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New rules could allow building closer to dunes on St. Simons

FILE - Members of the Tybee Island community are voicing their concerns about the City's plans...
FILE - Members of the Tybee Island community are voicing their concerns about the City's plans to build bathrooms, changing rooms and showers near the dunes.(WTOC)
Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 8:52 PM EDT
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ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) - Leaders on one of Georgia’s most popular coastal islands are considering letting developers build closer to sand dunes.

A planning commission that governs construction on St. Simons Island is discussing reducing the required setback for new construction in areas with active dunes from 40 feet to 25 feet. The new rule would increase the required setback from 20 feet to 25 feet for an area without dunes.

Commissioners agreed to postpone action until November to allow a public workshop.

Dunes can protect beaches and inland areas and also provide habitat for plants and wildlife.

Alice Keyes of environmental group One Hundred Miles says rising sea levels make setbacks even more important.

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