Author Archives: John S. Quarterman

Videos: Race Track Road SE abandonment and TXT-2024-01 ULDC Amendments @ LCC Work 2024-04-08

The Lowndes County Commissioners had no questions about the two items in their Work Session Monday morning.

In the meeting, the only thing unusual was the County Manager gave her report, because she was going to be absent the next day.

[LAKE Videos: Racetrack Road SE Abandonment and ULDC Text Amendments @ LCC Work 2024-04-08]
LAKE Videos: Racetrack Road SE Abandonment and ULDC Text Amendments @ LCC Work 2024-04-08

The interesting parts were outside the meeting:

  • Before the meeting, I asked Information Technology Services (ITS) Director Aaron Kostyu if the sound box in the video pen at the back of the room would be fixed soon. He said that was a $1700 item, but they were working on it. I asked loudly enough that all of the Commissioners could hear me, including when I noted that it’s hard to hear Commissioners on our videos without the direct audio feed. He said some of them probably would still be inaudible.
  • I went up to where Commissioner Joyce Evans was sitting and indicated that if Commissioners push their microphones away, they’re hard to hear. She said I was pointing at Commissioner Scottie Orenstein’s microphone. We shall see.
  • I had a video camera fail, so I took these videos with my phone, starting after they did, so the call to order and approval of minutes agenda items are not in these videos. Also, my phone does not stop and start videos quickly, so there may be a second or two missing between clips.
  • After the meeting was adjourned, Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker said he was disappointed to get dressed to come there for such a brief meeting. I feel his pain. It’s an hour round trip for me, this time for a five minute meeting.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

See also the agenda and the board packet. Continue reading

Packet: Race Track Road SE abandonment and TXT-2024-01 ULDC Amendments @ LCC 2024-04-08

Update 2024-04-10: Videos: Racetrack Road SE Abandonment and ULDC Text Amendments @ LCC Work 2024-04-08.

This is the briefest Lowndes County Commission agenda I’ve seen in a while, with only two items: Abandonment of a Portion of Race Track Road SE (for Southern Gateway LLC) and TXT-2024-01 ULDC Amendments, both Public Hearings.

[Race Track Road SE abandonment and TXT-2024-01 ULDC Amendments @ LCC 2024-04-08]
Race Track Road SE abandonment and TXT-2024-01 ULDC Amendments @ LCC 2024-04-08

This is the last Public Hearing for the ULDC Amendments, after the one last month at the Planning Commission. So if you have any input, better show up Tuesday, or contact Commissioners or Planning/Zoning department head JD Dillard beforehand, preferably in writing.

The bit that may affect the most people is 10.00.07 Board of Commissioner Public Hearing Procedures. Continue reading

Videos: Solid Waste Franchises, Roads, Water Main, Hospital Revenue @ LCC Work 2024-03-25

Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk made a rare appearance to answer questions about the Speed Zone Ordinance, at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session yesterday morning.

The longest item was 7.d. Georgia County Internship Program Grant for Summer 2024 Grant Period at three and a half minutes. Commissioner Joyce Evans had some questions, which were mostly inaudible.

Second longest was 4. Georgia 811 Safe Digging Month Proclamation, at more than two minutes.

County Manager Paige Dukes mentioned that people were getting frusted with Deep South Sanitation Advanced Disposal Services (ADS) customer service since it was moved upstairs to Waste Management. However, she had no suggestions for changes this year to the 7.f. Advanced Disposal Services Residential Solid Waste Franchise Renewal.

Instead of her Reports, the County Manager requested an executive session to discuss real estate transactions, and they moved into that session.

The Lowndes County Commissioners vote tonight at 5:30 PM.

[Collage @ LCC 25 March 2024]
Collage @ LCC 25 March 2024

Gretchen remarks about 7.b. Purchase of Property on Harbin Circle from Second Harvest, Continue reading

Packet: Solid Waste Franchises, Roads, Water Main, Hospital Revenue @ LCC 2024-03-25

The two solid waste collection company franchise agreements are up for annual renewal, at the Lowndes County Commission. This time there are no changes except for dates.

Engineering is publishing a revised Speed Zone Ordinance, incorporating streets in Valdosta and Remerton.

[Packet: Solid Waste Franchises, Roads, Water Main, Hospital Revenue @ LCC 2024-03-25]
Packet: Solid Waste Franchises, Roads, Water Main, Hospital Revenue @ LCC 2024-03-25

Lowndes County Utilties is apparently getting a better price for running a sewer line on Holly Lane by doing it the same time as the Golden Oaks Subdivision installation.

