Category Archives: LCC 2011-07-12

Agriculture alive and well in Lowndes: even Kay Harris says so

The VDT went out and did some research and discovered that agriculture is not only still here in Lowndes County, it’s one of the biggest industries here, and by some measures it’s increasing. What if the local elected and appointed and self-appointed boards and authorities helped promote agriculture as a local industry?

Kay Harris wrote for the VDT yesterday, South Georgia agriculture alive and well,

Agriculture and forestry remain among the strongest economic engines in South Georgia, including Lowndes County.

A look at the recent farmgate value for 2011 for Lowndes County shows a $70 million effect on the local economy, making it one of the strongest private-sector industries in the county following South Georgia Medical Center.

The popularity of The Times’ bi-monthly sister publication Ag Scene led this newspaper to look at the ag/forestry industry to see if it has diminished in economic importance over the years.

Actually, the number of farms in Lowndes County has slightly increased in recent some recent years.

The VDT proceeded to do som research, asking Jake Price, Lowndes County Extension Agent, who noted there are actually more farms in Lowndes County than in some surrounding counties, because they tended to be smaller here, with quite a few people farming on the side. That and agriculture-based events have become more popular, such as last week’s Hog Show. (And he didn’t mention the new last year Valdosta Farm Days.) He continued:

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Nottinghill on Cat Creek by Mr. Nijem and discussion @ LCC 12 July 2011

Speaking for the Nottinghill rezoning request on Cat Creek Road, Bill Nijem said it was nothing like Glen Laurel. Nothing like repudiating your work of last year….

Commissioner Richard Raines thanked Nijem for sitting down with the neighbors.

As David Rodock wrote in the VDT the next day, Citizens speak against Cat Creek crowding: Disapprove of the proposal to build residential areas

Bill Nijem, representative of the applicant, brought forward information demonstrating his client’s willingness to work with neighbors, in that lot sizes were increased by 20 percent and that the average lot size would range from a minimum of 12,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet. Nijem also reminded commissioners that the applicant was willing to install any necessary buffers or fences to prevent children from playing in the neighboring fields and would have water and sewer installed with his own financial resources.
Carolyn Selby reminds me that Mr. Nijem didn’t say Continue reading

Not clear houses are more important than agriculture —John S. Quarterman @ LCC 12 July 2011

If somebody puts a subdivision next to your field, beware of trash, and the same if you buy a lot in it. For that matter, why do we need more houses?

Some of what I said:

To expand a little bit on that subdivision next to our west field, one of the builders continued to push trash into our field until I had to sue him for trespass in Superior Court to get him to stop.
I meant to say in Magistrate’s Court.
I called code enforcement multiple times and they did nothing to help stop it. Now that there’s a new fire chief perhaps things are better, but anybody who’s got a field nearby might want to watch for that.

Anyone who hopes to buy houses in the subdivision might want to watch to see if there are any dumpsters in there, because the subdivision near us, the trash was buried in the yards; you can ask anyone who owns one of those lots.

As far as needing houses for Moody, there are usually ten houses for sale in that subdivision, and roughtly 10 or 15 more that are for rent. So it’s not clear we actually need more houses.

As far as lot size, this is the same issue as came up last year with Glen Laurel on Old Pine Road. … The room was filled with people for the same reasons that you’re hearing now. At that time the commission decided to say ….

You can see for yourself what happened in May of last year: Continue reading

Sprawl is not fiscally prudent —Gretchen Quarterman @ LCC 12 July 2011

David Rodock wrote in the VDT 13 July 2011, Citizens speak against Cat Creek crowding:
Gretchen Quarterman also spoke against the proposition, citing that extending residential areas further out into undeveloped Lowndes County would create greater strain on an already tight fiscal operating budget.
She referred to a report County Planner Jason Davenport commissioned from Prof. Jeffrey H. Dorfman of UGA, Local Government Fiscal Impacts of Land Use in Lowndes County, December 2007, in which he recommended development close in to existing services for the most benefit to all parties. As Prof. Dorfman has said,
“Local governments must ensure balanced growth, as sprawling residential growth is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin*
* Or at least big tax increases.”
He noted
“The same growth done more densely and contiguously saves both money, farmland, and provides environmental amenities.”
Prof. Dorfman has even quantified national averages for Continue reading

Traffic on Cat Creek Road at Nottinghill —Thomas E. Stalvey Jr. @ LCC 12 July 2011

Schoolchildren, safety, and farmland: three topics that often seem forgotten in discussions of development. Opposing the proposed rezoning for Notthinghill, neighbor Thomas E. Stalvey Jr. noted that traffic on Cat Creek Road is already a problem, and adding a subdivision would make it worse. He noted that it’s traffic routed down Cat Creek to Moody that accounts for a lot of it. He said school children stood out on the road and they were already in danger.
“If we put 49 more houses out there, it’s just going to up the risk.”

He explicitly linked road widening to development: Continue reading

Nottinghill, Cat Creek Road, rezoning —Jason Davenport

County Planner Jason Davenport introduced REZ-2011-10 Nottinghill, Cat Creek Rd, 0144 0255-0258, ~15.75 ac., 49 lots, Co W/S, R-1 to R-10.

He said the TRC recommended approval with a condition, the Planning Commission recommended approval with a different condition, and now staff preferred requiring a minimum lot size of 12,000 square feet.

Here’s the video:

Nottinghill, Cat Creek Road, rezoning —Jason Davenport
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 12 July 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.


I was disinvited to be on Black Crow radio —Ashley Paulk

It wasn’t after the Commission meeting that Ashley Paulk said
“I was disinvited to be on Black Crow radio.”
It was during the meeting, as in this video. I was confused because I left the room briefly and didn’t see it. Fortunately, Gretchen had a camera going.

Here’s the video:

I was disinvited to be on Black Crow radio —Ashley Paulk
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 12 July 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.


Crawford Powell is a big man

According to David Rodock in the VDT today about last night’s County Commission regular session:
Only one citizen, Dr. Michael Noll, came forward to speak with commissioners. Noll asked commissioners to speak with Industrial Authority board members about the 22.2 acre tract of land that is being considered for purchase by Wiregrass Power LLC. Noll is concerned the company will use the land to pursue previous plans to construct a biomass facility, a proposal which has seen considerable negative community backlash over the last year.

“I think commissioners made this very clear that the Industrial Authority should have been done with this project,” said Paulk. “I don’t think we’ve changed our mind. I can’t speak for the City of Valdosta, but I think they’re prepared to make some moves and make a statement on their behalf in the immediate future. It’s a project that didn’t work and when things don’t work, move on to things that do. That’s my personal opinion.”

District 3 commissioner Crawford Powell offered his insight on the issue, “The issue the Industrial Authority has is they had a contractual agreement on the sale of the property and so they’re trying to work through that but I don’t think there’s any particular excitement on their behalf to continue down that road.”

According to usually reliable sources, it was Crawford Powell who Continue reading

Three rezonings and three board appointments: Lowndes County Commission

Lowndes County Commission work session Monday morning and regular session Tuesday evening. Here’s the agenda:
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
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