Gretchen thanked them for putting most of the response to her open records request on CDs, shortly after they had said at their recent planning session that they wanted to promote interaction with the community. Still nothing from the county attorney about the Sabal Trail documents, and it’s been well over three days. I invited them on behalf of WWALS to a workshop and a movie; there’s more below. See also the contested rezoning 5.d. REZ-2016-05 Union Rd Subdivision, E-A to R-A, ~114 acres for more water issues.
Three citizens spoke explicitly about the pipeline, Jim Parker, Michael Noll, and Dr. Mario Bartoletti, as also noted in Jason Stewart, VDT, 11 February 2016, Sabal protests continue. As I noted in another post,
I go to a lot of county commission meetings in Georgia and Florida. Nowhere but Lowndes County do I see people shouted down by a deputy sheriff for clapping. Nowhere else demands that only local residents or property owners can speak. Nowhere else are citizens only allowed to speak after all votes have been taken. Nowhere else do the Commissioners refuse to answer citizens in public. This is not how the County Commission of a real MSA acts.
You can see all the citizen speakers and regular business in these LAKE videos of the Regular Session, along with the regular business. See the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session, including two unscheduled announcements, and the previous post for context and the agenda.
- 1. Call to Order 2. Invocation 3. Pledge
- 4. Minutes for Approval
5.a. REZ-2016-02 Estate of Juanita Johnson, E-A to R-1, ~11 acres
Video. Approved unanimously.
5.b. REZ-2016-03 Southern Exteriors US Hwy 41 S, R-10 to E-A, ~22 acres
Video. Planning COmmission conditions consolidatd into one by County Planner Jason Davenport. Commissioners Demarcus Marshall and Clay Griner wanted to know why the conditions. Answer: uses affecting neighboring properties. Nobody spoke for or against. Rezoning passed by County Commission unanimously with consolidated conditions.
5.c. REZ-2016-04 Deerwood Rd Subdivision, New Statenville Hwy, E-A to R-1
Video. Passed unanimously.
5.d. REZ-2016-05 Union Rd Subdivision, E-A to R-A, ~114 acres
Commissioner Joyce Evans asked what about the Health Department? Answer: applicant took some soil tests and would present.
John Hike spoke against for a number of local residents, about septic tanks, runoff, flooding, property rights, taxes, illegal dumping, children, safety, and other issues.
Ricky Brunston of 5884 Union Road spoke about numerous water issues, including outflow from Tyler Pond, detailing where it goes, how beavers provide free upkeep along part of Tyler Creek, and where it passes under Thompson Road and I-75 before it reaches the Withlacoochee River.
Every time you build a house or pave a road, you take a little away from the watershed.
Eduardo, who lives nearby, also spoke about water issues affecting his property and the road, including underground seepage.
Attorney Jack Langdale spoke for the rezoning, noting this would be the first conservation subdivision in Valdosta, with 40% of the land in conservation. They will “strictly comply” with all county permits and ordinances, including regarding septic tanks. He said they asked the county for accident reports, and got only two. Regarding safety, “the county has procedures in place we’re confident in” such as traffic counts by the County Engineer. There will be requirements for no hunting, no garbage disposal, to be enforced by homeowner’s estate. Supposedly can’t be changed without variances,
Remember Nelson Hill, which was supposed to be townhouses of a minimum size with staggered setbacks, etc., and ended up much smaller houses with no such setbacks, because the County Manager gave it variances with no public hearings. And where is the conservation ordinance the County Planner referred to?
Clayton Milligan of Lovell Engineering spoke in favor, saying Health Department would do usual permitting after rezoning, yes, they had taken soil samples (but who verified them?), they’d comply with state requirements about septic tanks, and ULDC requires detention ponds to prevent runoff. He didn’t say whether these detention ponds would take into account flood levels consistent with the 700-year floods of 2009 and a few years later.
After some discussion among Commissioners and staff, most of it not about water and safety issues, the County Commission passed this rezoning unanimously.
- 6.a. Beer License -Big Foot #908 – 1255 Lakes Blvd.
- 6.b. Beer, Wine and Liquor – Rocky Ford Liquor – 2418B Rocky Ford Rd
- 6.c. County Purchasing Card and Credit Card Ordinance
6.d. Proposal from Lovell Engineering for Stafford Wright Road Paving
Video. Requested for many years, finally approved unanimously.
6.e. 2016 Public Defender Contract Renewal
Video. Unanimously approved.
7. Reports – County Manager
Video. No additional report from yesterday. See the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session for two unscheduled items.
8. CWTBH – John S. Quarterman
Video. I invited them to a WWALS workshop at VSU for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. And to a pipeline movie showing in Live Oak, Florida, which you can now see online. See also my followup letter to them today, inviting them to more events. See also Jason Stewart, VDT, 11 February 2016, Watershed Coalition to show video opposing pipelines.
- 8. CWTBH – Jim Parker
- 8. CWTBH – Michael Noll
- 8. CTWBH – Gretchen Quarterman
- 8. CWTBH – Dr. Mario Bartoletti
- 9. Adjournment
Here’s a video playlist:
Videos: Rivers and Pipeline, Rehab homes, LAMP Lease, Rezonings, Alcohol, public defender, paving Stafford Wright Road
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 9 February 2016.