It’s great that the Lowndes County Comissioner for District 2 is reporting about a highway in his district, but why isn’t the county reporting it on its own facebook page, website, twitter account, etc.? While the county doesn’t have facebook account (why not?) it does have those other things and there’s nothing on them about this news: Continue reading
One citizen got cut off just as he said the county attorney thought he could interpret state law however he liked. In addition to the Lake Park Fire Department Automatic Aid Agreement the County Manager asked at the Work Session to add to agenda, they also added Southern Region Traffic Enforcement Network (SRTEN). Plus not on the agenda there was recognition of student guests. See also the previous morning’s Work Session Keep Lowndes-Valdosta Beautiful cleanup presentation. They meet again this morning.
Also voted on two weeks ago were changes to the speed zone ordinance, a GEMA grant application, a proposal for engineering services for Exits 22 and 29, HVAC for county buildings, and a liquor license. Here’s the agenda with links to the videos and a few notes.
LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERSContinue reading
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MARCH 23, 2015 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2015 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
Traffic and taxes were discussed by Commissioners about REZ-2013-09 Moody Family Housing on Val Del Road, but none of them thought those topics important enough to make them conditions, and they didn’t even discuss use of local contractors or sinkholes like the one in the Phase II site, or the missing geotechnical study mentioned in the USAF Draft Environmental Assessment whose comment period wasn’t even ended when they voted at the 13 August 2013 Lowndes County Commission Regular Session.
As he had at the previous morning’s Work Session, Commissioner John Page wanted to know if that traffic study was going to be required before the development could start. Planning Commissioner Tommy Willis had also asked about that back in July. This time Page didn’t ask about GA 122 or anywhere other than “Val Del and that area”.
Answer from County Engineer Mike Fletcher: Continue reading
Before tonight’s vote on Moody Housing on Val Del Road, maybe somebody should review these administrative waivers from county staff for Nelson Hill, one for the minimum lot size, and the other for setbacks for the lots along the “lake”. I haven’t yet found who waived the requirement for condominiums, or for their fronts to be staggered, or for them to be at least 1800 square feet, or the traffic calming measures, or how all this fits the submitted site plans, nor for that matter what happened to the gate or guards or the road connecting to Grove Point. Maybe you can find those things in the materials about Nelson Hill received in response to an Open Records Request. If staff can waive all these things without any of them coming up again for a vote before the elected Commission in a public hearing, why do we have the elected Commissioners vote in the first place?
Here’s a waiver for lot setbacks next to the pond by Joe Pritchard “In my official capacity as County Manager”, 22 September 2009, for AAW-2009-06.
Here’s a waiver for minimum lot sizes by Jason Davenport, County Planner, 18 July 2011, for AAW-2011-16:
Good afternoon. Based on recent questions from multiple parties regarding Nelson Hill we thought it best to respond in writing to all. For us the question is “Will the County require a minimum lot size in Nelson Hill?” and our answer is Continue reading
Staff promises evaporated, many of 13 conditions voted by elected Commissioners didn’t get implemented: what happened at Nelson Hill, the subdivision County Planner Jason Davenport referred to as the neighborhood on Val Del Road for REZ-2013-09 Moody Housing? Well, it has a reputation, as someone nearby said in opposing another development:
And we’re certainly not interested in what they built out on Val Del Road.
What happened at Nelson Hill?
As Gretchen Quarterman mentioned to the Planning Commission, there were supposed to be condominiums and a gated community there, but:
if you go out to Nelson Hill now you don’t find anything resembling a gated condominium community; you find ticky-tacky houses where they cut down the swamp.
Unlike Moody AFB’s last go at privatizing housing, no mold or unpaid contractors this time, or so we’re told. But not so solid assurances that local contractors will be used. And what if this new thing turns into something radically different like Nelson Hill did only a short way up Val Del?
