Tag Archives: trees

Help fix land revaluation: come to Farm Bureau –Board of Equalization

Come to the Farm Bureau in two weeks to hear Tax Assessor staff present their updates and provide your input Contents for changes to the rural land revaluation, this time taking into account rivers, aquifer recharge zones, and uniformity. Maybe the Tax Assessors actually don’t want more flooding in Valdosta; both the City of Valdosta and GA-EDP have already shown interest in attending about that point.

At an appeal on my property valuation, the Board of Equalization stopped short of actually ordering the Tax Assessors to redo last year’s rural land revaluation, because staff volunteered Continue reading

Videos: Moody Family Housing doesn’t want to replace trees it cut down on Val-Del @ ZBOA 2015-08-04

They meet again today 2:30 PM.

Last month, ZBOA voted 5 to 1 to let Moody Family Housing have a reduction of 25% (half of the 50% they wanted) so as to include a requirement of native trees. Gretchen Quarterman made the motion, Paul Alvarado seconded, and Satrina Plyler (filling the unexpired term of Scott Orenstein) voted against.

See for more background.

Here’s a video playlist:


Videos: Moody Family Housing doesn’t want to replace trees it cut down on Val-Del
Regular Session, Valdosta-Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBOA),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 4 August 2015.

-jsq

Monday August 10th deadline to appeal tax valuations –VLCoC

Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce members just got a message from Bruce Allred, Government Affairs Council Chairman, saying:

MONDAY IS DEADLINE TO APPEAL PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS!

You can look up your property on the Tax Assessors’ website: www.qpublic.net/ga/lowndes.

See also the LAKE Videos: Rural revaluation meeting at Farm Bureau 2015-08-04.

That Chamber message includes this useful information: Continue reading

Videos: Rural revaluation meeting at Farm Bureau 2015-08-04

See for yourself the Tax Assessor response to local landowners, in these LAKE videos of last night’s meeting at Farm Bureau. Do you think there’s a problem? If so, what do you think we should do to fix it?

The attendees appointed Gretchen to take notes. Here are her notes, followed by the videos.

Accessibility is not about access, it’s about geographic location…. That was done by one of our appraisers on staff. —Chief Appraiser Silas Hrobar

Rural and commercial land owners got surprises in the mail in July when they received the updated assessments of their properties. Lowndes County Assessors engaged a contractor last year to help with the reassessments of approximately 10,000 properties. Rural properties were categorized as small (under 20 acres) and large (over 20 acres) but complaints were the same, inconsistent and confusing application of criteria.

On Tuesday evening, Farm Bureau hosted Continue reading

Moody Family Housing doesn’t want to replace trees it cut down on Val-Del @ ZBOA 2015-08-04

2:30 PM today, should developers not have to follow code and put back trees on the unnecessary and environmentally hazardous Moody Family Housing on Val-Del Road? You wouldn’t know who this was by a pretty name like Azalea Commons, or an acronym like ACC Group III Housing, and only the board packet mentions Balfour Beatty, but it’s the same Moody Family Housing in an aquifer recharge zone that already had a sinkhole as admitted by a K Street lawyer to the Lowndes County Commission and told to them and to the Air Force by VSU professors that the Air Force proceeded to ignore in its environmental assessment and the Lowndes County Commission rezoned anyway. Staff recommend 20% “relief” from planting trees. How about the county get some relief from unnecessary sprawl?

They did provide a table of the trees they want to cut down.

Here’s the agenda, which is not on the City of Valdosta website, appearing here courtesy of Continue reading

Rural revaluation meeting at Farm Bureau 2015-08-04

Are Bill Gates and subdivisions really more important than agriculture or rivers or public transportation? Come to Farm Bureau tomorrow evening and find out what’s going on with the rural land revaluation. facebook event.

When: 7PM, Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Where: 3296 Greystone Way, Valdosta, GA, (229) 242-7876

By: Farm Bureau board member Buddy Coleman called this meeting.

What: Compare the Comprehensive Plan to this revaluation here (PDF).

Sprawl: sprawling residential growth is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin (Or at least big tax increases). PDF of the report by UGA Prof. Jeffrey H. Dorfman Lowndes County paid for in 2007, The Local Government Fiscal Impacts of Land Use in Lowndes County.

Who: At least some of the Lowndes County Tax Assessors Continue reading

Rural tax revaluation: Bill Gates and subdivisions more important than agriculture and public transportation?

Does this rural land revaluation map resemble the Comprehensive Plan Future Development map? Tax Assessors: Rural Land Accessibility Codes Why not? And why were rivers and public transportation not considered either by the Lowndes County Tax Assessors while tracts with road frontage were considered the “highest market area” and land purchases by Bill Gates were considered “benchmark sales” instrumental in pricing large tracts?

This rural land revaluation is yet another vehicle to drive development straight north into the agricultural areas of the county, not even stopping at the Withlacoochee River.

