Tag Archives: Miller Bridge Road

Unanimously voted down: Miller Bridge Road subdivision @ LCC 2022-02-08

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present the slides they said the previous morning they were going to present; we include scans of those slides here for historical reference, for when the next subdivision like this comes up, next week or next year.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.

They also unanimously approved 6.a. Transportation Investment Act (TIA) Local Project – Coleman Road NW and 6.b. Transportation Investment Act (TIA) Local Project Kinderlou-Clyattville Rd. Road building and improvement projects attract subdivisions. But the opponents to the Miller Bridge Road subdivision had already left after that one item. Chairman Bill Slaughter mentioned that the crowd was gone in 6.c. Internal Network Firewalls.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session, the agenda and board packet and the LAKE videos of the preceding Planning Commission meeting, as well as Secrecy of Lowndes County Commission and Staff.

Here’s a LAKE video playlist:


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),

Applicant Slides REZ-2022-03 Miller Bridge Road

How did we get them? The County Manager handed them to LAKE’s Gretchen Quarterman at the previous morning’s Work Session.

Images below (apologies for the accidental cropping of the right side), and the whole thing as PDF.

The developer’s last point in their Justification for Zoning Request does identify a widespread problem:

7. Almost every subdivision built in Lowndes County is adjacent to some form of agriculture or timber production

However, there is no need to make it worse.

Another point in that same slide is plain wrong:

5. There will be minimal impact to County facilities or services, while increasing the taxes of the county approximately $70k per year

The Dorfman Report

sprawl The Local Government Fiscal Impacts of Land Use in Lowndes County: Revenue and Expenditure Streams by Land Use Category, Jeffrey H. Dorfman, Ph.D., Dorfman Consulting, December 2007.

As Dr. Dorfman summarized in a different presentation,

Local governments must ensure balanced growth, as
sprawling residential growth is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin*
* Or at least big tax increases.

It’s interesting that the developers put Groundwater Recharge Area first in their OPPOSITION POINTS ADDRESSED:

  1. Groundwater Recharge Area:
    1. Lowndes County adheres to Local and State standards when in the Groundwater Recharge Area
    2. Notable Developments in Recharge Area in Lowndes County)
      1. Landfill
      2. Kinderlou Forest and Foxborough Subdivisions
      3. Valdosta Regional Airport
      4. Moody Airforce Base
      5. City of Dasher
      6. City of Lake Park and surrounding area
      7. Lake Park Industrial Park

While probably all these points are true (I haven’t checked each location), most of them precede current concerns about groundwater recharge, and there is no need to make the problem worse.

[WINDY HILL SUBDIVISION, Lowndes County Rezoning Application, REZ-2022-03]
WINDY HILL SUBDIVISION, Lowndes County Rezoning Application, REZ-2022-03


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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!

Ten minute Work Session @ LCC 2022-02-07

Update 2022-03-18: Unanimously voted down: Miller Bridge Road subdivision @ LCC 2022-02-08.

The developer of the proposed 5.c. REZ-2022-03 Windy Hill Subdivision, 7532 Miller Bridge Rd. plans to make a presentation this evening at the voting Regular Session, we heard at yesterday morning’s February 7, 2022, Work Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

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.

[Chairman and Miller Bridge Road rezoning]
Chairman and Miller Bridge Road rezoning

Continue reading

Board’s Pleasure should be Deny: Miller Bridge Road rezoning @ LCC 2022-02-07

Update 2022-03-08: Ten minute Work Session @ LCC 2022-02-07.

On the agenda for tomorrow morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session, county staff included the petition against REZ-2022-03 Windy Hill Subdivision, 7532 Miller Bridge Rd.. County staff note “RECOMMENDED ACTION: Board’s Pleasure or Deny”, unlike the other two options, where the second option is “Approve”. Those who do not want that rezoning to pass would do well to contact their Commissioners before the meetings, and then show up at the meetings, or at least the Tuesday 5:30 PM voting Regular Session.

For REZ-2022-01 Hamilton Green Townhomes, Bemiss Rd., 045D 006A, they cited a parcel that does not exist. The correct parcel number, 0145D 006A, was in the Planning Commission agenda.

