VALDOSTA — The Lowndes County Commission will have to revisit
a controversial rezoning decision in light of a discovery that the
original vote was invalid due to a “failure to follow zoning
The Valdosta meeting about grants to non-profits from American Rescue Program Act (ARPA) funds consisted of
a five-minute welcome by Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber,
and a summary of the application process by Mike Smith of Valdosta United Way,
followed by a half hour of questions and answers.
No citizens showed up other than Gretchen Quarterman, behind the LAKE video camera.
Commissioners did not vote, because this is presumably the first of several Budget Hearings.
Or is it? It was billed as a Work Session.
Anyway, it took seventeen minutes.
The Camelot Crossing subdivision, with no currently-planned outlet on Val Del Road,
was tabled for two weeks at the request of the opponents, who filled the room.
The county also still has an issue with a chokepoint through which both exits route,
as mentioned by Commissioner Clay Griner, who made the motion to table, seconded by Demarcus Marshall.
Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker said there was an outlet onto Old US 41 North, and he voted against tabling.
An updated plan that no longer has any egress onto Val Del Road arrived Friday for
6.b. REZ-2022-07 Hayden Park.
Nonetheless, the turn lanes on Val Del Road were already scheduled as a T-SPLOST project, expected to be completed in 2023.
Not clear whether there are two egress points in the current plan.
The agenda item
REZ-2022-07 Hayden Park, Camelot Crossing & Val Del Rd
says “BUDGET IMPACT: N/A” for “a mixture of residential and commercial sites for development in various stages.”
Yet the Lowndes County Commission board packet contains 52 pages of traffic study for the intersection of Val Del Road and North Valdosta Road.
Staff notes “Plans for two left-turn lanes from Val Del to North Valdosta Road are anticipated to be complete by 2023.”
The applicant’s Letter of intent says, “Lowndes County has been wise to pro-actively invest in infrastructure here, anticipating and preparing for new growth.” Continue reading →
The Commissioners unanimously denied the rezoning for the
subdivision on Miller Bridge Road.
Applicants spoke a minute over their time, yet did not present the slides
they said the previous morning they were going to present;
we include scans of those slides here for historical reference,
for when the next subdivision like this comes up, next week or next year.
Commissioners unanimously approved the other two rezonings.
Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker wanted to know if this was for private wells.
County Planner JD Dillard said the application was for a community well,
and while the lots were big enough for private wells, the soils had
not been tested for that.
Don Powell spoke for the applicant.
Jesse Bush also spoke for, listing many things they were not there to talk about,
including aquifer recharge or community wells.
He said the only question was six homes (which the landowner can do by right anyway) or twelve homes.
Chairman Bill Slaughter cut them off saying he’d given them an extra minute,
and he’d give the other side an extra minute.
Brad Folsom spoke against on behalf of a room full and a 360-signer petition of opponents.
He reminded the Commissioners that the subject property was in an Agricultural and Forestry Character Area.
While R-A was permissible in such an Area, it was not appropriate.
He discussed nearby zonings and lots that had been brought up by staff previously.
Among the many other points he brought up was flooding would be exacerbated by tree cutting and paving for a subdivision.
He reminded the Commissioners that they had told him they did not want any more community well systems.
Somebody else (unnamed, but see below) speaking against said it would be spot zoning.
He said he owned 320 acres and had been there for more than a hundred years.
This rezoning would change the character of the community and would be
a precedent for other rezonings.
He said he owed this community a debt and he would like to repay it.
Elton D. Redding, 7649 Webb Road, representing the Redding property,
John L. Redding his brother.
Demarcus Marshall moved to deny, Mark Wisenbaker seconded, unanimous vote to deny.
Unanimously voted down: Miller Bridge Road subdivision @ LCC 2022-02-08
Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
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!
Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes by Gretchen, who was there, followed by a LAKE playlist.
See also the agenda and board packet,
and that post has links to the previous relevant meetings and materials.