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The Sea Island Acquisitions people still think that what they do with the property they claim to own is a matter of choice, as if ownership of land were the same as ownership of oneself. Never mind that doing what one pleases with one's own body is not even allowed. Ownership, like stewardship, isn't a license for irrational action; it's a bundle of obligations.

Because man has been given the planet, he's got an obligation to care for it. The beasts in the wild have no such obligation; they just take what they want. On the other hand, they also don't destroy what they don't want. Which puts them on a slightly higher moral plane than some humans.

There, that's my sermon for this Sunday morn. Go below the fold for some of the specifics from the Georgia Times Union report.

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Sea Island from St. Simons Island, GA
Environmentalists ask Glynn County commissioners to halt development of land off Sea Island's southern tip
BRUNSWICK | Glynn County is stepping into a battle reminiscent of one 20 years ago.
In the early 1990s, the controversy centered on a proposal to nourish St. Simons Island’s beach with dredged sand. Opponents called themselves “Save the Beach,’’ and after months of wrangling the county commissioners of the time dropped the plan.

Now the T-shirts say “Save the Spit,’’ and the battle lines — or the outlines of eight building lots — are drawn just to the north across Gould’s Inlet where Sea Island Acquisitions has plans to sell off some very expensive lots.

The citizens' object, of course, is to get to the point where that land won't be worth spit as a location for eight more McMansions.

While it is true there's a sand dune they want to build on, once they strip the vegation, dig in a sewer and water main and build a road that will carry fire engines, that dune will be spread to the four winds.

Speaking on behalf of the Riverkeeper during the public comment period, Steven Caley, a senior attorney from the GreenLaw environmental law firm, told the commission it was their duty and responsibility to intervene in the development of what he described as a fragile and rapidly eroding piece of property.

“This is a golden opportunity for you to step in and do the right thing,” Caley said.

Caley, who penned the 11-page letter sent in February, told commissioners that the Island Planning Commission improperly interpreted a 2004 zoning amendment when it voted to allow the project to proceed.

“Your hands are not tied to the zoning amendment of 2004,” Caley said. “The purpose of the rezoning was to redevelop the Cloister hotel. There were no plans to develop the spit.”

Sea Island Acquisitions, which bought Sea Island Co. out of bankruptcy several years ago, owns the property located on the southern end of Sea Island and intends to sell off eight lots for several million dollars apiece. With its beachfront location and ocean and marsh views, it would be some of the most spectacular and expensive real estate in the county.

"Spectacular" is right. Some people are bound and determined to make a spectacle of themselves. It used to be that storing up riches was not something to brag about. Now it seems some people acquire and accumulate just so they can brag. Seems a downright shame.

In the interest of ballance, I should note that the Acquisitions people did issue a press release and the paper reported it:

“… We chose to limit the development to eight home sites,’’ and the lots will be developed in compliance with government regulations, abiding by setbacks from the beach with no harm to the habitat for sea turtles and birds, the company said.
Sea Shell in the surf.
It's not a matter of choice. In addition, it needs to be said that, while the turtles do lay their eggs in the dunes, the beach, which is submerged by the tides twice a day, is not a habitat (a place to live and eat) for either turtles or birds. In addition to the fish, whose survival is threatened by industrial and non-point pollutants, the birds depend on the vegetation holding the dunes in place -- the vegetation that's to be replaced by more twenty foot palms and fertilized turf. There won't even be any bugs 'cause the pest control companies will take care of those. And what the bugs don't eat will wash off into the surf.

If the ocean waters aren't even suitable for humans to swim in, no matter. The denizens of McMansions need not set foot in the ocean.  They prefer lounging around their pristine pools.

It's not even a question of being "far from the madding crowd." Sea Island has a guard house and only the select can get on. Even the employees of the hotel are bused in, just as if they were still going to school in neighborhoods where they can't afford to live.

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