Jekyll board approves step in golf improvement plan, residential development concept

Apr. 19—Work is moving forward to improve the golf courses on Jekyll Island while promoting conservation efforts.

The board of directors for the Jekyll Island Authority approved Tuesday a request for a proposal for ecological restoration planning and design services to evaluate options for habitat restoration and reuse of land currently occupied as portions of the golf course.

This is one of many steps outlined in an overarching golf improvement plan for Jekyll.

“This one has significant implications for conservation on Jekyll, and it’s something that we’re really excited about,” said Yank Moore, director of conservation on Jekyll. “It’s for ecological planning and design services of the nine holes that were realigned and taken out of Oleander golf course as part of the golf improvement plan.”

A 50-acre wildlife corridor will be established. JIA also plans for the consultant to evaluate the feasibility of wetlands restoration as they work through the golf improvement plan, Moore said.

In other business, the board approved initial concept drawings for a single-family residential development planned for the 6.9-acres where the former Buccaneer Hotel was located.

LNWA Developers LLC., and Retreat Hotels and Resorts, LLC., plan to build the property, which will include 25 single-family homes, additional guest parking and a community pool.

LNWA Developers have leased the property since 2017 and were required to conduct a market study before moving forward with a development at the site.

The development plan aims to address several issues important for consideration on the island, including density, circulation of vehicles and lighting requirements.

“It’s been a long process since 2017, but we worked very hard to come up with a plan that we think is going to be beneficial to everybody and that I think we can all be proud of,” said Dave Curtis, who’s with LNWA Developers.

The development is a reduced-density option compared to the hotels that previously were on the site, he said.

“Our plan is to have lower profile, smaller homes on the eastern portion of the property with somewhat larger, taller homes on the western side so that there’s less of an impact from a lighting point of view while retaining desirable views for the homeowners,” Curtis said.

In other business, the board:

—Approved a contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation to include funding in the amount of $446,379, as well as refunding JIA $171,154, to be used to construct a new ADA-compliant airport terminal on the footprint of the existing terminal.

—Approved a request by Northview Hotel Group to transfer management and operation rights for its leased property, Westin Jekyll Island, to the hotel group’s newly formed corporate entity, Jekyll Hotel Operator, LLC.

—Approved a funding request for $15,000 for the purchase of a new Dell PowerEdge R550 computer server to replace the current operations equipment, which has exceeded its lifespan.

—Approved a funding request for an additional $12,000 for installation expenses and fire alarm equipment associated with a previously approved expenditure for a furniture storage shelving solution at the Jekyll Island Convention Center.

—Met in executive session to discuss personnel and took no action afterward.