Phase II of Moody Family Housing already has a sinkhole –Tom Kurrie @ LCC 2013-08-13

Tom Kurrie said Phase I has a structural issue and Phase II of the proposed Moody Housing has a sinkhole, at the 13 August 2013 Lowndes County Commission Regular Session.

Existing Sinkhole in Phase II of REZ-2013-09 Tom Kurrie spoke for the rezoning for Phase I, REZ-2013-09, first giving something unknown to the County Clerk, and then saying:

Bill Holland and I are the applicants, we represent the owner of the property, the Howard Dasher Company, as well as the developers of the property, Balfour Beatty Communities.

The ubiquitous Bill Holland had spoken the previous morning in the Work Session.

Tom Kurrie

This time, Kurrie said the project had been in the makings for over two years. (Funny how the county didn’t tell us about it until they were ready to rush it through.) He said it was for “prestige housing” for base personnel. He said it was unusual in being 8 miles west of Moody AFB. He introduced Ron Nestor, Senior Vice President of Balfour Beatty, and said it was a public-private partnership. And use would be restricted to Air Force personnel. We’d already heard about such restrictions at the Planning Commission. He said it would be a “gated community”. We’ll see if that actually happens this time, unlike at Nelson Hill just up Val Del Road; you can see both locations on this map:

Kurrie also mentioned professor Noll and geotechnical issues such as sinkholes, now or future. Kurrie admitted Phase II (not the one they’re applying for now) does have a sinkhole. (The site plan does say that right on it: “Existing Sinkhole”, and you can see it in the county Tax Assessors map.) He said the developer had identified an environmental issue in part of the land for Phase I and no houses would be built on that.

He added that the Air Force had done a draft Environmental Assessment of 176 pages and “your planner has a copy of that.” Sinkhole on Tax Commissioner map He added,

There was no significant impact, and a finding of no practical alternative.

Why not? Because:

This is the site that has been approved by the Air Force, and no other site has been approved for this purpose whatsoever.

So why did the Air Force bother doing an EA if the result had already been pre-determined by the Air Force? The public comment period for the EA didn’t even expire until 15 August 2013, but as you’ll see the County Commission went ahead and voted on 13 August anyway.

Kurrie wrapped up after less than seven minutes, getting to the real point: there’s probably going to be a BRAC, and this is a way for the county to show support for Moody. Curious how citizens wishing to be heard have to stick to 5 minutes but developers or their attorneys can go on indefinitely.

John Page Commissioner John Page wanted to know what would happen if Moody closed, would locals then be able to use this housing?

Kurrie said Scott Rafshoon was present to represent the developer. Kurrie added that this project would be owned by the Air Force after 50 years. See next post for Rafshoon’s answer.

Here’s the video:

Phase II of Moody Family Housing already has a sinkhole –Tom Kurrie
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 13 August 2013.