[Miller Bridge Road rezoning: Petition, Opposition parcels; Bemiss Road rezoning]
Miller Bridge Road rezoning: Petition, Opposition parcels; Bemiss Road rezoning

As usual, county staff say rezonings do not cost the county anything. Nevermind that subdivisions far from county services will never pay enough in property taxes to fund sending school buses, fire trucks, and Sheriff vehicles, so all the taxpayers subsidize those costs.

Cost What
$72,653.86Internal Network Firewalls
$72,653.86Total

Here is the agenda, and the board packet, on the LAKE website, received in response to a LAKE open records request. See also Continue reading

Secrecy of Lowndes County Commission and Staff

Update 2022-02-06: Board’s Pleasure should be Deny: Miller Bridge Road rezoning @ LCC 2022-02-07.

It’s almost enough to make you wonder why the Lowndes County Commission does not want the public to know what it is doing?

A state-funded road restriping with the list of roads not revealed to the public for three months, and no minutes for the relevant meetings on the Lowndes County website (but LAKE kept a copy from their old website).

A petition with 300 signatures the County Planner just took out of the board packet so even County Commissioners did not see it.

Two board packets (for Planning and County Commission meetings) not returned for more than the statutory three days, and then one of them only partial.

No board packets on the county’s website, even though other counties larger and smaller in Georgia and Florida have been doing that for years.

No minutes (except one) before 2014, or maybe some hidden. Not even any agendas before 2012.

[Lowndes County Agenda Center for 2013]
Lowndes County Agenda Center for 2013

County Commission staff do take videos of the Commission meetings, but they only post videos of the Regular Session (not the Work Session), and not even those between October 2020 and October 2021. This is despite spending more than $100,000 for new audio visual equipment for the Commission Chambers, while the Valdosta City Council has livestreamed through the pandemic using an employee’s iPhone.

I could go on about the stealth reapportionment of Commission Districts and the half million dollar bailout of a developer, both at the same January 25, 2022, Lowndes County Commission meeting, both not revealed to the taxpaying public before the voting Regular Session.

But just items related to the Miller Bridge Road rezoning requests are enough to raise questions about the secrecy of Lowndes County Commission and staff.

Why don’t they want the public and the taxpayers to know?

What don’t they want us to know?

Road Striping

Continue reading

Cancelled: Lowndes County Commission Meetings 2022-01-10

The current top news entry on lowndescounty.com is January 10 & 11, 2022 Commission Meetings Cancelled,

The January 10, 2022 and January 11, 2022, Commission meetings have been cancelled due to the lack of agenda items needing immediate attention.

The calendar entries for the Monday morning Work Session and the Tuesday evening Regular Session are marked “Cancelled”.

[Regular and Work Sessions Cancelled]
Regular and Work Sessions Cancelled

So expect the contentious Miller Bridge Road subdivision that was withdrawn last time to be back with larger lot sizes at the January 24 and 25 Commission meetings.

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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!

Miller Bridge Road subdivision withdrawn, Rocky Ford denied, Tourism reappointed @ LCC 2021-12-14

Update 2022-01-22: Miller Bridge Rezoning back as R-A @ GLPC 2022-01-31.

Update 2022-01-09: Cancelled: Lowndes County Commission Meetings 2022-01-10, so expect the contentious Miller Bridge Road subdivision that was withdrawn last time to be back with larger lot sizes at the January 24 and 25 Commission meetings.

The contentious Miller Bridge Road Rezoning was withdrawn from the December Lowndes County Commission meeting, but the withdrawal letter said it would be back, possibly in January.

The Rocky Ford rezoning from industrial to residential did not pass; although Commissioner Clay Griner voted against and Scottie Orenstein abstained, the other three voted to deny.

They reappointed the incumbent, Rick Williams, to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center and Tourism Authority, even though Commissioners Demarcus Marshall and Joyce Evans voted for Nick Harden (who did attend the meeting).

Most everything else sailed through. The meeting was very long anyway, because there was only one December Commission meeting, so everything got lumped into one.

[Two rezonings that did not pass]
Two rezonings that did not pass

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See the LAKE videos of the preceding morning’s Work Session and the agenda and board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request. Two of them, actually, the second request was to get the petition from hundreds of opposing landowners.