That and other items run up almost a million and a half dollars this session.

Cost What
$1,082,688.00Bid for Quantity of 25 – 1/2 Ton Trucks for Various County Departments
$161,500.00Purchase of Property on Harbin Circle from Second Harvest; Short-term
$76,200.00Bid for Quantity of 60 SCBA Cylinders for the Fire Department
$63,176.00Coleman Road NW Right of Way Purchases
$42,652.50Golden Oaks Subdivision Force Main Change Order
$140.00Hospital Authority Revenue Certificates (TEFRA)
$0.00Deep South Sanitation, LLC, Residential Solid Waste Franchise Renewal, April 1, 2024
$0.00Hospital Authority Revenue Certificates
$0.00Advanced Disposal Services Residential Solid Waste Franchise Renewal, April 1, 2024
$1,426,356.50Total

Here is the agenda.

The board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2024, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, MARCH 26, 2024, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Packet: ULDC text amendments, Hahira Personal Service Shops, Valdosta PSS and rezonings @ GLPC 2024-03-25

The ULDC text amendments get on the agenda this time, at the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission, 5:30 PM, Monday, March 25, 2024. They were heard last month unscheduled in a Lowndes County Commission Work Session,

Hahira has a Special Exception and Valdosta has a CUP and two small rezonings.

[Packet: ULDC text amendments, Hahira Personal Service Shops, Valdosta PSS and rezonings @ GLPC 2024-03-25]
Packet: ULDC text amendments, Hahira Personal Service Shops, Valdosta PSS and rezonings @ GLPC 2024-03-25

Here is the agenda.

The board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website.

Greater Lowndes Planning Commission
~ Lowndes County ~ City of Valdosta ~ City of Dasher ~
~ City of Hahira ~ City of Lake Park ~ City of Remerton ~

Monday, March 18, 2024 5:30 P.M. Work Session
Monday, March 25, 2024 5:30 P.M. Regular Session
Lowndes County South Health District Administrative Office
325 West Savannah Avenue, Valdosta, Georgia

  1. Call to Order, Pledge and Invocation
  2. Approval of the Meeting Minutes: February 26, 2024

    Lowndes County Case:

    FINAL ACTION by the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners, 327 N. Ashley Street,
    Valdosta, Georgia, Lowndes County Judicial and Administrative Complex Commission
    Chambers, 24 Floor, Tuesday, April 9′, 2024, 5:30 pm
    Point of Contact: JD Dillard, County Planner, (229) 671-2430

  3. TXT-2024-01 Lowndes County Board of Commissioners, ULDC Amendments, County-wide

    City of Hahira Case:

    FINAL ACTION by the City of Hahira Mayor-Council, 301 W. Main St., Hahira, Georgia
    Hahira Courthouse, Thursday, April 4th, 2024, 6:00 p.m.
    Point of Contact: Matt Martin – Planning Director (229) 259-3529

  4. HA-2024-04 David Deloach (505 South Church Street) Special Exception for multiple Personal Service Shops in conditional R-P(c) zoning

    City of Valdosta Cases:

    FINAL ACTION by the City of Valdosta Mayor-Council, 216 E. Central Avenue,
    Valdosta, Georgia, Valdosta City Hall, Council Chambers, 2nd Floor
    Thursday, April 11th, 2024, 5:30 p.m.
    Point of Contact: Matt Martin – Planning Director (229) 259-3529

  5. CU-2024-03 Scott Shalek (2704-B2 North Oak Street) CUP for a Personal Service Shop in R-P zoning
  6. VA-2024-05 Thomas Rowell (4507 Inner Perimeter Road) Rezone a total of 1.64 acres from R-P and R-10, to C-H zoning
  7. VA-2024-06 Park-Hawthorne LLC (North Forrest Street Extension) Rezone 6.34 acres from R-6(c) to R-M

OTHER BUSINESS

ADJOURNMENT

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New and old site plans for REZ-2024-03 Southern Gardens, 4609 Bemiss Road @ LCC 2024-03-11

In addition to the support letter from Crown Real Estate Development, the Bemiss Road rezoning has a revised conceptual site plan.

According to county staff, the applicant for REZ-2024-03 Southern Gardens listened to suggestions by county staff and objections from neighbors and changed their plan to add more parking and to move the community building to the back.

