Tag Archives: South Georgia Regional Development Commission

Planning Opportunity: Lowndes County Thoroughfare Plan

John S. Quarterman
3338 Country Club Rd #L336
Valdosta, GA 31605
25 January 2010

Ken Sherrill
Greater Lowndes Planning Commission

Dear Chairman Sherrill,

Congratulations on the new proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and on the process by which they were produced. Any public plan can be improved by external input and public hearings, as changes to the ULDC and to the Comprehensive Plan continue to demonstrate. Planning for the entire county can reduce mismatches of effort and promote development close in to existing services while perserving neighborhoods, agriculture, and wildlife.

I’d like to bring to your Thoroughfare Map, Lowndes County, Georgia attention another opportunity for improvement. Lowndes County has a Thoroughfare Plan whose author says it "works as a guide for development and potential use changes in property." This is the same purpose as the Comprehensive Plan, so it should be of interest to the Planning Commission.

The county lets contracts for road work based on the Thoroughfare Plan, and as the county says, once a road is paved or widened, it can support denser use. Some of this road work is in areas Continue reading

Thoroughfare Plan for Lowndes County

Lowndes County is proposing to update its Thoroughfare Plan. The current one was approved in 2003. The draft sent Friday by the County Engineer to the Commission for approval today is here. In addition, here is the county’s Road Inventory. The first of these items is available on the Lowndes County web pages. The other two items don’t seem to have been posted there yet. These public documents paid for by tax dollars were obtained through public records requests and are being posted by LAKE as a public service.

Thoroughfare Map, Lowndes County, Georgia

In case you haven’t heard of the Thoroughfare Plan, it was described by the County Engineer during the County Commission’s work session yesterday morning as

…works as a guide for development and potential use changes in property.
Here is the Valdosta Daily Times report on that meeting: “Thoroughfare Plan sparks lengthy debate,” By Malynda Fulton, 9 Oct 2009. She writes that:
The Thoroughfare Plan, first adopted in 1983, is used as a guide for road improvement projects, private developments and land use changes.

The “20/30 plan” referred to in that newspaper article is the Greater Lowndes 2030 Comprehensive Plan developed in conjunction by the South Georgia Regional Development Commission, the County Commission, and the Valdosta City Council. Its purpose is:

The Greater Lowndes 2030 Comprehensive Plan is a road map for ensuring growth and development in the Greater Lowndes Communities occurs in a way as to maintain our quality of life and unique community character.
It’s quite interesting that both plans are intended to guide development, yet they recommend opposite outcomes. In particular, the justification given at the meeting for the proposed reclassification of Quarterman Road from local to minor collector was that “if it were developed” within 20 years there would be enough trips to justify such a classification. Yet the Comprehensive plan shows the same area as agricultural through 2030:

Detail, 2030 Lowndes County Future Development Map

Perhaps better coordination is needed. Fortunately, the Chairman and the County Manager appear to be soliciting input.

The scheduled vote on approval of the new Lowndes County Thoroughfare Plan is at the regular Commission meeting at 5PM today, Tuesday 10 November 2009, at 325 West Savannah Avenue (near the water tower).

This blog post by John S. Quarterman.