Tag Archives: Scottie Orenstein

Videos: Redo rezonings and a citizen paving request @ LCC 2022-09-13

Two weeks agao the Lowndes County Commission at its Regular Session recognized Fire Chief Lloyd Green for finishing second in his age class in a recent road race.

Then they unanimously approved the previously-rejected O’Neal James Road rezoning, after applicant’s attorney Bill Langdale pointed out the code infractions would have to get fixed regardless of the rezoning decision.


[Rezonings and Citizens To Be Heard, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session 2022-09-13]
Rezonings and Citizens To Be Heard, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session 2022-09-13

On the previously-decided Campus Howell Road rezoning, they voted twice to invalidate their previous vote. because first they forgot to hold the public hearing. Twice because the Chairman first forgot to hold the Public Hearing. In the Hearing, several citizens spoke against the rezoning. The actual rezoning decision will be taken somewhere between six and nine months later, after the other Public Hearing held just after this Public Hearing.

In the other Public Hearing, they took no vote, since the vote will be sometime between March and May 2023. The rezoning may also go before the Planning Commission again before then. One citizen spoke against, asking why bother going through the Planning Commission again considering that the County Commission rejected the previous GLPC recommendation. County Chairman Bill Slaughter said GLPC will be asked if that is required for due process. Joshua Knight and Brent Moore spoke for.

All the extraterritorial water and sewer extensions passed, but both the Valdosta ones by split votes.

Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker voted against the Griner Park work, saying it is not a top priority and later they might get more than one bid. It passed anyway.

Everything else passed unanimously.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also Continue reading

GA Forestry, $3 million, redoing 2 rezonings, 3 extraterritorial water and sewer @ LCC 2022-09-12

Update 2022-09-21: Videos: 6 Remerton, 4 Valdosta, 1 Hahira, 1 Lowndes County cases @ GLPC 2022-08-29.

Other than the seven-minute not-on-the-agenda Georgia Forestry presentation by Lowndes County Chief Ranger Mike Williford, the highest-dollar item got the most discussion: Griner Park, at the corner of Webster and Ashley Street.

There was no discussion of the items about redoing their botched rezoning decision.

They did kvetch about each of the extraterritorial jurisdiction items for water and sewer, alleging it was all somebody else’s fault. But why did the county not catch these earlier?

That was at the Work Session yesterday morning. The Lowndes County Commission voted this evening at their Regular Session.


[Videos and a picture]
Videos and a picture

Some Commissioners seemed unclear on why they were spending so much on Griner Park. Here’s Gretchen’s take: Continue reading

Videos: Seven minutes for three appointments, one subdivision streets, and alcohol, plus long County Manager Reports @ LCC 2022-05-10

Two weeks ago, the six-minute Reports took almost as long as the entire rest of the Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

[Appointments and Reports]
Appointments and Reports

Clay Griner did show up to vote on an item in his district, but Scottie Orenstein did not: 6.b. Adopt Resolution Accepting Infrastructure for Grove Pointe Phase V Sect 2. Commissioner Demarcus Marshall was also absent. Commissioners Joyce Evans and Mark Wisenbaker were present both at the Work Session and this Regular Session. Chairman Bill Slaughter was present.

County Manager Paige Dukes was also present, giving many Reports, assisted in a video about Griner Park at Webster and Ashley Street.

Commissioner Joyce Evans provided some amusment, Continue reading

Videos: Five minutes for three appointments, one subdivision streets, and alcohol @ LCC 2022-05-09

Update 2022-05-23: Regular Session Videos: Seven minutes for three appointments, one subdivision streets, and alcohol, plus long County Manager Reports @ LCC 2022-05-10.

