Category Archives: Education

Education, Religion, Commerce @ GLPC 2018-11-26

Scintilla Charter Academy wants to expand, as does New Harvest United Methodist Church, plus a family subdividing and another going commercial, all in Valdosta.

Parcel 0072 198, Map
Lowndes County Tax Assessors, Parcel 0072 198, 3911 N Hwy 41.

In Lowndes County, West Hill Properties wants an acre zoned commercial between Old US 41 N and Stewart Circle. Gretchen will be at the Planning Commission tonight with the LAKE video camera.

Here’s the agenda.

Greater Lowndes Planning Commission
Lowndes County City of Valdosta City of Dasher City of Hahira City of Lake Park
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
AGENDA

Monday, November 26, 2018 * 5:30 P.M. * Public Hearing
Lowndes County South Health District Administrative Office
325 West Savannah Avenue

Continue reading

Neighbors oppose Val Del rezoning @ LCC 2018-10-09

If not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, nor with the water and sewer growth plan, fire and rescue doesn’t want it, and the Planning Commission recommended rejecting it, what does it take for the Lowndes County Commission to reject a zoning, in this case for REZ-2018-17 for The Settlement North, 5999 Val Del Road?

Five hands go up, REZ-2018-17

Only three people were allowed to speak against, of the five whose hands went up.

The developer promised restrictive covenants enforced by nobody but the homeowners. County-imposed conditions on the Nelson Hill development, also on Val Del, were largely waived by county staff without public hearings. What promises should we believe?

Will the developer’s demand to ignore the Comprehensive Plan because of “market conditions, supply and demand” prevail? Do property values of neighbors not matter? How about saddling the county school system with houses priced too low for property taxes on them to cover expenses of sending school buses? Or is profit for a few all that matters?

See the Continue reading

Lowndes County rolled back millage @ LCC 2018-08-17

As Lowndes County Finance Director Stephanie Black always reminds everybody, of the total 8.814 county millage, 1 mil goes to the Development Authority, and 1.25 mils to Valdosta-Lowndes Parks and Recreational Authority. Here is a table from the PDF of her presentation slides.

Property Tax Example
City of Valdosta ResidentUnincorporated Resident
Property Value$200,000$200,000
Assessed Value (40%)$80,000$80,000
Homestead Exemption$(6,000)$(6,000)
Net Taxable Base$74,000$74,000
Tax Calculation:
Lowndes County — 8.814 PY 8.974$652$652
Development Authority — 1.00$74$74
Parks
& Recreation Authority — 1.25$93$93
Lowndes County Schools — 16.541 PY 16.839$1,224
City of Valdosta — 8.001 PY 8.001$592
Valdosta City Schools — 16.980 PY 16.980$1,257
Total Estimated Taxes$2,668$2,043

Since she made that table, Valdosta actually lowered its millage to 7.916, which in the above example would mean $50.32 less per year, for an example of how little difference these minor millage rollbacks or increases actually mean to taxpayers. The Valdosta Board of Education wants to increase its tax rate (but not its millage).

Last year the Lowndes County Commission voted on the millage during a Regular Session, Tuesday, August 22, 2017.

This year Continue reading

Where you at, onevaldostalowndes.com?

Well, they spelled that wrong, as “Where are we now?” Maybe for the video narrator from California who showed a picture of lily pads when he said “River”.

Rivers, Video

Vision, Website But to be fair, this website and the video from the Development Authority organized by VisionFirst whom Lowndes County paid $25,000, presumably matching Valdosta, also adopted by SGRC, does work hard to show a positive vision of the local area. Oops, I forgot the hospital and the Chamber, and, most importantly, Georgia Power, listed in the FAQ:

Who is the leading the effort? Continue reading

Videos: Day 2, Planning, Lowndes County Commission @ LCC 2018-02-20

These videos are for those of you who have jobs, or responsibilities, which prevent you from taking random days or hours off at a time. Commissioner Marshall was absent from the second day of the retreat because he has a job which does not allow him the flexibility of daytime hours off. (The first day of the retreat was on Presidents Day.)

The topics of discussion ranged from the ever popular litter and trash collection, to special tax districts, fire and emergency response, animal control and the animal shelter, and one of my favorites, electronic records. Most presentations were made either by the county manager or clerk but the current Deep South Solid Waste Authority Chairman Kevin Beals was first up to talk trash.

Below are links to each LAKE video of Day 2, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of Day 1 and Continue reading

Model Solar Ordinance Public Workshop, Tifton, GA 2018-03-12

A few years ago, a doctor in Valdosta applied for a variance for solar panels over his parking lot. The Zoning Board of Approvals (ZBOA) tabled it, because Valdosta’s Land Development Regulations (LDR) did not permit that. I think he then made the panels connected to his building, which put them a different and already-permitted category.

What if Valdosta and other local governments updated their codes to enable parking lot and other solar power?

When:

4-6PM Monday, March 12, 2018

Where: National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Library (NESPAL)
2356 Rainwater Road, Tifton, GA 31793

Event: eventbrite

What: “The Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, and University of Georgia have come together to develop a model solar zoning ordinance to provide county and city officials and other decision-makers in Georgia access to best practices and a common baseline from which to work. We will produce a comprehensive document that addresses multiple scales and types of solar energy systems that counties and cities can adopt and adapt to their needs.”

Georgia 2017-01, Maps

More about the event: Continue reading

Solar Valdosta Schools 2018-02-13

Yesterday the Valdosta Board of Education voted for the sun.

No byline, WCTV, 14 Feb 2018, Valdosta City Schools votes to lease land to solar company,

The school system will begin leasing some of its extra property to the solar energy company Radiance Solar.

Solar Site Map by Radiance Solar, Maps

Radiance Solar will reportedly pay Continue reading

Update: Chemical smell, schools, and industry on Clay Road

Maybe ask the company that adopted Clay Road? Response yesterday from the EMA Lowndes facebook page:

Hi, as a point of clarification emergency personnel responded to reports of an odor; however, after thorough investigation no evidence of a chemical leak or release could be identified or confirmed. As a precaution, the Board of Education property was accessed by responders. No evidence of contamination was present. A follow up visit to the area later this morning reports the odor was no longer present.

Thank you, EMA Lowndes, for responding, and on a weekend, too.

However, people couldn’t get home that night.

ADM Adopt-A-Street, From Howell Road
Adopt-A-Street ADM, Clay Road north from Howell Road google street view.

I still think it would be good to check with nearby industry. Maybe start with Continue reading

Chemical leak next to Lowndes County Schools Transportation Department

Update 2017-11-05: Word from EMA Lowndes, and how about ask the company that adopted Clay Road?

Already heard about last night on facebook, a chemical leak on Clay Rosd at Howell Road is next to the Lowndes County Schools Transportation Department. Were all those school buses affected?

Google Street View, SE Corner Clay and Howell Roads
Photo: Google street view.

Valdosta Daily Times, 3 November 2017, Chemical leak reported off Clay Road,

VALDOSTA — Lowndes County officials said late Friday a possible chemical leak located in the vicinity of Clay Road resulted in temporary road closures.

Sheriff Ashley Paulk said Continue reading

SGRC Regional Plan Update Workshop in Valdosta 2017-09-21

Received yesterday:

Good Morning,

A quick reminder for our 1st Regional Plan Update Workshop on:

September 21st, 2017 9:30a to 12:30p

Valdosta SGRC Offices at 327 W. Savannah Ave

The first workshop will cover the following topics:

Regional Bicycle Corridors
Regional Bicycle Corridors

  1. Review the existing issues and opportunities within the Region and determine whether Continue reading