Speaking for that proposed privatized Moody housing on Val Del Road, Lawyer Tom Kurrie said this was “an opportunity for our community”. He spelled out that the proposal was “90 homes for off-base houses, for enlisted personnel, non-commissioned officers, and officers”, with gates. He went on about Balfour Beatty‘s experience in building such housing, and their option to build Phase II, although at the moment they’re only requesting Phase I. He said “the unfortunate issue that took place with the prior development” would not occur with this one.
I can guess he’s referring to the mold issue, Beth Mahoney detailed in Little Rock Military Families Examiner 6 April 2009.
Or since he lauded Balfour Beatty’s credit rating, maybe he was referring to the nonpayment of subcontractors, as Kari L. Sands wrote for VDT, 4 March 2007, Military housing woes: Non-payment forces work on military housing project to stop.
Preferred Builders and Renovators, LLC., the Home Builders Association of South Georgia and CMS/ Dumpster Co. are among those affected. Subcontractors are alleging that Continue reading
At the 29 July 2013 Greater Lowndes Planning Commission meeting, County Planner Jason Davenport said that in addition to the initial materials for GLPC, he’d provided an update about Magnolia Grove, which was Phase I of Moody Family Housing. The real reason for the rezoning wasn’t stated in the initial materials given to GLPC. In the materials obtained through open records request, we can see that the GLPC agenda item contained the boilerplate “The general motivation in this case appears to be so that the subject property can be developed at a greater residential density.” In the update it’s assumed that the real reason is housing for Moody personnel, since Magnolia Grove is the existing Moody housing off of Roberts Road. Which isn’t even built out yet, as you can see in this map from the county Tax Commissioners, so why does Moody need more housing?
What is so important about yet another subdivision of 360,910 square feet in 173 houses when we have a glut of houses that the TRC unanimously recommended it despite significant defects and omissions? According to Technical Review Committee (TRC) analysis, REZ-2013-09 Moody Family will not lessen congestion in the streets or secure safety from fire, panic, and other dangers. TRC also said the application didn’t meet ULDC standards and in somewhat tortured language: “although not a proposed condition, it should be noted on this request that a future traffic study will be required.” Why not require these things before even sending the application to the Planning Commission?
In email to the Greater Lowndes Planning Commissioners of 23 July 2013, forwarded to the applicants 29 July 2013, July 29th GLPC Lowndes County Rezoning Materials,
2) REZ-2013-09 Moody Family, 0072 191, Val Del Rd, 64.92 ac., 2 lots, R-1 to Residential PD, County Utilities
a) The TRC recommended approval of the request unanimously.
b) Additionally, although not a proposed condition, it should be noted on this request that a future traffic study will be required. Acceleration lanes/Deceleration lanes and/or a dedicated left turn lane may be required.
Rumor has it that this development is being pushed not by Moody AFB, rather by Continue reading
Is Naylor maybe going to get a Dollar General or something else, if the unnamed applicant or applicants get their rezoning with or without conditions? None of that is clear from yesterday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session for agenda item 7.c. REZ-2012-19 Naylor Dollar General, US Hwy 84 East, E-A to C-G, Well & Septic, ~2 acres.
County Planner Jason Davenport said:
The applicants have mentioned trying to do a Dollar General at this site. We believe that’s what they’re going to do, but however whatever uses are allowed in C-G would of course be allowed if it is approved without any conditions.
He said they had the recommendations from the TRC and the Planning Commission, but he didn’t say what they were. The Planning Commission recommended for, apparently with the understanding that it was for a Dollar General. Davenport said there had been no further input since the Planning Commission meeting.
The Commission could have staff submit written reports that go in the agenda and minutes, like the Library Board does, and then put those online as PDF or HTML linked to an HTML agenda, like Glynn County and Richmond County do, and we wouldn’t have to guess the names of applicants or the details of rezoning requests.
Here’s the video:
Dollar General or not?
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 10 December 2012.
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.
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.