Tag Archives: Val Del Road

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

Back again: Camelot Crossing subdivision, Val Del Estates street acceptance @ LCC 2022-04-25

Still listed as “BUDGET IMPACT: N/A” on the Lowndes County Commission agenda for this morning and voting tomorrow evening: REZ-2022-07 Hayden Park, Camelot Crossing & Val Del Rd. Nevermind that the county has spent untold funds on a Lowndes County Traffic Engineering Report: N. Valdosta Road and Val Del Road and will spend more on actually constructing those turn lanes on Val Del Road. Nevermind that just up Val Del Road the county proposed to Adopt Resolution Accepting Infrastructure for Val Del Estates Subdivision Phase III, meaning the county will have to pay to maintain those streets, just like it will eventually for streets in this other Val Del Road subdivision.

For sure, subdivisions should be inside existing water and sewer infrastructure. But it would be nice if the county would tell the public the real costs of every subdivision. Continue reading

Hahira withdrawn, 4 Valdosta, 3 Lowndes @ GLPC 2022-03-28

The Hahira rezoning was withdrawn by the applicant, but all the other rezonings were heard by the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission last month, including the contentious REZ-2022-07 Hayden Park, Camelot Crossing and Val Del Road, which has already come before the Lowndes County Commission once and is back again today.

[Example rezonings]
Example rezonings

Here is the agenda. The board packet is on the LAKE website, The Valdosta rezoning items were sent by City Planner Matt Martin. The Lowndes County rezoning items were received in response to a LAKE open records request. The county did not send the agenda nor the minutes of the previous meeting, both of which LAKE got off the county website. The county also did not send the Valdosta items, in apparent violation of the Georgia Open Records Act (GORA).

Greater Lowndes Planning Commission
~ Lowndes County ~ City of Valdosta ~ City of Dasher ~
~ City of Hahira ~ City of Lake Park ~ City of Remerton ~
Monday, March 21, 2022 5:30 P.M. Work Session
Monday, March 28, 2022 5:30 P.M. Regular Session
Lowndes County South Health District Administrative Office
325 West Savannah Avenue, Valdosta, Georgia

Continue reading

Why should Lowndes County spend half a million dollars to subsidize a developer? 2022-01-24

Update 2022-01-25: Discussion of court grants and Loch Laurel Road project, little of property subsidy @ LCC 2022-01-24.

The $568,971.00 for 5.k. Property Purchase – Building Valdosta, LLC is a markup of $323,971 over the price that property sold for last year, supposedly to protect Moody AFB, even though how is not said and it’s 2.4 miles away. The developer is the same as for the 5999 Val Del Road rezoning last October. And there appear to be more previous subsidies from the County Commission to the same developer.

This current giveaway on GA 122 is on the agenda for this morning’s Work Session and Tuesday evening’s voting Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

Who does it profit? And how does it protect Moody AFB?

[Building Valdosta parcel, Comprehensive Plan with MAZ]
Building Valdosta parcel, Comprehensive Plan with MAZ

After I pointed out to the Lowndes County PIO and Clerk that the county was apparently in violation of the Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) by not returning the board packet within three days, they sent it at 7PM on Saturday. The packet is on the LAKE website. However, the packet includes no information about this item beyond the agenda sheet, which says:

HISTORY, FACTS AND ISSUES: At the direction of the Commission, staff has worked with the County Attorney to prepare a purchase agreement that will provide for Lowndes County to purchase 41.543 acres of property on Highway 122 inclusive of development costs incurred by the current owners and as reflected in the agreement, for the purpose of protecting Moody Air Force Base from encroachment.

It doesn’t say where that 41.543 acres is. But the Lowndes County Tax Assessors online web pages and map find it as 7404 E HWY 122, 2.4 miles north of Moody AFB. Continue reading

Comprehensive Plan final Public Hearing @ LCC 2021-10-26

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

Update 2021-10-25: Maps: Comprehensive Plan Final Public Hearing @ LCC 2021-10-26.

We’ll find out at 5:30 PM this Tuesday whether the Character Area Map for Lowndes County will change. Two sources tell me that it won’t for this update of the Lowndes County Comprehensive Plan, except for some tinkery fixes not in the northwest part of the county.

