The good news: Wells Road and Folsom Bridge Landing remain open, after the Commissioners unanimously denied the road closure. Thanks to Commissioner Clay Griner for making the motion, saying that the request met none of the criteria.
The bad news: by a 3:2 vote they approved the subdivision way too far north on Val Del Road, far outside the subdivision character area, despite the Planning Commission, county staff, and three speakers against in the Public Hearing. Griner also made that motion. The audience was not happy, especially at Commissioner Scottie Orenstein for voting for that motion.
The Commissioners also approved without comment the $1 million unnecessary water main as part of the $5 million utilities package.
They approved everything else unanimously.
Below are LAKE videos of each agenda item with some notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda and board packet and the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session.
1. Order 2. Invocation 3. Pledge
The Chairman recognized Leadership Lowndes 2021, and said it was the longest class ever.
4. MInutes for Approval
5.a. REZ-2021-15 Beaver Run Subdivision, Bemiss Knights Academy Rd.
5.b. REZ-2021-16 G W Farms, 5999 Val Del Road,
County Planner JD Dillard reminded everyone that the Planning Commission had recommended denial by 7:2, and county staff also recommended denial. Three speakers against in the Public Hearing asked for denial. Two people spoke for, and the Chairman gave one of them an extra thirty seconds.
Commissioner DeMarcus Marshall wanted an answer from the audience as to whether anyone else had made an offer on the property. The Chairman refused to let them answer. But see below when Commissioner Griner wanted an answer from the audience.
Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker said:
The right thing to do is to follow the Planning Commission’s lead and deny this request. We have spent hours and money on a ULDC document and on the Comprehensive Plan and that’s what we need to do is follow that lead.
Chairman Bill Slaughter asked, “So are you putting that in the form of a motion?”
Commissioner Wisenbaker replied, “I make that motion.”
The Chairman said, “So we have a motion to deny. Do we have a second? Motion dies for lack of a second. I’ll entertain a motion.”
Commissioner Clay Griner said, “Mr. Chairman I move we approve the rezoning from R-A to R-1.”
Chairman: “Order! OK, we have a motion to approve from R-A to R-1.”
Griner: “With the condition of 20-foot between the road, Val Del Road, and the first property owners.”
Spokesman (in the audience) for the applicant: “We agree to that.”
Chairman: “OK. Do we have a motion? Do we have a second?”
Commissioner Scottie Orenstein: “Second.”
Chairman: “We have a motion and a second. I call the vote. We’ll go by show of hand. All in favor signify by raising your right hand.”
Commissioners Griner, Orenstein, and Demarcus Marshall raised their hands aye.
Commissioners Joyce Evans and Mark Wisenbaker raised their hands for nay.
Chairman: “3-2. So the motion carries.”
Audience reaction to 5.b. REZ-2021-16 G W Farms, 5999 Val Del Road
5.c. REZ-2021-17 Jeffrey Atkison, 4365 Williams Rd.
5.d. REZ-2021-18 The Villages, Bemiss Rd.
5.e. REZ-2021-19 LCBOC on Behalf of Frank Wetherington Living Trust
5.f. REZ-2021-20 LCBOC for Harold and Gina Warr, 4154 Val Del Road
5.g. REZ-2021-21 LCBOC on Behalf of Val Del Estates, Val Del Road,
6.a. Abandonment of a portion of Salem Church Rd (CR #68) and Wells Road
The letter petition to close the road that was missing from the board packet was received later after another inquiry. It is on the LAKE website now.
Before the meeting started, I handed County Engineering Services Director Chad McLeod a paper copy of the letter I sent them about Wells Road. Unlike the previous morning, at this meeting he mentioned “the Little River boat ramp” and the Mary Turner Lynching Site memorial, and said staff recommendation was that if the road was to be closed it should remain open to the edge of the state highway right of way so those features would be accessible.
Commissioner Clay Griner moved to deny, saying that the request met none of the criteria. All voted in favor, so the road stays open.
6.b. ARP Funding Application for Utilities Repairs and Expansion
7.a. Improvements to the Historic Carnegie Library Museum
8. Reports – County Manager
9. CWTBH Sandra Jones wants no tax for 65 or over
9. CWTBH Gretchen Quarterman thanks: trash pickup & not closing Wells Rd
9. CWTBH John S. Quarterman: land purchase, Jan. 29 paddle, Wells Rd.
Here’s a LAKE video playlist:
Videos: Subdivision way out of bounds approved, and million-dollar water main, but Wells Road stays open
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).
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