That way lies sprawl, which as Dr. Jeffrey H. Dorfman of UGA has said, “is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin* * Or at least big tax increases.”

The City of Valdosta better watch out! Much of this Continue reading

Green corridors are good for people, business, plants, and animals

Some of this is happening locally: Valdosta is planting trees along Hill Avenue, Lowndes County is building Naylor Park with a boat ramp that will be part of the Alapaha River Water Trail and VLPRA has long been thinking about a blueway on the Withlacoochee River, where it already has a string of parks and ramps. Valdosta has the Azalea City Trail across several parks and VSU. Imagine if that Trail extended a little farther on each end, connecting the Withlacoochee River and the Alapaha River: a greenway between two blueways. Imagine if Lowndes County planted trees in that concrete median in Bemiss Road. Imagine a bus running down that parkway….

Janice Astbury, the nature of cities, 29 March 2015, Green Transport Routes Are Social-Cultural-Ecological Corridors,

…natural corridors do not appear on the standard online GPS systems that people increasingly use to plan their routes. In other cases, the path is suddenly interrupted by infrastructure hostile to pedestrians and cyclists. It is clear that green and active transport routes are an afterthought, an add-on, rather than a core part of the city’s transport strategy.

Local government should invest in developing and maintaining the natural connective tissue of the city. In the same way that significant investment is made in arterial roads because they are believed to serve everyone and to connect up vital places, so inviting connective green infrastructure should be supported. The canals, footpaths, and cycleways that provide routes for active transport should appear prominently on maps and signage. Whole systems should be indicated when possible, even when portions of them are currently inaccessible, in order to enhance system understanding, and to encourage thinking about connecting up fragmented corridors.

Few people complain when a county or city spends millions of dollars on Continue reading

Earth Day at the Lowndes County Courthouse @ LCC 2013-04-09

11AM this morning the County will plant three hardwood trees where the Annex was at the historic Lowndes County Courthouse.

At the 9 April 2013 Regular Session, The Chairman announced that at 11AM on Earth Day, Monday 22 April 2013,

over at the historical Courthouse square, Lowndes County Board of Commissioners and Lowndes County Public Works Department will plant three trees that are native to south Georgia in celebrating a three-day free-to-the-public electronic recycling event. The public is welcome. And I’d like to also recognize at this time special thanks to Advanced Disposal and Yancey Caterpillar for helping with the funding of this event.

What we’re doing is at the request of the Committee for the Preservation of the Courthouse. The scene around the Courthouse as you see it now the Annex has come off. There is sod down at this point. We’re going to add three more trees on that, which would be the north side of the Courthouse. It would be three different species of hardwood trees. And when that is completed, we should have a sample of each hardwood tree that is representative of south Georgia around the perimeter of the Courthouse.

So it’s going to be really nice, and it will still allow us to be able to use that green space and all right there for some events and such as that, for Farm Days and what have you. So if you do have it, put it on your calendar, take the opportunity to come out and enjoy the morning with us as we plant those three trees.

There’s no press release about this on the Lowndes County website. Buried in their calendar there is this blurb: Continue reading

Renewable Portfolio Standards: GA, NC, and ALEC

Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (RPS) are being proposed in Georgia and ALEC is trying to do away with them in North Carolina. If ALEC doesn’t like them, there must be something good about RPS. Let’s get on with real renewable energy in Georgia.

In Georgia, HB 503, sponsored by Karla Drenner, Carol Fullerton, Debbie Buckner, Scott Holcomb, Spencer Frye, and Earnest Smith, would create a Renewable Energy Credits Trading program as part of renewable portfolio standards, as Kyle wrote for Spencer Frye’s blog 10 March 2013, Let the Sunshine In. Unfortunately, HB 503 includes biomass as a renewable energy source. Maybe they just mean landfill gas, which I consider a special case since it’s being produced anyway, and since methane is worse as a greenhouse gas than CO2, burning landfill gas makes some sense. Nope, in the actual bill, 46-3-71 (1):

‘Biomass material’ means organic matter, excluding fossil fuels and black liquor, including agricultural crops, plants, trees, wood, wood wastes and residues, sawmill waste, sawdust, wood chips, bark chips, and forest thinning, harvesting, or clearing residues; wood waste from pallets or other wood demolition debris; peanut shells; cotton plants; corn stalks; and plant matter, including aquatic plants, grasses, stalks, vegetation, and residues, including hulls, shells, or cellulose containing fibers

The barn door in there is “harvesting”, which can mean whole trees, but the rest isn’t much better. We don’t need to be burning things that increase atmospheric CO2 and end up stripping our forests. In North Carolina they staretd with just tops and limbs and then tried to escalate to whole trees. We already fought off the biomass boondoggle here in south Georgia; let’s not have it encouraged statewide. Especially when we have better solutions: solar and wind power. HB 503 isn’t going to get passed this year, since it didn’t make crossover day, so maybe its sponsors can clean up that biomass mess before they submit it again.

Speaking of North Carolina, Continue reading