Tybee officials tackle film production issues - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tybee officials tackle film production issues

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Hollywood may have left Tybee Island for a while, but many will never forget the issues that tourists and residents had to deal with.

Now, Tybee Island City Council is trying to make sure that nightmare is a thing of the past. They voted to require film crews to fill out a very detailed application restricting what they can or can't do on the island.

The application is about a dozen pages long, and I noticed one of the changes has to do with the complete blocking off of access to the beach. It’s something officials don't want to happen again.

"They can’t close off those beach access points when we have tourist here, you know it happened during spring break and people were told they couldn't go to the beach they couldn't use a cross over,” said Wanda Doyle, city council member.

"We had issues with Baywatch when they filmed where people could not get to the beach, that's not going to happen anymore." Mayor Jason Buelterman.

Although it was fun for some to watch out for celebrities filming different movies on Tybee Island, the restrictions that the crews put in place rubbed some people the wrong way.

"A lot of tourists got upset, a lot of citizens got upset so we decided to re-evaluate the process,” said Doyle

The city went through a six month process ironing out the details getting feedback from businesses, residents, film industry, and city staff to find a way to regulate movie production.

"We are doing are due diligence to make sure it doesn't have a negative impact on our residents as well as our business community,” said Mayor Buelterman.

The new permit application also has restrictions when it comes to parking, using city vehicles, street closures and off-duty officers.

Neil Hagan, a Tybee resident, said it doesn’t really affect him because he lives on the beach and he understands why the film crews might need to block sections off.

"I personally have never had a problem with it. I have had people who have had problems with it,” said Hagan.

If you remember the new Georgia Film Tax Credit has been bringing more movies to the state, and more specifically to Tybee. 

"We want to make it so the people who live here aren't negatively impacted by it,” said Mayor Buelterman.

"It’s a good process and I think it will work a lot better,” said Doyle.

And when film crews are applying for these permits, smaller productions will go through the city manager but the larger films will have to be approved by the full council.

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