See also the preceding Planning Commission agenda, the LAKE videos, and the meeting materials, received in response to LAKE open records requests.

Update 2022-01-03: Withdrawn but will return: subdivision in aquifer recharge zone near Little River, Lowndes County, GA @ LCC 2021-12-14.

Videos: Six rezonings, Tourism Authority appointment, LMIG, Calendar, ULDC, VOCA, VAWA, Opioid, Land Bank Authority, Fire Dept. @ LCC 2021-12-13

Turns out there was a petition that the County Planner “just took … out of this packet for now”, for REZ-2021-28 Windy Hill S/D, 7532 Miller Bridge Road, ~34 acres, E-A to R-1, Community Well & Septic. (WITHDRAWN).

We know this because Commissioner Demarcus Marshall asked. (See 6m:15s). That petition was not returned for the LAKE open records request for the board packet for this County Commission meeting.

County Planner JD Dillard said the petition had been presented to the Planning Commission. The petition also was not returned in response to the LAKE open records request for the Planning Commission packet, even though that response arrived several days after the Planning Commission meeting.

County Chairman Bill Slaughter said they could get that information to the Commissioners before their next meeting. I’m not sure that’s what the Georgia Open Records Act says.

Update 2021-12-27: Here is the petition, received in response to another LAKE open records request. Looks like the county redacted the email addresses.

Lowndes County Planner JD Dillard
County Planner JD Dillard

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. Apologies for the very long first video; turns out the county sound feed was not working, so Gretchen had to go back and patch in county sound from another source. See also Continue reading

Packet: Four big + 2 small county rezonings, four Valdosta rezonings, 3 of them CUP @ GLPC 2021-11-29

The entire board packet for the November 2021 Greater Lowndes Planning Commission meeting is on the LAKE website now, received in response to a LAKE open records request.

[Rezonings with LAKE logo]
Rezonings with LAKE logo

For the six county rezonings, there is more in the board packet for the Lowndes County Commission December meetings.

See also Continue reading

Six rezonings, Tourism Authority appointment, LMIG, Calendar, ULDC, VOCA, VAWA, Opioid, Land Bank Authority, Fire Dept. @ LCC 2021-12-13

Withdrawn as R-1 (1-acre lots) from tomorrow’s Lowndes County Commission agenda, but to be resubmitted as R-A (2.5-acre lots):
REZ-2021-28 Windy Hill S/D, 7532 Miller Bridge Road, ~34 acres, E-A to R-1, Community Well & Septic (WITHDRAWN).

At the Planning Commission meeting end of November, staff said it did not match the Comprehensive Plan, and the Planning Commission unanimously recommended denial.

[Rezonings]
Rezonings

However, Planning Commissioner Franklin Bailey said, as he made the motion to disapprove, that he would be comfortable with 2.5-acre lots instead of 1-acre lots. The developer took him up on that idea with a written letter to the County Planner saying they would be back in January to ask for R-A rezoning, which will permit 2.5-acre lots.

Plus staff has dug up a 1999 rezoning nearby for 3-acre lots which could serve as a precedent. Yet almost none of those 3-acre lots have sold in the past two decades, so why is there any need for any more such lots “very deep in the Rural Service Area”?

That withdrawal letter says: Continue reading

An inappropriate rezoning unanimously opposed, but beware return with different acreage @ GLPC 2021-11-29

Update 2021-12-12: Packet: Four big + 2 small county rezonings, four Valdosta rezonings, 3 of them CUP @ GLPC 2021-11-29.

The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission unanimously recommended denial of rezoning for a rezoning on Miller Bridge Road, outside any appropriate character area, but one of them frequently suggested trying 2.5-acre lots instead of 1-acre lots.

Another subdivision, on Rocky Ford Road, which was opposed by the Development Authority, got a split recommendation for denial, with that same Commissioner abstaining.

All the other items got unanimous approval.

One of the rezonings was actually to agricultural so the owner can farm it.

[Two rezonings recommended against]
Two rezonings recommended against

The owners spoke for REZ-2021-28 on Miller Bridge Road, with the usual insistence that everybody wants to live in the north part of the county and you just can’t stop growth and sprawl. Continue reading