The Planning Commission 26 November 2012 ignored a Naylor citizen’s questions about a market survey, traffic, trees, peace and quiet, rural living, and sprawl and unanimously recommended a rezoning request for the eighteenth Dollar General in the area. They did this for a developer who doesn’t live in Lowndes County, and who didn’t even have her name revealed by the Planning Commission, even though anyone who spoke against had to show up in person and state name and address. All this for a location that wasn’t specified in the agenda. Does this seem right to you?
Request to rezone 2 acres from E-A (Estate Agriculture) to C-G (General Commercial)
It’s for a Dollar General. County Planner Jason Davenport said nobody had called in. The agenda doesn’t say which parcel is the subject, and the County Planner didn’t specify. Judging by the map displayed on the screen, it’s the southeast corner of parcel number 0250 003, 101.91 acres owned by Robinson Milltown Properties LLC of 2605 Hall Ave., Tifton, GA 31794. According to the Georgia Secretary of State, that LLC’s agent is Bobbie Ann Robinson of 2605 Hall Avenue, Tifton, GA 31794. I’m told she is the Dr. Bobbie Robinson Professor of English and Dean, School of Liberal Arts at ABAC in Tifton. It’s curious how anybody speaking in opposition had to show up in person and state their name and address, but she the developer didn’t have to do any of those things.
Clayton Milligan of Lovell Engineering spoke for, merely saying he offered to answer questions. Commissioners asked him no questions.
Matthew Richard of 5569 Upper Grand Bay Road spoke against.
I am simply a resident of this tiny rural community. I moved to the country because of the values that I hold, the peace and quiet, gazing at the stars at night, and just for an undeveloped life. I look around this area of Georgia and I see sprawl everywhere I look. I note that there are eighteen Dollar Generals already in this area, surrounding Naylor. We have a tiny tiny community of fewer than 3500 residents. And I have a couple of questions. I was wondering if a market survey had been conducted. I was wondering if traffic contingency plans had been drawn up. I also wonder if provisions for trees to be planted around the area have been made. I don’t understand why people would compromise their values of peace and quiet and rural living and a little bit of convenience when we have eighteen of these Dollar General stores surrounding us.
Commissioners referred to the speaker as Dr. Richard, apparently being aware that he is a professor of Cultural Anthropology at Valdosta State University. All they asked was was how close he lived to the subject property. He said he lived on the back of that field, and he reiterated his opposition to overdevelopment, adding:
Any development dollars that are generated are not going to help this area. There’s already a convenience store right next door already gone out of business once; that’s why I asked about the marketing survey. I don’t think Dollar General is going to help that business at all here locally.
Nobody else spoke against. Commissioners had no further questions, and also no discussion: they never addressed any of Dr. Richard’s questions about a market survey, traffic, trees, peace and quiet, rural living, or sprawl. Commissioner Diondra Nichols, who works for Moody Air Force Base (see another case before this same Planning Commission meeting) moved to recommend the developer’s request. They approved unanimously.
Final action on this case is scheduled for the Lowndes County Commission at its Regular Session of Tuesday 11 December 2012, with a Work Session on Monday 10 December 2012.