Tag Archives: legal

Nottinghill resolved, Spectra profit sharing? Planning Commission transparency? @ LCC 2013-12-10

The Commission’s designated first speaker confused order with good. Chairman Bill Slaughter required a sitting judge to go to the podium to speak, even though he had not required that for multiple Spectra pipeline reps the previous morning. Nottinghill is finally resolved, after yet more probing questions by Commissioners; more than they asked the Spectra reps. A VSU professor and a landowner asked very good questions about the pipeline, a KLVB board member gave a report, and Gretchen asked the Commission to post Planning Commission minutes online.

Two people were appointed; one spoke. The two beer licenses, a liquor license, the decorative special tax lighting district for Windstone, the contracts, the resolution to ask the legislature for an additional judge, and the bids were all approved with little discussion. The settlement for back pay it turns out didn’t actually involve employees having to sue to get paid.

Here’s the amended agenda with the two added items, plus links to the videos and a few notes. See also the previous morning’s Work Session.

327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor
Continue reading

Sabal Trail not a common carrier with open access in Georgia –Mindy Bland @ LCC 2013-12-10

A local landowner said that with no open access in Georgia, Sabal Trail Transmission should have no standing to use Georgia eminent domain law. And Sabal Trail must comply with local, state, and federal laws and ordinances, including ones that could be passed by the Lowndes County Commission, she said at their 10 December 2013 Regular Session.

For example, a depth ordinance, or an ordinance requiring a minimum distance from homes or schools. Or a tax on the pipeline easement. She recommended PipelineSafetyInfo.com. She asked for the Commissioners to use their voice.

As WCTV quoted her in their coverage, she said,

I don’t want to have to fear for my children as they sleep at night.

County Manager Joe Pritchard shuffled papers and alleged County Attorney Walter G. Elliott yawned during these citizen presentations.

Mindy Bland noted Commissioner Powell had asked for Continue reading

New Nottinghill subvivision finally resolved @ LCC 2013-12-10

The long-deferred rezoning for the Orr Road version of the Nottinghill subdivision was finally resolved at the 10 December 2013 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

6.a. REZ-2013-11 Nottinghill, Orr Rd R-A to R-21

County Planner Jason Davenport said “staff has laid out for you background information”, etc. and staff recommended approval.

Commissioner John Page pointed out that there was still some question of the land being purchased by applicant, and not all the signatures were yet ready.

Davenport said some were word of mouth, others were power of attorney, etc.

The alleged County Attorney Walter G. Elliott said Continue reading

All 4 Commissioner questions about the pipeline –VDT @ LCC 2013-12-09

The VDT let local citizens speak, unlike the Lowndes County Commission. Perhaps the VDT, like many local citizens, does not think transparency means what the County Commission thinks it means.

Matthew Woody wrote across the top of the front page of the Valdosta Daily Times today, Sabal Trail presents at County Commission work session,

Protesters stood outside of the Lowndes County Judicial and Administrative Complex at 8:30 a.m. in opposition to the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline project as representatives from the company made a presentation at the Commission Work Session.

That’s Matthew Woody across the street taking that picture, and here are more pictures of the protesters.

“We strive everyday for zero incidences,” Fahrenthold said “All of our meetings, company wide, starts with a safety update.”

Really? So why afterwards did both Brian Fahrenthold and Andra Grover Continue reading

Spectra Sales Pitch, Nothing about Nottinghill, etc. @ LCC 2013-12-09

Given dozens of questions submitted by citizens and every opportunity, Commissioners asked only four perfunctory questions after Spectra Energy’s Sabal Trail pipeline sales pitch. Chairman Bill Slaughter repeatedly let multiple Spectra reps speak from the audience without having them come to the podium, or even identify themselves before they spoke. They were pointed at by the chief Spectra speaker when he named them, but they did not stand up or raise their hand at the time, so it was quite hard to tell which was which. The Chairman never allows that sort of behavior from local citizens. Why is he granting extra courtesies to a company from Houston that wants to exercise eminent domain on local citizens’ lands? Who does the Lowndes County Commission represent?

At least WALB and WCTV let a landowner speak: that’s more than the County Commission did.