In the five-minute Work Session yesterday morning, the few Commissioners who showed up breezed through everything with no discussion. Commissioners Scottie Orenstein and Clay Griner were absent, even though this is in their districts: 6.b. Adopt Resolution Accepting Infrastructure for Grove Pointe Phase V Sect 2. But of course it is expected that the Commission will approve that item this evening at 5:30 PM. County Manager Paige Dukes was also absent, in her case due to illness.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. There are no notes, because nothing happened worth commenting on. See also Continue reading

Videos: One Valdosta-Lowndes funding, Hayden Park rezoning @ LCC 2022-04-26

At their Regular Session, Chairman Bill Slaughter pulled 7.a. One Valdosta Lowndes Community-Wide Initiative up front on the Lowndes County Commission agenda, because at least one of the OVL VIPs had another meeting: One Valdosta-Lowndes Co-Chairs VSU President Dr. Richard Carvajal and Georgia Power’s Scott Purvis, as well as Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber President Christie Moore. At least one of them left immediately after the Commissioners approved $200,000 total over five years to the Chamber to support OVL.

The County’s audio feed in the back of the room was again not working, so audio is whatever the LAKE video camera could pick up.

[OVL, Hayden Park rezoning]
OVL, Hayden Park rezoning

Commissioners discussed the one rezoning, Continue reading

Videos: $9 Million Courthouse renovations, Subdivision at N. Valdosta Road & Val Del @ LCC 2022-04-25

Update 2022-05-02: One Valdosta-Lowndes funding, Hayden Park rezoning @ LCC 2022-04-26.

At the Lowndes County Commission Work Session this morning, by far the longest at six minutes: 7.i. Historic Lowndes County Courthouse Rehabilitation Project GMP.

[Courthouse, Hayden Park, OVL, TEqBID]
Courthouse, Hayden Park, OVL, TEqBID

Second longest at four minutes was the back-again contentious 6.a. REZ-2022-07 Hayden Park, ~149 acres, from R-1 to C-G, P-D, and R-10.

Third at two minutes was the $200,000 to 7.a. One Valdosta Lowndes Community-Wide Initiative, presumably mostly for hiring an Executive Director, though one hopes also some funding towards projects like the Troupville River Camp that was top of the list OVL presented to the County Commission back in November. Not clear whether the $200,000 is per year or for the entire five-year project. Vice-Chair Scottie Orenstein said VSU President Dr. Carvajal and Georgia Power’s Scott Purvis will be present at the Regular Session tomorrow evening. Nothing was said about the Chamber, to whom OVL is being handed, being present tomorrow evening.

Commissioner Scottie Orenstein chaired the meeting in the absence of Chairman Bill Slaughter. If the Chairman is back at tomorrow evening’s Regular Session, let’s hope Commissioner Orenstein recuses himself on the appointment of his wife to 5.a. Lowndes County Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) Board. This morning Commissioner Orenstein appeared to speak for the developer on 6.a. REZ-2022-07 Hayden Park, ~149 acres, from R-1 to C-G, P-D, and R-10. Meanwhile, answering a question from Commissioner Demarcus Marshall, Orenstein said nobody had met with the opposition.

Below are Continue reading

Videos: Stealth Commission district reapportionment and half million dollar developer giveaway @ LCC 2022-01-25

As expected, the Lowndes County Commission at its Regular Session passed the half million dollar bailout for a developer.

Not expected, they changed the agenda at the beginning of the meeting to approve new Commission district maps and a resolution supporting them, for immediate transmission to the state.

One citizen wishing to be heard spoke about the never ending noise from the 15 month old Arglass factory.

[Amendment, Commissioners, New Districts]
Amendment, Commissioners, New Districts

Developer Bailout

For 5.k. Property Purchase – Building Valdosta, LLC County Manager Paige Dukes said staff acted at the direction of the Commissioners, seeming to distance herself and staff from this action.

Reapportionment

I’m guessing the added agenda item was 5.l..

Vice Chair Joyce Evans, presiding over the meeting in the absence of Chair Bill Slaughter, introduced the agenda change for district reapportionment indicating the Commissioners all already knew this was going to happen. Continue reading

Videos: Comprehensive Plan Update Public Hearing 2 @ LCC 2021-10-26

Only one citizen showed up to speak: David Houtz, who asked Commissioners not to change the Character Area Maps, and said he had not seen the latest plan. SGRC’s Elizabeth Backe handed him a copy; she also presented a summary of the process at the beginning of the meeting, and clarified process later.