[New and old Conceptual Site Plans for Southern Gardens, 4609 Bemiss Road]
New and old Conceptual Site Plans for Southern Gardens, 4609 Bemiss Road

The Lowndes County Commission will vote on this and other rezonings tonight at 5:30 PM.

Here is the agenda sheet for that item. For information on the rest of the agenda, see Packet: Petition against Gresham Event Venue and letter supporting Southern Gardens @ LCC 2024-03-11.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COMMISSION AGENDA ITEM

SUBJECT: REZ-2024-03 Southern Gardens, 4609 Bemiss Rd. 5ac, C-G to P-D,
County Utilities

DATE OF MEETING: March 12, 2024 Work Session/Regular Session
BUDGET IMPACT: N/A

FUNDING SOURCE: N/A

COUNTY ACTION REQUESTED ON: REZ-2024-03 Southern Gardens, 4609 Bemiss Rd. Sac, C-G to P-D, County Utilities


HISTORY, FACTS AND ISSUES: This request represents a change in zoning on the subject property from C-G (General Commercial) zoning to P-D (Planned Development) zoning, in order to develop a 60-unit apartment complex with amenities. The subject property possesses road frontage on Bemiss Road, a state-owned Arterial Road, and is within the Corridor Overlay, Urban Service Area and Neighborhood Activity Center Character Area. Per Comprehensive Plan guidance, Neighborhood Activity Centers “should include a mix of retail, services, and offices to serve residents’ day-to-day needs. Residential development should reinforce the center by locating higher density housing options adjacent to the center, targeted at a broad range of income levels, including multi-family town homes, apartments, and condominiums.”

The neighboring properties along the east, northeast and northwest are zoned P-D, and are comprised of single family, two-family, and multifamily dwellings, with a portion fronting Bemiss Road zoned C-H. The properties to the west and south are vacant commercially zoned parcels, with development potential for high- density residential, office, commercial, or a combination of the three under a planned development approach.

The TRC analyzed the request, the standards governing the exercise of zoning power set forth in 10.01.05 of the ULDC, and factors most relevant to this application, noting the difference in parking proposed by the applicant of one and a half spaces, and the two spaces per dwelling unit of ULDC Table 6.01.03(A), which is allowed per 4.06.02(B). Staff offered alternative design considerations for the site’s layout, aimed at providing greater separation and privacy to the existing 1-story dwellings abutting the property, including relocation of buildings and reductions in height. Staff found the request consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and surrounding land use pattern, and therefore recommended approval

At the GLPC meeting, the applicant spoke in favor, citing their 30 years of experience in developing similar projects in Lowndes County and other parts of the State, and stating that the reduction in parking is based on their experience and target markets, often being single vehicle family units. The opposition raised concerns about decreased property values and the adequacy of the buffering and setbacks on their privacy from the three-story buildings, in addition to a desire for the subject property to remain commercially zoned. The GLPC had a few followup questions for the applicant, before ultimately voting (5-1) to recommend Approval of the request as presented.

The applicants took note of the opposition’s comments, and have revised the layout, relocating the 1-story community building along the western property line adjacent to the Glen Laurel subdivision, and increased the onsite parking to 2 spaces per unit per 6.01.03(A). The TRC reviewed the updated site plan and again found no technical objections.

Patriot’s Place Apartments —112 units, 2 and 3-story buildings

Patriot’s Place Duplexes—32 units

Hamilton Green Townhomes—80 units

Glen Laurel Subdivision—105 single family homes

OPTIONS: 1) Approve
2) Approve with Conditions
3) Table
4) Deny

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Board’s Pleasure

DEPARTMENT: Planning/Zoning DEPARTMENT HEAD: JD Dillard

ADMINISTRATIVE COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:

Below are images of the board materials for this agenda item.

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Investigative reporting costs money, for open records requests, copying, web hosting, gasoline, and cameras, and with sufficient funds we can pay students to do further research. You can donate to LAKE today!
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REZ-2024-03 Southern Gardens, 4609 Bemiss Rd. 5ac, C-G to P-D, County Utilities

[BUDGET IMPACT: N/A to develop a 60-unit apartment complex with amenities.]
BUDGET IMPACT: N/A to develop a 60-unit apartment complex with amenities.
PDF

Crown Real Estate Development Support Letter for Southern Gardens REZ-2024-03

[Total Number of Units: 60 units]
Total Number of Units: 60 units
PDF

-jsq

Investigative reporting costs money, for open records requests, copying, web hosting, gasoline, and cameras, and with sufficient funds we can pay students to do further research. You can donate to LAKE today!
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Videos: Gresham Event Venue passed 3:2, surprise Hospital Authority bond agreement @ LCC Regular 2024-03-12

Commissioners Joyce Evans and Demarcus Marshall voted against 5.a. REZ-2024-01 Gresham Event Venue, 8415 Old Valdosta Road. Commissioner Clay Griner moved to approve with four conditions, Commissioner Scottie Orenstein seconded, and they and Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker voted for. Most of the audience left, clearly not happy.