Nottinghill is back yet again. A Commissioner did ask staff whether it was really ready, and it isn’t, but no Commissioners asked any such probing questions of the Spectra reps.

The three beer licenses, a liquor license, the contracts, and the bids were glossed over in almost as perfunctory a manner. There were some questions from Commissioners about costs to the county government. But there were none from Commissioners about costs to landowners from gashing a pipeline through their property.

Given that there’s a settlement for back pay for some county employees, it appears that the employees maybe had to sue to get paid.

Staff did express concern about “customer service” for a decorative special tax lighting district, but none about service to the landowners of the county whose land Spectra proposes to run through, or for that matter to the taxpayers of the county to whom the Commission and staff cannot be bothered to show what they’re voting on before they vote.

Here’s the agenda plus links to the videos and a few notes.





327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Pipeline and Nottinghill, VLMPO, lawyers and alcohol @ LCC 2013-12-09

The proposed Sabal Trail pipeline presentation is really on this time, with citizen questions asked by the Commissioners. Nottinghill is back yet again. Two appointments to the VLMPO Citizens Advisory Committee. All that plus three beer licenses, a liquor license, and a bunch of contracts and a couple of bids.

Here’s the agenda.





327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor

  1. Call to Order
  2. Invocation

    Only in the Regular Session, Tuesday at 5:30 PM.

  3. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

    Only in the Regular Session, Tuesday at 5:30 PM.

  4. Minutes for Approval
    1. Work Session — November 11, 2013
    2. Regular Session — November 12, 2013
  5. Appointment
    1. MPO Citizens Advisory Committee (2)
  6. Public Hearings
    1. REZ-2013-11 Nottinghill, Orr Rd R-A to R-21, Community Well and Septic, 14.71 acres
    2. Decorative Special Tax Lighting District – Windstone Subdivision (Orr Rd)
    3. Beer and Wine License — Twin Lakes Ventures, LLC — 4878 HWY 41 South
    4. Liquor License — Big Al’s — 4991 HWY 41 S. Lake Park
  7. For Consideration
    1. Approval of the 2014 Commission Meeting Schedule
    2. 2014 Public Defender Services Contract & 2014 Operating Contract
    3. Land Application Site (LAS) Bar Screen Replacement
    4. Budget Calendar FY 2014-2015
    5. Beer and Wine License — Parnish Corporation — 3119 Madison HWY
    6. Beer and Wine License — Jay Brahamani, LLC — 2601 Madison HWY
    7. Back Pay for 9-1-1 Center Employees
    8. Second State Court Judge — Resolution & Act
  8. Bids
    1. Repair of Damaged F150- LCSO
    2. Repair of Damaged Fire Tanker- LCFR
  9. Reports-County Manager
  10. Citizens Wishing to be Heard Please State Name And Address

    Only in the Regular Session, Tuesday at 5:30 PM.

  11. Sabal Trail (Work Session)


Lowndes County’s 2007 and 2012 favors for the same developer

According to the Lowndes County Commission’s minutes, the developer for whom the Commission now proposes to change the zoning code back in 2007 got $130,000 in road construction labor from the Commission.

In the 26 June 2007 Lowndes County Commission Regular Session Minutes:

County Engineer, Mike Fletcher, presented an item that was brought to the Commission during the previous work session regarding the paving of Davidson Road. Further, Mr. Clint Joyner was in the process of building a previously approved development that was being affected by an unforeseen Department of Transportation requirement regarding a costly intersection improvement. Mr. Fletcher further stated that Mr. Joyner was required to pave a portion of Davidson Road; however, due to the intersection cost he was offering to purchase the materials for the funding of the entire road, if the county would provide the road construction labor at a cost of approximately $130,000.00. Commissioner Lee made a motion to approve the request, Vice Chairman Carter and Commissioner Roberts offered a second. Motion carried.

Somebody help me here, is not that the same Clint Joyner back in 2007 getting a $130,000 subsidy from the County Commission who last month got invited to talk to the Commission in a Work Session with nobody else invited to speak? The same one for whom the same Commission is now proposing to change the zoning code? For another development on the same Davidson Road? A development the Chamber and Moody and the Planning Commission are all opposing, while the VDT channels Ashley Paulk in promoting it?