[Citizen David Houtz, Elizabeth Backe of SGRC, Houtz receives plan, Sparse audience, City Planner Matt Martin, Commissioners Orenstein and Marshall, Commissioners and VDT reporter]
Citizen David Houtz, Elizabeth Backe of SGRC, Houtz receives plan, Sparse audience, City Planner Matt Martin, Commissioners Orenstein and Marshall, Commissioners and VDT reporter

You can see in this LAKE video a discussion between Valdosta and Hahira City Planner Matt Martin and Lowndes County Commissioner Scottie Orenstein about changes to the Hahira Character Area map is not recorded in the minutes, as well as the rest of the 17-minute meeting.

Commissioners discussed the Comprehensive Plan Update again this morning in their Work Session, and they will approve it tomorrow afternoon at 5:30 PM in their Regular Session. Continue reading

Videos: Many objections at Comprehensive Plan Stakeholder Meeting @ LCC Comp Plan 2021-09-28

Update 2021-11-08: Videos: Comprehensive Plan Update Public Hearing 2 @ LCC 2021-10-26.

All of the speakers at the Comprehensive Plan Stakeholder Meeting were opposed to moving the Suburban Area line farther north on the Character Area Map. They presented cogent reasons, such as they live up there and aren’t going to sell, there are already 750 lots available for sale while it took a decade for Nelson Hill’s 500 lots to sell, and the county should be looking out for its people and preserving much of the county for the next 50 years.

[Comprehensive Plan Update, Crowd, Lowndes County Character Areas, Map of those opposed to changing Character Areas]
Comprehensive Plan Update, Crowd, Lowndes County Character Areas, Map of those opposed to changing Character Areas

Most of the Commissioners acted like further development northwest in the county is a force of nature over which they have no control, and expressed more concern for developers and investors than for the room full of people in front of them or the 900 petition signatories opposed.

Here are links to each LAKE video of each speaker with copious notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. There was no agenda. The lowndescounty.com online calendar had only a title, Comprehensive Plan Stakeholder Meeting, date, time, and place, with no agenda. The draft minutes are sketchy, omitting key points such as the Dorfman report, but you can find that report below. Continue reading

Videos: Commissioner Comments, Mud Swamp Road, Fire Millage, Hightower Road, GEFA @ LCC 2021-08-24

Very unusual: two Commissioners commented at the end. Chairman Bill Slaughter had already been quite clear that the new fire department millage was to aid population growth in unincorporated parts of the county. Mark Wisenbaker thought the fire department millage was premature because it did not consider land with no structures, agricultural land, etc. He was the only Commissioner to vote against 5.l. Adoption of Unincorporated Fire Millage. Clay Griner thought it was something they could improve as they go along.

None of them mentioned that the fire millage applies to personal property as well as to real estate (land). At least one of the Commissioners was unaware of this, and, since none of them ever seem to have mentioned it to the public, I’d bet the public is unaware unless they carefully examined their property tax statements. Applying that fire millage also to personal property is apparently how they kept it as low as they announced in the millage rate hearing. Nevermind such a personal property millage falls heaviest on companies with the most personal property, which would likely be Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), commonly known as the paper mill at Clyattville. It’s not clear that companies with much personal property are the most in need of new fire services.

[Hightower Road, Fire Millage, Mud Swamp Road, Commissioner Comments]
Hightower Road, Fire Millage, Mud Swamp Road, Commissioner Comments

The County’s support of unincorporated growth apparently includes building next to wetlands, or in areas the Army Corps of Engineers recently declared not to be wetlands, since that had just been discussed by County Manager Paige Dukes and the Chairman.

I have an idea! How about build only close in to existing services, instead of sprawling farther out, where no taxes will ever pay enough for sending school buses, Sheriff, and Fire. See this report the County commissioned: 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.

sprawl Trees and crops don’t call the Sheriff or the Fire Department much and don’t need school buses, but subdivisions do, so forestry and agriculture are far more cost-effective in tax collection vs. services.

Everything except the Fire Dept. millage passed unanimously. Even the late-added mystery-location 5.j. Proposed Sale of County Real Property to Industrial Authority, which came with no map, no street address, and no parcel numbers.

Here are LAKE videos of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the Continue reading