The City of Tybee Island has an engaged core group of citizens that are passionate and knowledgeable about ensuring our downtown and surrounding areas are visually pleasing. “Curb appeal” is a common term throughout the world and it is achieved here with the collaboration of these individuals to maintain the island’s authenticity. The island environment with historic buildings, clean sidewalks, bike friendly streets, etc. are important.
Our design committees consist of the Tybee Historical Society, the Historic Preservation Commission, the city’s parking and infrastructure committees, and various civic organizations. These groups help maintain the authenticity of the island while being sensitive to preserving the defining historic character of downtown and residential neighborhoods.
Studies indicate that history, community, commerce and culture contribute to the sense of place on Tybee Island and should be protected. Read more in the Quality Growth Report (PDF) and Master Plan (website).
Over the past few years, a few successes to note include:
- Improving communication between the business community, City staff and officials in maintaining and improving streetscapes.
- Advocating for cleaner and safer streets to enhance the resident’s and guest’s experience.
- Developing plans to enhance the pedestrian-friendly environment through sidewalk enhancements and verbiage for the City’s wayfinding signage.
- Obtaining a grant in partnership with the City, Tybee Beautification and the Marine Science Center to combat litter through the Keep Tybee Tidy campaign.
- Obtaining conceptual design renderings for (Historic) Memorial Park and multiple commercial façade improvement recommendations.
- Obtaining two grants for updating the city’s Historic Resources Survey from the Historic Preservation Division.
- Implementing mural guidelines and establishing a public mural project with the Arts Association.
An added incentive for merchants wanting to enhance their “curb appeal” is through the city’s Development Authority/Main Street Program’s Facade Improvement Grant (PDF) application process. Four grants in the amount of $5,000.00 are available each fiscal year!
A menu of low fee/complementary design services available (PDF) is available here for commercial property owners/merchants interested in enhancing and/or making improvements to their building.
In August of 2014, with input from the Design Committee members, City Officials approved an update to the Sign Ordinance to allow murals (PDF) on commercial buildings, which includes a review process based on developed guidelines. Mural examples, sensitive to the Island’s environment and heritage, are available in the Development Authority / Main Street Office at City Hall.