Board packet item for MAZ ULDC Text Amendment TXT-2015-01 @ LCC 2015-06-08

It’s no wonder the Planning Commission wanted more time for these complicated proposed county code changes to the Moody Activity Zoning Districts (MAZ). The county could have just as easily put the PDF of this item online with the agenda. They didn’t, so LAKE filed an open records request, which no only makes these maps and text available to the public, it demonstrates the county can supply electronic format via email.

Here’s plain text for the Board packet agenda item sheet and the Planning Division Amendment Notes, and images of all the other pages from the PDF.

See also the LAKE videos of the 26 May 2015 Planning Commission meeting and the LAKE videos of the 8 June 2015 Lowndes County Commission Work Session and the 9 June 2015 Regular Session.

Board packet agenda item sheet

First, the one thing that was on the county’s website, converted here by LAKE to web-friendly text.


SUBJECT: Text Amendments to the Lowndes County Unified Land Development Code (ULDC)
DATE OF MEETING: June 9th 2015

Regular Meeting (x)
Work Session (x)
Recommendation (x)
Policy/Discussion ( )
Report ( )


( ) Annual
( ) Capital
(X) N/A


Text Amendment TXT-2015-01 Main Focus: MAZ


ULDC Text Amendment TXT-2015-01 is primarily aimed at regulations concerning the Moody Activity Zoning Districts (MAZ)’s. While regulations related to the MAZ’s were the main focus (Sections 1.09.01, 2.01.06, 2.03.03, 4.01.02(F), 4.01.03(B), 4.02.04, 4.07.06, 5.02.02, 5.02.08, 5.03.02, 5.04.07, 5.05.03, 5.04.04, 8.02.02, 9.01.05 ), other regulations, including but not limited to, residential dwellings (9.01.01, 9.01.02), family ties land divisions (4.04.04), the Valdosta Regional Airport Overlay (4.02.03), bed and breakfasts (2.03.03), commercial greenhouses and nurseries (2.03.03, 4.03.03), telecommunications towers (5.05.03, 5.05.04), sign regulations (5.04.07, 9.01.06), land disturbance regulations (Appendix A Section 4(C)), administrative and/or clerical changes (4.03.00, 4.01.01(G), etc. — See Attached Planning Division Notes), and the updated adoption of the Lowndes County Zoning Map (2.01.01) are also included within this text amendment. To help organize these amendments efforts have been made with this coversheet, the attached Planning Division amendment notes, and with the strikethrough (Proposed Deletions) and underline (Proposed Additions) formatting of the proposed amendments to try to make clear which changes are proposed. For additional reference, an MAZ presentation, Planning Division amendment notes, other various comments, amendment cuts i.e. short versions of some of the proposed amendments, and a proposed draft of the zoning map, are included as a part of this case. Overall, the goal for these amendments concerning the MAZ is to obtain a better balance between private property owner rights and protecting Moody AFB. That goal being stated staff has still made efforts to meet or exceed federal guidelines that are recommended for areas classified as within an airport community1. For historical reference the direction to further address the MAZ regulations was really triggered with a rezoning near the end of 2012. This rezoning (REZ-2012-17) sought to change ~23 acres of MAZ zoning to R-10. That proposed MAZ to R-10 rezoning spurred on debate at the time about the MAZ regulations and triggered a text amendment (TXT-2012-02). The main focus of TXT-2012-02 was to reduce the residential density requirements in MAZ III from 2.5 acres to 1 acre. Both the rezoning and the text amendment received opposition from the community and from Moody AFB. Eventually, both of the requests were withdrawn before the LCBOC made a decision on them.

The original timeline goal for these current amendments was for LCBOC consideration on June 9th. When the GLPC was originally presented the amendments at their work session on May 18th they expressed concerns related to having enough time to review such important amendments. Based on those concerns and preliminary confirmation with County Leadership about the request for additional time staff began to pursue an alternate timeline. The current recommended timeline is as follows: June 29th GLPC meeting and, depending on LCBOC consideration, a July 28th LCBOC meeting. At their May regular meeting the GLPC voted 7-0 to recommend tabling the request for 30 days i.e. to their June 29th regular meeting.

1 Federal guidelines in this context primarily consist of the opinions and perspectives of staff at Moody AFB and the land use compatibility guidelines published by the US Department of Transportation in their Airport Noise Compatibility Planning documents (Federal Register, Volume 49, Number 244. — December 18th 1984)

1. Approve 2. Approve with Conditions 3. Table 4. Deny

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Option #3 to the July 28th LCBOC Meeting

DIVISION: Planning

County Planner: Jason Davenport

County Manager
Action by the Board:

Planning Division Amendment Notes

Now you can see what the agenda item sheet referred to.

Overall, the goal for the amendments concerning the MAZ is to obtain a better balance between private property owner rights and protecting Moody AFB.

