A permit application to construct and maintain a marina on and over state-owned marshlands must contain a needs assessment.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Miller 
Docket Number: 1235369 , Decision Date: 2012-12-10 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioners sought revocation of a permit issued by the Coastal Marshland Protection Committee to construct  a marina on state-owned marshlands. The permit includes .38 acres of coastal marshlands protected by the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA). Petitioners claimed that the permit was invalid because the permit application did not include a needs assessment as required by the CMPA and therefore, the issuance of the permit constituted an illegal gratuity. Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss while petitioners concurrently made a Motion for Summary Determination.

The Judge determined that Georgia state regulation requires an applicant for a marina on state-owned marshlands to demonstrate that an unfulfilled need for additional boat slips exists. The Judge found that neither the “Alternative Analysis” nor the “Market Analysis” submitted by the applicant established a demand for slips that exceeded supply in the area. Thus, the applicant did not fully satisfy the requirements of a needs assessment. Accordingly, the Judge GRANTED the Petitioners’ Motion for Summary Determination and REVERSED the Committee’s issuance of the permit.