The county held a ceremony for departing Lowndes County Planner Jason Davenport. I asked the person sitting in his former seat, Engineering/Planning Technician Molly Stevenson, if she was confirmed yet. She would only say it was confirmed that she was sitting there right then.
Citizens Bob Harlan and Fred E. Blanton Jr complained about road conditions. I thanked Utilities Director Steve Stalvey for sending information about recent Lowndes County sewage spills (two in July), and I thanked him advance for sending the NPDES-permit-required followup testing (not yet received).
On the REZ-2018-16 Stovall rezoning, the applicant revealed the reason for the previous restriction when it was rezoned back in 2015. The REZ-2018-15 reconfigururation for two parcels passed with no comments nor questions.
Below are links to each LAKE video for each item, with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See previous post for the agenda and some background, especially on REZ-2015-16. See also the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session for a new HR hire and the Naylor Boat and other engineering items remaining to be done in SPLOST VII.
4. Presentation to Jason Davenport
Video. County Chairman Bill Slaughter said Jason Davenport was the sort of person who could tell somebody no, and they would walk away satisfied, because he would thoroughly explain why the county couldn’t do that. His parents were also present.
5. 911 CALEA Re-Accreditation Presentation
Video. 911 Director Danny Weeks and staff accepted the presentation. This was that group’s sixth CALEA accreditation.
6. Minutes for Approval
Video. All approved with no changes as always.
7a. REZ-2018-15 Misti Ray, 4810 Carter Ln., EA to R1
Video. Molly Stevenson presented. The property does not meet the acreage requirement for EA, and the landowner wants to split off a parcel for a second home. There is a precedent for R-1 zoning in the area, including a parcel to the north. The Planning Commission recommended for this rezoning, with nobody speaking for or against. Staff also recommends approval. Nobody spoke against, nor for. Unanimously approved as presented.
7b. REZ-2018-16 Stovall, 6002 N. Oak St. Ext., C-G/Conditional
Video. Molly Stevenson presented. There are two conditions: landscape buffering (see ZBOA meeting of earlier that same day) and no personal care homes, which is what application was requesting the County Commission to remove. TRC and Planning Commission both recommended approval, and staff also so recommends removing the no personal care homes condition.
Chairman Bill Slaughter asked if they would be demolishing the existing structure and building a new structure. A: That is correct.
Nobody spoke against. Matthew Inman of EMC Engineering spoke for. He noted that at “Planning Board of Appeals” (ZBOA) earlier the same day that when this property had previously been rezoned (in 2015):
There was a prospective rezoning. There was not a clear dedication of what the use was going to be for. There was discussion that it was going to be for a boys home or some detention type of facility. It was definitely not for an assisted living facility.
Rimrock will be the developer of this property. They’ve done a number of these facilities all around. Their intent is to build these facilities close to where people live. If you’re going to have an assisted living facility, you’re going to have to put a loved one in an assisted living facility, they’re going to want to build it close to where people live, close by where people live and work, on the way home…. They’d like for it to be as convenient as possible. They’d like to put it next to the nice residential, and work next door, in the North Wind complex…. fit in the character of the area….
Commissioner Scottie Orenstein asked him to “share the results of the ZBOA meeting today.”
There was a variance request. In our ordinance we have a 100-foot side and rear setbacks. We can meet the rear setback, But the property as you showed is very long but very narrow. And if you take 100 feet off each side there’s really not much left in the middle of the property. It’s only a couple of acres left in the middle. And to build the type of facility they need, they can’t build it with that 100-foot setback.
We requested a 50-foot setback variance to either side. Which is still quite a bit more… Langdale Place has maybe a 20-foot buffer in the back of it and it’s right next to single-family residential. And other assisted living facilities have much less setback requirements. 25 feet is kind of normal for this type of facility in other areas. But for some reason with the new ordinance we had a 100-foot setback.
That was reduced to fifty foot by the Zoning Board of Appeals this afternoon.
Commissioner Demarcus Marshall:
In regards to detention centers or boy homes or what have you, is this the correct language in a sense, or what would be the proper language to use? Should we put any language in there that would prevent detention centers or anything that might be of concern in that area?
Well, I think at this point just removing that restriction that was put on it earlier is what the actual request is. I really wouldn’t see a need in modifying that actual request when we actually have a plan here that is going to be an assisted living facility.
I just wanted to be clear on it ’cause I know the concern earlier was about a boys home or something like that, detention center.
Commissioner Scottie Orenstein moved to approve the request as presented. Marshall seconded. All voted aye.
- 8 a. Approval of Increase in Approval Limits
9. Traffic Signal Installation at N. Forrest St. Ext. & Knights Academy
Video. Commissioner Demarcus Marshall wanted to know when the traffic signal would be operational.
Answer from County Engineer Mike Fletcher: six months.
- 10. Reports – none
- Chairman’s Comments – recognition of Leadership Lowndes
11. CWTBH – Bob Harlan – Hamm Estates road condition
Video. He said something like this: In the early ’90s it was decided that for the county to maintain the road, the county must own the road. But several individuals wanted the county to purchase easements from them. So the county sent letters back saying the county would no longer maintain the road. The few holdouts had a change of heart and decided to donate easements. But the county has not decided to maintain the road, despite repeated requests over years. 14 families on a 3/4 mile dirt road, with a lot of traffic, and substantially aging population. Locals have been trying to maintain the road with own equipment and finances.
If the county decides to take over that road, the retirees may find to their shock that they can’t afford to live there anymore.
11. CWTBH – 4737 Otter Creek Road – road conditions
Video. Fred E. Blanton Jr of 4737 Otter Creek Road said the county had spent a bunch of money out there and the road was “in worser condition than when y’all started”. He said it’s 1.3 miles long from Old Lake Park Road to Howell Road, and he wants it to be paved.
Like the other citizen, current residents may discover that if the county decides to pave that road, they may find that they can’t afford to live there anymore.
11. CWTBH – John S. Quarterman – WWALS Watershed Coalition
Video. I thanked Utilities Director Steve Stalvey for sending information about recent Lowndes County sewage spills (two in July), and I thanked him advance for sending the NPDES-permit-required followup testing (not yet received). I mentioned this in the context of the water quality monitoring program WWALS is starting, including the testing training Sunday. Also I invited everyone to upcoming WWALS outings, including Saturday from the site of the Naylor Boat Ramp, the WWALS Boomerang in November, the BIG Little River Paddle Race in April 2019, and 300 paddlers on our Withlacoochee River in Paddle Georgia in June 2019. I even offered to personally bring a boat and a paddle for any of them who wanted to paddle on Banks Lake that same evening (no takers). There will be a WWALS blog post about this soon. Here it is.
- 12. Meeting Adjournment
Here’s a LAKE video playlist:
Videos: farewell Jason Davenport, approval limits, CALEA, personal care home
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, September 11, 2018.
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