  1. Family and Residential Exemptions were a challenge
    1. Overall, the proposed regulations now allow any legally established residential dwelling, manufactured houses included, to be replaced, repaired, or expanded in any zoning district (Including the MAZ’s) (Section 9.01.01(C))
    2. Decreased complexity for existing residential development in all zoning districts (Including the MAZ’s) e.g. streamlined and strengthened treatment of lawfully established single-family dwellings and manufactured homes
    3. Increased allowances and complexity for new residential development within the MAZ’s e.g. non-family and non-agricultural worker residential development subject to 2.5 acre density requirements, family and agricultural worker residential development and legal lots of record are subject to 1 acre density requirements
  2. Noise — There is a boundary within the MAZ called the Noise Impact Area. The aim of the Noise Impact Area is to require additional regulations to help with the noise associated with Moody AFB. There have been issues with enforcement of these regulations. Overall, staff is concerned about the requirements to force operations to be conducted within buildings or enclosed structures. Additionally, staff is also concerned about what improvements are required for the noise related construction improvements i.e. noise attenuation requirements. In an attempt to better understand the noise attenuation requirements the County, with the help of the SGRC and the Federal Government (Including Moody AFB) has a study that examined what it would mean to add noise reducing measures to different types of construction in noisier areas. This study tried to closely examine how much these potential improvements would cost. In consideration of the potential costs and the current level of noise related complaints/issues staff has not been pursuing LCBOC consideration of those regulations. Staff’s current direction is for the noise related regulations to be taken out. This has also impacted the zoning map with the removal of the Noise Impact Area. Moody AFB has expressed concern over this direction (Please see also Planning Division Notes referencing Moody AFB Comments).
  3. In addition to dealing with existing residential exemptions other exemptions for religious uses or non-residential uses were also discussed and considered. Ultimately, staff was not successful in amendments that carried similar exemptions for religious uses or non-residential uses. Under the currently proposed regulations, what this would mean is that if there is a development issue with an existing religious use or non-residential use within the MAZ that an application to the ZBOA would likely still be the primary avenue to request relief from MAZ related regulations.
  4. Clarified Height Restrictions within the MAZ’s
  5. Added buffer protections to MAZ Residential properties
  6. Lessened restrictions on operating a commercial greenhouse or plant nursery within MAZ II and MAZ III
  7. Allowed Bed and Breakfasts in MAZ II outside of the APZ Zone — mirroring existing Hotel/Motel allowances
  8. Clarified the allowable uses within MAZ II APZ Zones
  9. Worked with Moody AFB comments regarding the MAZ regulations reflecting their land operations and not just their air operations
  10. Clarified allowable uses within the VLD Airport Overlay
  11. Required a letter of clearance from either Moody AFB or the Airport concerning new tower construction
  12. Clarified and reflected current enforcement of Family Ties Requirements 4.04.00 e.g. paved requirement
  13. Land Disturbance Updates (Appendix A) — Per GA EPD requirements and comments the Lowndes County Soil Erosion, Sedimentation, and Pollution Control Ordinance has been requested to be updated. The updates relate to clarifying and specifying the roles of the Construction Site Operator. The role of the operator now specifically, by ordinance, calls out their responsibility for controlling waste on the site such as discarded building materials, concrete truck washout, chemicals, litter, and sanitary waste at the construction site that may cause adverse impacts to water quality. The specific amendments may be found on page A-10. Amendments aimed at this result were also made to the Lowndes County Anti-Littering Ordinance on November 30th 2014.
  14. Address the listing of regulations between Chapter 2 and Supplemental Standards in Chapter 4 — Overall staff recommended to let the land use table in Chapter 2 control whether supplemental standards in Chapter 4 apply. This will help eliminate excess language and inconsistencies that exist between Chapter 2 and Chapter 4. The weakness to this direction is it is anticipated to increase flip-back checking between Chapter 2 and Chapter 4.
  15. Minor Amendments (Ch 2 and 4 Consistency e.g. taking out Ch 4 references to Ch 2 in section 4.03.00 (Greenhouse — 4.03.03, Care Homes — 4.03.16, and Stables — 4.03.02 Examples), Typographical, Formatting (Font Size), Spacing, Renumbering of Sections, Lettering of Sections, Updating both Chapter and Overall Table of Contents (Table 4.03.02(F)), Address Proper Bolding e.g. 9.01.02(A)(1), 9.01.02(C), etc.), added additional references to Board of Health Septic Approval to Table 4.01.01(G), Clarified references to Table 4.01.03(B) instead of 4.01.03(F), Corrected a reference to 4.01.03 (2) in section 4.01.03(B)(3), added PD-R references to Table 5.04.07(E)(3), clarified the membership number reference for the TRC (8.02.02(A)), taken out unnecessary “immediately” reference related to signage in 9.01.06(A), Correctly referenced the Valdosta-Lowndes County Airport Authority, Corrected References to Table 4.01.01(G) and 4.01.02(E) e.g. Section 9.01.02(C)

Other Various Comments

Planning Division Notes from Moody AFB Conversations

  1. Moody AFB has a long term concern about what happens after the initial families deed property out e.g. after parents give their daughter a piece of property what happens if she sells it to a nonfamily member?
    1. One potential solution offered by them that also helps in other areas would be to somehow either provide materials about the potential impacts of the base to the future owner or investigate some sort of required disclosure when property changes ownership.
  2. Within the amendments staff is proposing to remove the noise impact area from the MAZ. They are concerned about the long term impacts of this on Moody AFB. Noise is a major factor in the MAZ. The other MAZ regulations help with noise impacts but the specific regulations at hand lean toward requiring certain types of construction to help reduce the noise. I have heard these regulations called noise attenuation standards. At the end of the day the County, with the help of the SGRC and the Federal Government (Including Moody AFB) has a study that examined what it would mean to add noise reducing measures to different types of construction in noisier areas. This study tried to closely examine how much these potential improvements would cost. In consideration of the potential costs and the current level of noise related complaints/issues staff has not been pursuing LCBOC consideration of those regulations.
  3. They would like the MAZ’s to generally also account for Moody’s ground related missions and not just their air related missions.