The Lowndes County Commission at its Regular Session approved everything else unanimously. At an hour and fourteen minutes, this was among its longest meetings.

[Collage @ LCC 12 March 2024]
Collage @ LCC 12 March 2024

Approvals included the last-minute addition, 6.f. Intergovernmental agreement with the Hospital Authority. The hospital wants to fund expansion, in the usual way by floating bonds guaranteed by the county.

One citizen wished to be heard. Continue reading

Videos: Gresham Event Venue and four other rezonings @ LCC Work 2024-03-11

Update 2024-03-16: Videos: Gresham Event Venue passed 3:2, surprise Hospital Authority bond agreement @ LCC Regular 2024-03-12.

The Lowndes County Commissioners talked a bit about REZ-2024-01 Gresham Event Venue in their Monday morning Work Session, as you can see in these LAKE videos.

Some of the other rezonings got some discussion. Nobody asked any questions about any of the For Consideration items.

They voted Tuesday evening; LAKE videos to come for that.

[Collage @ LCC 11 March 2024]
Collage @ LCC 11 March 2024

Commissioner Scottie Orenstein asked what the opposition was about. County Planner JD Dillard said “there have been a few emails”. There was a concern about traffic, but the fire marshall and county engineer felt there was adequate access to the property to support emergency vehicles. Noise has been the main concern heard.

Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker asked if the barn building existed. Answer: not yet. Might hold a larger gathering space. Could potentially house a band and keep the noise inside.

Commissioner Joyce Evans distinguished inside and outside noise. The County Planner said apparently they were trying to determine how the noise ordinance was enforced or measured. Probably it would be at the property line. The County Planner deferred to Code Enforcement or Legal, who did not comment. Chairman Bill Slaughter said there was a time the noise was supposed to go down and it was not supposed to be heard beyond the property line. He indicated they would have to set and measure noise standards. Also, before the cool-down hour

Commissioner Scottie Orenstein indicated he thought the main issue was not whether the venue needed, or would be successful, or what their finances were. He said he was trying to figure out whether the Planning Commission recommendation was based on issues such as ingress and egress and noise.

About REZ-2024-04 Clyattstone Road Subdivision, Chairman Bill Slaughter raised the issue of covenants.

Below are LAKE videos of each agenda item, with a few comments by Gretchen Quarterman, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

See also Continue reading

Packet: Petition against Gresham Event Venue and letter supporting Southern Gardens @ LCC 2024-03-11

Update 2024-03-14: Videos: Gresham Event Venue and four other rezonings @ LCC Work 2024-03-11.

Here is the board packet for voting at 5:30 PM today by the Lowndes County Commission.

All were heard at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session yesterday morning.

[Collage @ LCC Packet 2024-03-11]
Collage @ LCC Packet 2024-03-11

As I predicted, the rezoning materials are similar to those from previous meetings.

But there is a fourteen-page Petition against Old Valdosta Road Wedding Venue, which is case REZ-2024-01 Gresham Event Venue.

Crown Real Estate Development has provided a Support Letter for Southern Gardens REZ-2024-03.

Ferrell Scruggs and Stephen Cooper have provided lot size requirements for REZ-2024-04 Clyattstone Rd Subdivision.

The quit claim and road abandonment items have maps showing where they are.

The materials for the Hall Road and Orr Road Extension items do not name Hall Road or Orr Road, so I don’t understand how they are related.

See also Continue reading

Videos: Spring Creek Well, force main, and elevator with For Consideration and Bids from previous cancelled session @ LCC Regular 2024-02-27

In these LAKE videos of the February 27, 2024, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, you can see they spent three minutes discussing the 6.e. Spring Creek Well Pilot Study. Everything else they breezed through.

They vote again this evening at 5:30 PM on three rezonings and other items.

[Collage @ LCC 27 February 2024]
Collage @ LCC 27 February 2024

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes by Gretchen Quarterman, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

See also: Continue reading