Yes, it was food trucks Hahira wants to change in its Zoning Ordinance, and that was the long item, at 42 minutes in Monday’s Planning Commission meeting. Neighbors Barry Robinson and Gretchen Quarterman spoke about it at the Planning Commission, as did the food truck owner, and I bet on all of them being at the Hahira City Council tonight, especially given that the Planning Commission recommendation was not favorable.
The Planning Commission spent less than 18 minutes on the two rezonings for a senior living residential housing complex in Valdosta. The request for a Planned Development on Gornto Road took about as long.
Below are links to each LAKE video, with many notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda.
- 1. Call to Order, Invocation, and Pledge
- 2. Approval of the Meeting Minutes: March 26, 2018
3. VA-2018-06-07 Integrity Development Partners LLP (Rezoning)
Video. This senior living facility, the subject of this and the next rezoning would have access on Ashley Street, Emory Street, and University Drive, based around the site of China Garden. Rezoning and Planned Development discussion was held together but votes are recorded separately.
They discussed that the site could only be used for this subject without further rezoning. Sounded like Jody Hall moved to approve VA-2018-06, seconded by Commissioner Wildes, and it passed 7:0.
4. VA-2018-07 Integrity Development Partners LLP (Planned Development)
Video. The motion by Commissioner Rountree passed 7:0.
5. VA-2018-08 Proficient Pool & Landscape 1420 Gornto Rd
Video. A motion by somebody and a second by Commissioner Gladwin to approve with staff-recommended conditions passed 7:0.
6. HA-2018-01 City of Hahira – text amendment
Video. Planner Matt Martin said this amendment is “the culmination of several months of discussion with the Hahira City Council and attorney”. Hahira City Manager Jonathan Sumner is sitting lower left with Hahira Mayor Bruce Cain a row in front of him, as the video starts. Commissioner Celine Gladwin wanted clarification of the language about “a temporary retail use truck” being required to be put away for a certain number of days after beind used for a certain number of days, and how food trucks differ. Martin said the text is modeled after Valdosta’s text, and for food trucks it’s 7 consecutive days with with 30 days off. Festivals are exempt, and these restrictions only apply for use on private property, so not ice cream trucks driving around. That discussion expanded to Commissioner Rountree (“this is a gateway to something else”) and went on for 21 minutes.
Barry Robinson spoke; he’s against food trucks because he said he’s not a representative, yet he is “representative of the restaurant owners”.
Gretchen Quarterman said she thought the ordinance was heading up the wrong road, since the food trucks come on certain day, maybe different kinds of food trucks on different days of the week. So maybe buy a license for the whole year, up to a maximum of n days a week, parking by whoever says you can. She pointed out Hahira is changing, with the I-75 exit work and soon there would be a bigger hotel, so better to make it welcoming. She wondered what is this about food tents, since she sells vegetables, and why do they want to put vegetable sellers out of business? “I’m against this whole seven days thing.”
Gary Bivins(sp) of Adel said he didn’t think coming seven days a week was a smart business plan for food trucks, and he feared that this ordinance might spread. He said much of the worry about food trucks was mostly speculation, and he had only heard of actual opposition from the Main Street Deli, which did not own the nearby park. He said he had come to agreement with the Deli to only come there on days the Deli is closed. He said he the food truck owner had been friendly and nice and there was no need for this ordinance. Commissioner Gladwin wanted to know where he went. Answer: Nashville, Adel, and Hahira, and they all started wondering what was going on. He said he didn’t think cities should be deciding which businesses should be coming to town. Commissioner Rountree asked what sort of oversight did he have as a food truck operator. He said there were many hurdles to jump, just like any other restaurant owner, and they put money back into the community through business license and rent to Fiveash. The cost to get set up is in six figures.
Commissioner Jody Hall said he appreciated what the food truck owner said, but on the other hand, “we have to do something that will help Hahira.” He thought having to reapply for a license after 30 days was very restrictive, even if more food trucks showed up. He pointed out even if Mr. Fiveash’s children wanted to put up a food stand in the nearby park, they couldn’t.
Commissioner Rountree made a motion to deny. Somebody seconded, with a comment that Hahira should restructure their amendment and come back. Motion passed 7:0.
- Meeting Adjournment
Here’s a LAKE video playlist:
Videos: Senior living, pool, Hahira food trucks
Regular Session, Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 30 April 2018.
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