Who is ZBOA?

The current members of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBOA) are:
City of Valdosta
Allan Strickland, Chair
Laverne Gaskins
Scott Orenstein, Vice-Chair
Nancy Hobby
Paul Alvarado
Lowndes County
Gretchen Quarterman
Dr. William Houseal
Dave Kirk
Here they are at their 14 Sep 2010 meeting:

Left to right: Laverne Gaskins, Gretchen Quarterman, Paul Alvarado, Allan Strickland (Chair), Scott Orenstein (Vice-Chair), and Dr. William Houseal. (Nancy Hobby and Dave Kirk were not present at that meeting.)

According to the city’s web page about them:

The ZBOA is a joint board consisting of eight appointed citizens, four each for the City of Valdosta and Lowndes County. Members are appointed for three year terms. City board members are appointed by the Mayor-Council based on their experience in land development, their familiarity with the City of Valdosta Zoning Ordinance, and their willingness to commit sufficient time to the board in order to be an effective board member.
What do they do?
The Valdosta-Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBOA) is established to hear all variance requests to the development standards of the City of Valdosta Zoning Ordinance as well as all appeals regarding staff interpretation of the City of Valdosta Zoning Ordinance.
Of course, that’s the City of Valdosta version. Many of the cases have to do with Lowndes County’s Unified Land Development Code (ULDC).

Most cases are brief, like VAR-2010-10 Mary Altman (Upper Grand Bay Road, Naylor), “Requesting a Variance to the minimum lot width requirement.” That’s a ULDC requirement.

As you can see, the whole thing took less than three minutes to a unanimous decision for approval.

Much less typical was VAR-2010-15, in which McDonald’s Corp. wanted a sign variance. McDonald’s sent an employee and an attorney to argue their case, and 200 nearby residents sent an attorney to argue against, plus a surprise opponent.