But many of us thought the County Commission might listen to the thousand people who signed a petition against subdivisions farther northwest of Valdosta towards Hahira and GA 122, but two weeks ago the Commissioners approved a subdivision way up Val Del Road almost to GA 122, in the middle of an agricultural and forest area, far out of any appropriate Character Area. So if you care, be there.

[Unfinished Lowndes County Character Area Map, courtesy Lowndes County Planner JD Dillard]
Unfinished Lowndes County Character Area Map, courtesy Lowndes County Planner JD Dillard

This is all the calendar on lowndescounty.com says: Continue reading

Videos: Subdivision way out of bounds approved, and million-dollar water main, but Wells Road stays open 2021-10-12

The good news: Wells Road and Folsom Bridge Landing remain open, after the Commissioners unanimously denied the road closure. Thanks to Commissioner Clay Griner for making the motion, saying that the request met none of the criteria.

The bad news: by a 3:2 vote they approved the subdivision way too far north on Val Del Road, far outside the subdivision character area, despite the Planning Commission, county staff, and three speakers against in the Public Hearing. Griner also made that motion. The audience was not happy, especially at Commissioner Scottie Orenstein for voting for that motion.

[Subdivision too far north on Val Del approved, audience reaction, Wells Road stays open, un-needed $million water main approved]
Subdivision too far north on Val Del approved, audience reaction, Wells Road stays open, un-needed $million water main approved

The Commissioners also approved without comment the $1 million unnecessary water main as part of the $5 million utilities package.

They approved everything else unanimously.

Below are LAKE videos of each agenda item with some notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda and board packet and the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session.

Continue reading

Videos: Subdivisions, Wells Road abandonment, Water Main, Library @ LCC 2021-10-11

Update 2021-10-12 Videos: Subdivision way out of bounds approved, and million-dollar water main, but Wells Road stays open.

A road abandonment apparently had not taken into account people who live farther north up Wells Road, this morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session. Nor that closing that road would close one of only two public access points to the Little River in Lowndes County. Nor that the Mary Turner Lynching monument is on that road.

[Beaver Run, GW Farms, Villages subdivisions, Wells Road abandonment]
Beaver Run, GW Farms, Villages subdivisions, Wells Road abandonment

Of the $5 million for utilities, $1 million is for a water main to promote more subdivisions northwest in the county. To their credit, two Commissioners asked about that.

They breezed through seven rezonings, three of them for subdivisions, one so far out of place their own staff recommend against it, with no comments nor questions.

There was a question about some improvements to the historic Carnegie Library Museum.

They vote tomorrow, Tuesday, evening at 5:30 PM.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item with some notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda and board packet.

Sewer Improvements, Water for subdivision sprawl, Library @ LCC 2021-10-11

Update 2021-10-11: Videos: Subdivisions, Wells Road abandonment, Water Main, Library @ LCC 2021-10-11.

Five and a half million dollars on the agenda for the Lowndes County Commission Monday morning, for voting Tuesday evening. Most of it is for sewer system improvements, but $1 million is to run another water main in the north side of the county to promote more subdivisions, such as the three on the same agenda.

[Seven rezonings and a road abandonment]
Seven rezonings and a road abandonment

For one of the rezonings on Val Del Road staff cite “Current growth trends in the area.” Well, here’s who is setting those growth trends: the Lowndes County Commission and staff, plus the Chamber and Development Authority.

At least staff and the Planning Commission recommend denying the worst of the lot, REZ-2021-16 G W Farms, 5999 Val Del Road, R-A to R-1, Well & Septic, ~98.95 acres, which is so far north up Val Del Road it’s almost at GA 122. The Commission previously denied a rezoning at that same location. They should do so again.

They also propose to abandon Abandonment of a portion of Salem Church Road (CR #68) and Wells Road (CR # 68 & CR #69), starting at GA 122. That is a problem, because Wells Road at GA 122 is the turnoff to get to Folsom Bridge Landing, one of only two public access points to the Little River in Lowndes County. 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