There’s just a lot here we don’t have.
Hahira City Council votes tonight on the Teramore Development items, which are for a Dollar General (like the one in Naylor), as we discovered at the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission Regular Session 26 August 2013, even though the agenda doesn’t say. GLPC recommended for it, even though engineering details hadn’t been done for water management, the site plan wasn’t finalized, and no solution was proposed for Dollar General’s corporate habit of using sidewalks for cart storage, among many other issues.
Planning Commission Agenda for 2013-08-26, with links to the videos:
CITY OF HAHIRA CASES:FINAL ACTION by the City of Hahira Mayor-Council
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Hahira City Hall, 102 S. Church Street, Hahira, Georgia
- HA-2013-01 Teramore Development
Property Location: 309 West Main Street
Request to rezone 1.22 acres from Light Manufacturing (M-1) to Highway Commercial (C-H)
City Planner Matt Martin “for Hahira we act as the advisor for variances; only Hahira is like that” handed out updates to the variance that will be requested (presumably from ZBOA)Property currently contains an existing old tobacco warehouse or tobacco barns I’ll call it. Applicant is proposing to purchase the property, demolish the old warehouse or barn, and replace it with a Dollar General store.
Martin said it was actually a downzoning due to an odd provision by Hahira. He said staff recommended approval.
Tom Hodges of Thomasville, GA said he was with Teramore Development and had Clay Mulligan(?) with Lovell Engineering with him, and they were ready for questions. Commissioners had no questions for either of them.
Nobody wanted to speak against. Commissioners had no discussion. Commissioner Nichols moved to approve. Somebody seconded. Unanimous approval.
Here’s Part 1 of 5:
- HA-2013-02 Teramore Development
Property Location: 309 West Main Street
Request Variances to minimum parking requirements, minimum building setbacks, and streetscape/design standards
City Planner Matt Martin said the materials he handed out before the previous agenda item mostly involved an updated site plan. The new Dollar General is across the street from the existing Dollar General. If anybody wants to use the old site, they’ll have to “plead their own case”, he said. There was a lot more detail that Commissioners could see, but the audience could not.
He said the tobacco warehouse currenty was set back three feet from the street, and applicant proposed 7 feet, but that was less than Hahira standard of 12 feet, so they were requesting a variance (once again presumably from ZBOA). Several Commissioners had some detail questions.
Martin discussed parking quite a bit. He said nothing about permeable parking surface. He did suggest potential landscaping, maybe with a sidewalk. A Commissioner wanted some clarification on that.
There was discussion of Hahira’s overlays to keep its small town aura (Hahira discovered overlays back in 2009). Martin noted Dollar General appearance is not generally like downtown Hahira. He was waiting for a drawing, and staff was reluctant to recommend approval without that drawing and further improvement. He said staff did recommend approval anyway.
He also expressed reservations about the look of the west wall. Plus blank wall effects on the south wall. Once again he said staff recommended approval despite reservations. And so it went.
Commissioner Franklin Bailey remarked:Part of our function is to talk to the community and Council members and they load you up with stuff and now I’ve got something different than what I came here with, and it’s tricky. But I appreciate the changes and we did talk about that and I think that will go a long way But I would have liked to be a bit more prepared. I’m going to have some ‘slaining to do when I get back home. And I’m sure you will, too.
Martin responded “the picture has changed a little bit, but only the picture.” Maybe, but how are Commissioners to be sure of that? By comparing each page line by line? Why do staff dump changes on Commissioners at the last minute? You know, if staff had to put the board packets online before the meeting, maybe staff would have everything to Commissioners before the meeting, too…. Later Matt Martin said staff’s recommendations on the variances had also changed, and he even listed a number of things that still weren’t covered.
Here’s Part 2 of 5:
Tom Hodges of Thomasville, GA once again said he was with Teramore Development and had Clay Mulligan(?) with Lovell Engineering with him, and they were ready for questions.
Commissioner Jody Hall said he’d observed that sidewalks next to Dollar Generals were used for cart storage. Commissioner Hall also wanted to know about parking. Mulligan(sp) stood up to answer, and Chair finally made him give his name. Mulligan said he wasn’t aware of this sidewalk problem. Hall said well that was new information, then. Mulligan did try to explain the parking question.
Hall also wanted to know about handicap access; he didn’t think two handicap spots were enough.
Other Commissioners continued to quiz the Dollar General Dynamic Duo.
Here’s Part 3 of 5:
Nobody wanted to speak against. Commissioner Nichols had some questions, as did Commissioner Gladwin, with followups by Hall.
Commissioner Thea Spriggs wanted to know why the airconditioning units weren’t on the roof.
Matt Martin said a wooded area was wherewater management, water quality being addressed there. The engineering has not been done to the detail level.
He said the site plan wasn’t finalized, either. Gives you confidence, eh?
There’s a lot more. This is a good example of how an appointed board should act, but I must get on with posting this, so for details, here are the videos.
Here’s Part 4 of 5:
Eventually the Commission unanimously recommended approval with a number of conditions, as moved by Commissioner Jody Hall. Commissioner Raker seconded. Hahira City Council decides tonight.
Here’s Part 5 of 5:
Dollar General (Teramore Development) Part 5 of 5:
Regular Session, Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC),
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 26 August 2013.