Tag Archives: Houston County

Houston County has exclusion zones around Warner Robins AFB like the Lowndes County MAZ

Lowndes County is not “the only community in the country with a MAZ”: Houston County has very similar zones of encroachment protection around Warner Robins Air Force Base (RAFB).

As we’ve already seen, Houston County is buying up houses around RAFB using $7.5 million from the state of Georgia. That’s in addition to $6 million from Bibb County and some unspecified amount from the Defense Department. Plus Houston County allocated $7 million from SPLOST funds, and their SPLOST won by a landslide, apparently partly for that reason.

But what are Warner Robins Air Force Base encroachment zones those encroachment zones around Warner Robins AFB depicted on the buyback map? I called Houston County to find out. Their Community Planner, Jacob Cox, said yes, Houston County has crash zones, and noise attenuation zones in which they can have businesses but not residences.

He pointed me to The Robins Air Force Base and Middle Georgia 2004 Joint Land Use Study, which notes:

The 2004 JLUS examines land issues as they relate to RAFB flying missions and suggests measures to ensure compatible land use in the Base environs now and into the future. The 2004 JLUS process utilizes information provided in the 1998 RAFB Air Installation Compatibility Use Zone study (AICUZ) to evaluate land use compatibility and regulatory adequacy in areas subject to air hazard potential and noise impact. Additional considerations related to air navigation, including air protection surfaces are examined. Clear Zones and Accident Potential Zones are all considered compatible with AICUZ guidelines. Incidences of incompatible development are predominantly restricted to a limited number of non-noise attenuated residences built prior to 1994.

The results of the 2004 JLUS demonstrate that previously adopted land use regulations have been effective in limiting incompatible development within the Base environs. The 1994 adoption of the Base Environs Zoning District (BEZD) model by the surrounding communities has served to check most encroachment-type development. Only a very low number of sporadic, isolated examples of noise-related incompatible development was observed to have been built since implementation of the BEZD land regulation strategy. Consistent local government implementation of adopted provisions must be maintained in order to continue to provide the protection necessary to prevent incompatible development from restraining Base operations in the future.

So as far back as 1994 the communities around RAFB were using zoning to limit base encroachment. The 1998 AICUZ recommended further Clear Zones and Accident Potential Zones. Why? Mission changes at RAFB. So the 2004 JLUS made recommendations and the local governments, including Houston County, decided to go ahead and do something about it.

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SPLOST won in Houston County but not in Lowndes County: why?

Why did SPLOST in Houston County, Georgia win by a landslide while SPLOST VII in Lowndes County lost?

Houston County’s SPLOST passed in March 2012 by a landslide. Christina M. Wright wrote for The Telegraph 6 March 2012, UPDATE: Houston officials celebrate landslide SPLOST approval,

“This is a ‘thank you’ for the voters,” said Houston County Chairman Tommy Stalnaker as Warner Robins Councilman Paul Shealy presented the black and white sign. “They are the real victors of this thing tonight.”…

Unofficial results showed the SPLOST received 10,029 ‘yes’ votes to 4,799 ‘no’ votes. More affirmative than negative votes were cast in every precinct.

That’s 67.6% to 32.4%, and a difference: Houston County local elected officials thanked the voters. Lowndes County Chairman Ashley Paulk, who rushed through a SPLOST vote a year early, Continue reading

Houston County and Georgia buying houses in Warner Robins AFB encroachment zone

Update 8 December 2012: Actually, Houston County does have enforceable encroachment zones around RAFB.

Houston County hasn’t had a enforceable encroachment zone around Warner Robins Air Force Base (RAFB) and is now fixing the problem after the fact by using state money to buy up houses near the base. Tommy Stalnaker Houston County Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker labelled encroachment his number one priority, in stark contrast to Lowndes County Commission Chairman Ashley Paulk, who has put two items on the agenda for Monday and Tuesday related to a proposed rezoning next to Moody Air Force Base, and already at a previous Work Session invited the developer to speak without letting anyone else speak.

Gene Rector wrote for WRWR “10 months ago”, Stalnaker ‘ecstatic’ over state action on Robins encroachment issue,

In a word, Houston County Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker was “ecstatic” last week when he learned state officials Warner Robins Air Force Base encroachment buy-back map will allocate $7.5 million to help resolve the encroachment issue affecting Robins Air Force Base.

State Rep. Larry O’Neal called and gave him a heads-up before Gov. Nathan Deal made the announcement on Friday.

“I felt like jumping up and down and screaming and hollering,” Stalnaker admitted. “But then I remembered we hadn’t done our part yet.”

Encroachment has dogged Robins for a number of years. Some 250 parcels — mostly private residences — spread over 1,600 acres in south Bibb and north Houston counties fall within the base’s noise or potential mishap zone.

That risk to homes in the designated region could restrict or limit current operations or force the Air Force to look elsewhere for future workload and mission growth.

Stalnaker has labeled resolving encroachment his number one priority.

Mike Stucka wrote for the Telegraph 31 May 2012, Interactive map: Robins AFB encroachment and property purchases,

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