REZ-2013-09 Moody Housing, Val Del Rd @ LCC 2013-08-12

County Planner Jason Davenport said the proposed Moody Family Housing was “in the Nelson Hill neighborhood”, and there were at least 30 pages of updates, but the County Clerk wouldn’t show them to LAKE without an Open Records Request, which hadn’t yet been satisfied at the end of the day. Commissioners had some questions about acreage and traffic, some of which were answered by the ubiquitous Attorney Bill Holland, and others of which were not answered very well by County Engineer Mike Fletcher, at this morning’s Work Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

6.b. REZ-2013-09 Moody Housing, Val Del Rd R-1 to Residential PD, LC Water & Sewer, ~64 acres

Davenport said:

As of last Friday we did receive an updated site plan as well as some elevations from the applicants to let us know exactly what the houses would look like, what they’re anticipating. The site plan did have four changes and I’ll hand these out to you in just one minute. We added some notes about the uses. We wanted to make them show us where their proposed signage was and we wanted to make them clarify who would be maintaining the open space and the green space….

He passed those updates out, but the County Clerk refused to supply copies for LAKE without an Open Records Request. Gretchen filed an ORR, but if the county takes the statutory three days, we won’t get copies, nor will you, before the Commission votes tomorrow evening..

Here’s Part 1 of 2:

REZ-2013-09 Moody Housing, Val Del Rd Part 1 of 2:
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 12 August 2013.

Handouts, REZ-2013-09, County Planner Jason Davenport

Chairman Bill Slaughter tried to move on to the next item, but In Part 2 you can see Davenport still handing out copies and remarking the elevations were “30+ pages”. Commissioner Crawford Powell thought of some questions, such as were they going to purchase the entire tract for both phases at this time. Chairman asked Bill Holland (yes, the same attorney from the bond item he presented a few minutes before) to explain:

This is Moody Family Housing. But this has nothing to do with the Moody Housing Project that was there next to Moody a long time ago. This project is backed by payment and performance bonds so hopefully we won’t be looking at what we were looking at before. Balfour Beatty is the developer. Balfour has done 53 of these projects for the Air Force and for the other arms….

At the Planning Commission, Davenport handed out a summary of previous events related to that thing “next to Moody a long time ago”. A long time ago was 9 years ago when it was approved in 2004 and 6 years ago when non-payment of contractors stopped work. The mold problem became notorious 4 years ago in 2009. Maybe it doesn’t seem so long ago to those who were affected.

Holland did answer Powell’s question:

Attorney Bill Holland Right now we’re gonna do the first phase which is 35 acres…. The second site is the one … to the west. We’re not purchasing that land now; we’re not rezoning that land now.

Commissioner Demarcus Marshall asked if that would be approximately 90 houses. Holland said yes. Powell asked if that was Phase I or Phase II. Holland said Phase I. The site plan presented to GLPC says 90 houses in Phase I. We don’t know what the revised site plan handed out this morning says.

County Commissioner John Page Chairman tried once again to move on, but Commissioner John Page wanted to know if a traffic study had been done, and whether the residents would go up McMillan Road, or Val Del, or GA 122.

County Planner Jason Davenport deferred to County Engineer Mike Fletcher, whose answer was:

County Engineer Mike Fletcher As a part of the site plans, whenever they get ready to develop it, we’ve already put them on notice that we’re gonna be requiring a traffic study for this, for both coming down Val Del to the intersection at North Valdosta Road, and then going north. They’ll have to do a traffic study both ways.

Let’s recall what the TRC actually wrote about a traffic study:

b) Additionally, although not a proposed condition, it should be noted on this request that a future traffic study will be required. Acceleration lanes/Deceleration lanes and/or a dedicated left turn lane may be required.

It doesn’t say when. It doesn’t say “they” will have to do it. When did “they” do traffic studies, anyway? Isn’t that the job of the County Engineer? Who ignored almost all of the detail of Commissioner Page’s question, as well as Gretchen’s concerns at the Planning Commission, and gave no better answer than Davenport did to Planning Commissioner Tommy Willis’ question. If it’s “required” why not make it a condition of the rezoning, or just refuse to rezone until the applicants supply it?

Unfortunately, Page, like Willis, seemed to buy the non-answer. Page did at least say “I am concerned about the impact.”

Chairman tried once again to move on, but even County Manager Joe Pritchard was confused:

Jason, you’ve got 64 acres; is it 64 or 32?

Answer (I think from attorney Holland): 64.

Phase I is the 60 acre portion, and then Phase II is the smaller.

That’s right: two different answers: 64 or 60.

While we’re waiting on that new Open Records Request, here on the LAKE website are all the previous documents about REZ-2013-09 previously obtained by Open Records Request.

Here’s Part 2 of 2:

REZ-2013-09 Moody Housing, Val Del Rd Part 2 of 2:
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 12 August 2013.