Some answers and some remaining questions about the Comprehensive Plan

When I spoke at the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) about the Short Term Work Projects (STWP) document on Monday, November 28th, I had questions about several sections, and many of the deleted or modified items. The next day I met with Lowndes County Planner Jason Davenport to discuss my questions. Some of my questions were answered to my satisfaction, some I still had concerns about, and some are still unanswered because they were not actually in his area of expertise.

The document covers all the cities in Lowndes County as well as the unincorporated area. I did get some questions about Valdosta projects answered by Valdosta City Planner Matt Martin in a telephone conversation.

Questions I had about Conservations of Sensitive Areas were answered in detail. For example:

“4.1.1 – Direct growth away from natural areas unsuitable for development by utilizing Environmental Resource and Conservation Zoning districts.”
I wondered “Why would we stop doing this?”

Especially when section 4.1.3 says

“Direct growth away from natural areas unsuitable for development through development review and rezoning processes.”
The discussion centered about Conservation Zoning districts which are a tool in the planning and zoning tool box and in fact an example of the implementation of 4.1.3. Perhaps language will be added to 4.1.3 to indicate that tool.

I wondered why section

“4.1.2 – Provide education on importance of Groundwater Recharge Areas and Wetlands.”
was being deleted. Planner Davenport explained that he felt that simply providing access to a document isn’t necessarily education (I must say I agree), and that the county does not have an active education program on Groundwater Recharge and Wetlands. However, when someone is considering development of a piece of property, information about the recharge or wetland of that specific property is provided to the individual, along with information about local regulations.

Continuing on in the section

“4.1.4 – Continue active enforcement of the Water Resource Protection District Ordinance (WRPDO)”
changed to
“Continue active enforcement of regulations pertaining to protected water resources”
I wondered why this language was made less specific, and in my mind weaker. It turns out that there is no longer a Water Resource Protection District Ordinance but rather there are a sections in the ULDC and LDR that are specifically about water protection regulations.

And so, my questions about section 4.1 were resolved. Thank you Jason.

I still have lots of unresolved questions about other chapters….