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present the slides they said the previous morning they were going to present; we include scans of those slides here for historical reference, for when the next subdivision like this comes up, next week or next year.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.
- 1. Call to Order 2. Pledge 3. Invocation
- Leadership Lowndes Recognitions
- 4. Minutes for Approval
- 5.a. REZ-2022-01 Hamilton Green Townhomes, Bemiss Rd., 0145D 006A, 7.32ac
- 5.b. REZ-2022-02 Justin Warren, 4128 Johnson Rd., 1.97ac, R-1 to R-21
5.c. REZ-2022-03 Windy Hill Subdivision, 7532 Miller Bridge Rd., E-A to R-A
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.
- Crowd departs after
- 6.a. Transportation Investment Act (TIA) Local Project – Coleman Road NW
- 6.b. Transportation Investment Act (TIA) Local Project Kinderlou-Clyattville Rd
- 6.c. Internal Network Firewalls
7. CWTBH (none) 8. Reports – County Manager 9. Adjournment
- Thank you to Megan and Belinda for organizing Bird Supper
- Next Bird Supper – Feb 1, 2023
- 23M for Internet access – Windstream is the vendor that county is working with
- Enabling legislation (reapportionment) has been introduced.
- Second Harvest DCA grant kick off for new facility was earlier in the day. Relocation Second Harvest to next to Martin’s Bakery near I75.
- HR events for staff upcoming
- Mud Swamp Update – survey work is complete, drainage easements
- Carter Way will be upcoming – public safety passible but not good
- Utilities employee has son deployed actively near Ukraine
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),
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 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:
- Groundwater Recharge Area:
- Lowndes County adheres to Local and State standards when in the Groundwater Recharge Area
- Notable Developments in Recharge Area in Lowndes County)
- Kinderlou Forest and Foxborough Subdivisions
- Valdosta Regional Airport
- Moody Airforce Base
- City of Dasher
- City of Lake Park and surrounding area
- 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.
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!