Internet Based Coastal Watch Group Seeks Members

A recent controversial zoning change in Hancock County has given birth to a new citizens group.

Coastal Community Watch was formed four days ago and already has more than 400 members. Group leaders say the goal is to get people involved in protecting the Coast and its resources.

Hancock County leaders recently decided to rezone areas along the beach in Lakeshore as a Commercial Resort District. Group members say that decision will allow for over-development.

"We are not opposed to smart growth. We are opposed to unrestricted height and unrestricted density in the 6,000 acres that this zoning affects," Community Watch Co-Founder Lori Gordon said.

"We formed the organization as a way to put pressure on public officials for smart growth here on the Coast. It's Internet based, so there are no meetings, no dues. We want to make it really easy to alert people as to what's going on so they can take action, so they can participate in the government," Community Watch Co-Founder Ellis Anderson said.

The group's goal is to have 2,000 members by the end of the month. For more information, email Ellis Anderson or Lori Gordon.