Agenda Item for Project Max before County Commission @ LCC 2016-01-11

Here’s the item summary for the hush-hush REZ-2016-01 Project Max Summary on Monday morning’s the Lowndes County Commission agenda, after the rush-rush Special Called Planning Commission meeting. -jsq


SUBJECT: Rezoning Case REZ-2016-01

DATE OF MEETING: January 12th 2016

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


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

REZ-2016-01 Project Max, Rocky Ford Rd
E-A to M-2, County Water and Sewer, ~123 acres



This case represents a change in zoning on a ~123 acre portion of a ~2,950 acre property from Estate Agricultural (E-A) to Heavy Manufacturing (M-2). The main motivation behind the request is the need for M-2 zoning to try to accommodate for a large scale industrial prospect. The Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority has been in negotiations with the prospect and have authorized due diligence and pursuit of this site for its potential location. The large scale industrial prospect is a type of container manufacturing facility. Qualifiers and generic terms are being used due to confidentiality and because the negotiations and agreement for the prospect are not yet finalized, The M-2 zoning is necessary due to the intensity of the proposed manufacturing and the presence of a smoke stack approximately .120” high. The exhaust from the stack does not emit any particulate matter but does emit steam due to the heat from the furnace used in manufacturing process. The entire subject property dominantly possesses road frontage on Rocky Ford Rd, The subject property also possesses a small amount of road frontage on Hardee Rd. Dominant ingress/egress for the proposed development is anticipated off of Rocky Ford Rd. Potential other ingress/egress is also shown off of James Road Extension, Rocky Ford Rd is a County maintained major collector. James Road Extension and Hardee Rd are unimproved county maintained local roads, Typical traffic flow capacity of a major collector road is between 3,000 to 6,000 AADT, Per GDOT definition the Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) is the average number of vehicles that pass by a counter during a 24vhour period in a certain year. Concerning the 2030 Comprehensive Plan Future Development Map the subject property is within both the Urban Service Area and Rural Service Area. The large majority of the request is within the Urban Service Area. Regarding the Future Development Map Character Area the subject property is depicted for Agricultural/Forestry. Per Comprehensive Plan guidance M-Z zoning is not listed as an appropriate zoning district within an Agricultural/Forestry Character Area,

In addition to the above information the following factors should also be considered: the adjacent M-2 zoning to the north, the prospect’s requirements for rail access and air quality, the construction of an additional rail spur to the northeast, the location of the existing residences (dominantly northeast with some scattered housing to the southwest and southeast), the economic development factors associated with the request (Investment in community and economy, expectation of 200 jobs, expected manufacturing wages above the current manufacturing wage average, etc), the potential impacts (if any) to the wetland (Mud Swamp) to the southeast or the water resources in the area, the potential for expansion of the proposed use, the zoning precedent set for this area based on the size and location of the request, the nearby water and sewer services, the natural gas pipeline along Rocky Ford Rd, the proximity to the Valdcsta Regional Airport to the southeast, the noise associated with the expected operation of the facility, the increase in truck and vehicular traffic onto Rocky Ford Rd, the expected viewshed after construction of the proposed facility, the other allowable uses in M-2 zoning, the other potential operations capable of utilizing the heavy manufacturing land use category, the division of the subject property into a northern section and a southern section by existing creeks/streams and Mud Swamp, the expected future and current use of the subject property (Forestry/Silviculture) and the proposed request, and the adjacent Industrial Activity Center on the Future Development Map.

The TRC reviewed this application and recommended/noted the following:


Approval with ConditionsDenialApprovalApproval
Board of Health Fire/RescueInspections
Not Rendered1 ApprovalApproval
Recommended Conditions with (Source)
  1. The use of the M-2 portion of the subject property shall be limited to the primary and accessory uses associated with a container manufacturing facility. (Planning)
  2. Seventy-four (74) acres around the proposed buildings shall be rezoned to M-Z. The remainder of the subject property shall be rezoned to M-1 (Planning)
Other Comments with (Source)

This application is inconsistent with the Future Development Map of the Comprehensive Plan but overall consistent with the Goals and Policies of the Plan (Planning),

Additionally, please also be aware of the following: the presence of a large wetland protection district (mud swamp), the outer edges of the Valdosta Airport Overlay (VLD) to the southeast, the potential buffers required along the perimeter of the property where it abuts E-A zoning, and that during the approval process Fire/Rescue will need to verify building and property access and fire protection.

1 The Board of Health Representative was not in attendance during the portion of the TRC meeting when recommendations were finalized for this case.

At their January special called meeting the GLPC recommended to approve the case with 2 conditions. There was a healthy amount of discussion between the GLPC and staff and representatives from the Valdosta»Lowndes Development Authority about the case, During the public hearing portion of the case the Executive Director, Engineer, and Chairman of the Development Authority all spoke for the case. One citizen spoke against the case citing concerns about the zoning and planning precedent set for this area if this case is approved, concerns about the effects on the air due to the water boiling/burning process, and the stormwater related impacts on the surrounding area from the change in use of the property from agricultural to industrial.

GLPC Recommended Condition #1 The use of the subject property shall be limited to the primary and accessory uses associated with a container manufacturing facility.
GLPC Recommended Condition #2Zoning shall to change to M-2 zoning simultaneous with acquisition of the property to be rezoned by the Valdosta- Lowndes Development Authority for purposes of Project Max, Should said acquisition not occur or should Project Max not occur as currently proposed, the zoning of the property shall remain E-A until further application


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

RECOMMENDED ACTION: GLPC Option #2 Approve with 2 Conditions
TRC Various (Please See Table Above)

DIVISION: Planning County Planner: Jason Davenpon [/s]

Joe Pritchard
Joe Pritchard County Manager

Action by the Board:

1 thought on “Agenda Item for Project Max before County Commission @ LCC 2016-01-11

  1. Pingback: Appoint Tax Assessors? Rush Project Max? @ LCC 2016-01-11 | On the LAKE front

Comments are closed.