Videos: Comprehensive Plan Update Public Hearing 2 @ LCC 2021-10-26

Only one citizen showed up to speak: David Houtz, who asked Commissioners not to change the Character Area Maps, and said he had not seen the latest plan. SGRC’s Elizabeth Backe handed him a copy; she also presented a summary of the process at the beginning of the meeting, and clarified process later.

[Citizen David Houtz, Elizabeth Backe of SGRC, Houtz receives plan, Sparse audience, City Planner Matt Martin, Commissioners Orenstein and Marshall, Commissioners and VDT reporter]
Citizen David Houtz, Elizabeth Backe of SGRC, Houtz receives plan, Sparse audience, City Planner Matt Martin, Commissioners Orenstein and Marshall, Commissioners and VDT reporter

You can see in this LAKE video a discussion between Valdosta and Hahira City Planner Matt Martin and Lowndes County Commissioner Scottie Orenstein about changes to the Hahira Character Area map is not recorded in the minutes, as well as the rest of the 17-minute meeting.

Commissioners discussed the Comprehensive Plan Update again this morning in their Work Session, and they will approve it tomorrow afternoon at 5:30 PM in their Regular Session.

[Commissioner Scottie Orenstein]
Commissioner Scottie Orenstein

In this Update meeting, Chairman Bill Slaughter said, regarding how they came to the decision not to change the character area maps, “We had some one-on-one discussions, and we decided….”

In case you wondered how the Lowndes County Commissioners actually make decisions given that their public meetings are so brief, there’s one way.

Here’s a LAKE video playlist of this Public Hearing 2. See also the Character Area Maps for this meeting and the LAKE videos of the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session before that, and the quite lengthy first Comprehensive Plan Public Hearing.

Videos: Comprehensive Plan Update Public Hearing 2 @ LCC 2021-10-26
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).



Public Hearing on the Comprehensive Plan Update
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 – 5:30 PM


Chairman Bill Slaughter
Commissioner Scott Orenstein
Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker
Commissioner Demarcus Marshall
Commissioner Clay Griner

Vice Chairman Joyce Evans was not in attendance.

Chairman Slaughter called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.



[Elizabeth Backe SGRC]
Elizabeth Backe SGRC

Transmittal of the 2021 Comprehensive Plan Update, Southern Georgia Regional Commission Planning Director, Elizabeth Backe, stated that this is the second public hearing for the transmittal of the 2021 Comprehensive Plan Update for Lowndes County and the Cities and this completes the required public hearings for this process. This is to notify the public that the draft is ready and available to review and will be transmitted to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for their review. Once the draft is final, it will be up to cities and county to adopt the plan that would complete the process for another five years. The components that make up this plan include the seven required elements for Lowndes County, goals/vision, needs and opportunities, policies, the community work program, transportation, broadband and it includes an update of the land use element. There is an opportunity for the public to comment regarding the Comprehensive Plan Update tonight and this update will be shared with neighboring jurisdictions and state agencies as well.

[Sparse Audience]
Sparse Audience

Chairman Slaughter thanked Ms. Backe for her efforts and leadership during this process.

[Citizen David Houtz]
Citizen David Houtz

David Houtz, 5767 Thompson Road, addressed the commission asking that the Comprehensive Plan remain the same with no changes. Mr. Houtz mentioned he has not seen the plan yet and Ms. Backe gave Mr. Houtz a copy for his review.

[Houtz receives plan with map]
Houtz receives plan with map

[City Planner Matt Martin]
City Planner Matt Martin

City of Valdosta and City of Hahira, Planning and Zoning Administrator, Matt Martin, stated regarding a portion of the future development map as it affects the Hahira city limits area. There are mapping issues to be addressed and some recommended changes earlier in the process did not get entered, as well as the current city limits line. Mr. Martin stated there is also one line item for the community work program for the City of Valdosta.

[Commissioner Demarcus Marshall]
Commissioner Demarcus Marshall

Commissioner Marshall asked to verify that the character areas are not changing from the 2016 map.

[Chairman Bill Slaughter]
Chairman Bill Slaughter

Ms. Backe stated there would be no changes to the map regarding the unincorporated areas. Ms. Backe stated there will be no changes to Val Del Road or the Bethany area. Chairman Slaughter stated the Comprehensive Plan is a guide, including character areas, we still have a responsibility for the best fit in any area. It’s a guide for staff to give citizens guidance and recommendations.

[Commissioners and VDT reporter]
Commissioners and VDT reporter

Commissioner Wisenbaker made a motion to approve the transmittal of the 2021 Comprehensive Plan Update, Commissioner Marshall second. All voted in favor, no one opposed. Motion carried.


Commissioner Griner made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Commissioner Marshall second.

Chairman Slaughter adjourned the work session at 5:48 p.m.


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