Ordinance. The current ordinance applies only to those properties on St. Simons which require site plan approval. Single family residential lots and developments that existed at the time of adoption of the ordinance are exempt from the requirements. The ordinance requires that each property provide or maintain a minimum number of tree credits. The minimum tree credits may be achieved by retaining existing trees, replanting, or a combination of both. A tree plan showing compliance with the requirements of the ordinance must be submitted with the site plan application.


Amended Tree Protection Ordinance

The first draft of the Tree Protection Ordinance is a comprehensive re-write of the ordinance. The proposed amendment retains some of the features of the current ordinance. It would only apply on St. Simons Island and would require each property to achieve or maintain a minimum tree density. However, the proposed amendment has significant differences which expand the scope and applicability of the ordinance. Specifically, the proposed amendment would:

-require permission before cutting or removing any tree on St. Simons. However, owner-occupied single family residential property would be able to cut up to five (5) trees per year without need of a permit;

-creates two categories of activities which are subject to the tree requirements: development activity and non-development activity;

-for development activity (anything requiring a building permit, site plan, land disturbing permit or any grading or clearing of a site), the developer would first be required to submit a tree survey and plan showing the existing trees, what trees are being removed, what is being replanted, etc;

-for non-development activity the property owner would be required to submit an application for a letter of permission before removing a tree;

-certain types of trees would be designated “specimen trees” and their removal would be heavily discouraged;

-a developer that cannot meet the minimum tree density on their property would have the option of 1) planting trees at another location or 2) paying into a tree replacement fund;

-if a specimen tree is cut without approval, the developer would be required to replace it with trees eight (8) times the tree unit value and would be prohibited from putting any structures or previous improvements in the location of the tree;

-developers that re-work their plans to preserve specimen trees could be granted a density “credit” allowing them to slightly increase the density of their property;

-establish minimum fines for violation which escalate for each occurrence. It also empowers the Community Development Director to revoke any permit issued by Glynn County for failure to adhere to the ordinance; and,

-would allow both property owners and contractors to be cited for violation of the ordinance.  


The Commission discussed the first draft then decided that Commissioner Stambaugh, Commissioner Coleman, and Assistant County Attorney Will Worley would meet with a member of the Islands Planning Commission, Tree Advisory Board, and others to review and make recommendations regarding a tree ordinance on St. Simons Island.




There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.



Dale Provenzano, Chairman

Board of Commissioners

Glynn County, Georgia




Cindee S. Overstreet, Clerk