What is it about this Clint Joyner or Joyner Realty or Davidson Road that the County Commission should favor him or them so? It can’t be the individual Commissioners: not a one of them is the same now from 2007. What is the same then and now?

Maybe we should find out before the Commission grants any more favors.


Chamber opposes zoning code change for developer near Moody

Apparently it’s the Chamber and Moody and the Planning Commission Red arrows on MAZ and the TRC all against Ashley Paulk on the Moody rezoning-and-zoning-code case, with the VDT sidling towards Paulk. The VDT claimed Lowndes County Chairman stated something that’s not true according to the agenda and LAKE’s videos of the recent Planning Commission meeting. And the VDT buried opposition by the Chamber of Commerce’s relevant committee at the end of its article.

Jason Schaefer wrote for the VDT today, County disagrees with proposed zoning amendment, Paulk: Military intervention could prevent development near base, and the caption of the picture on the right says:

The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission proposed a text amendment to the Unified Land Development Code in November that would reduce lot density restrictions from 2.5 acres to one acre, allowing landowners within the Moody Activity Zoning (MAZ) district “more flexibility” to parcel off their land holdings, Paulk said.

The Planning Commission’s own agenda says TEX-2012-02 was proposed by “Lowndes County Board of Commissioners”. And the Planning Commission voted to recommend against approving that text amendment to the ULDC. According to Planning Commissioner John Page, that vote was following the recommendation of the Technical Review Committee (TRC), which consists of staff of Lowndes County and the City of Valdosta. Page is also an incoming Lowndes County Commissioner, to take office next month. So either Paulk said something he as the Chairman of the Lowndes County Commission should know not to be true, or the VDT wrote erroneously.

The VDT also seemed to indicate that Paulk was speaking for Continue reading

Developer didn’t get his way: change the zoning code! @ GLPC 2012-11-26

A developer didn’t get his way at the Lowndes County Commission last month, so now the county is proposing to change the zoning code for him! To change zoning right next to Moody Air Force Base, the largest employer in this area. A change opposed by Moody because of flight safety and safety of property, and “the longterm viability of Moody Air Force Base.” A change that would set a precedent for further sprawl, as Moody indicated indirectly when the related rezoning first came before the Planning Commission. Apparently a developer can get whatever he wants around here, no matter how much it threatens the livelihoods or well-being of the rest of the citizens. Does that seem right to you? To their credit, the Planning Commission at its 26 November 2012 meeting unanimously voted against this TEX-2012-02 just as they did the rezoning case REZ-2012-17 last month. Both will be decided by the Lowndes County Commission at its 11 December 2012 meeting.

4. TEX-2012-02

Lowndes County Board of Commissioners
A proposed text amendment to the Unified Land Development Code as it pertains to Single Family residential Density and Minimum Lot Area within the MAZ (Moody Activity Zone)

County Planner Jason Davenport introduced this item.

TEX-2012-02 ULDC changes Ultimately at the end of the day this text amendment is a request to change the minimum lot sizes allowed and the minimum residential densities allowed in a MAZ-3 zoning district. We have those changes highlighted on the screen but they have also been highlighted in the packet…. At the end of the day that is what has happened.

Well, yes, at the end of that day. At the end of many future days this zoning code amendment if approved will be used as a precedent for more sprawl right next to Moody Air Force Base, which is by far the biggest employer in this area. The packet he referred to is not available to the public. The changes he mentioned are not on his Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) web page. A view of them as seen from the back of the room is shown on the right here. Can you read them?

Moody insert in ULDC Map The ULDC map linked on that page includes the Moody Area insert map shown here on the right.

Davenport added that he had received one open records request and a response from Moody. Plus state law requires 30 days for Moody to respond and it had been 31 days. Then he walked through some history using pages in Commissioners’ packets that we the taxpayers, voters, and residents of Lowndes County can’t see.

Davenport specifically tied this text amendment to a tabled zoning case:

Continue reading

CUEE filed enough petitions for a referendum

Less than one percent of the registered voters in Valdosta have made the difference between CUEE’s school consolidation petition getting on the ballot and not.

According to the City of Valdosta’s website 19 August 2011: Continue reading