Tag Archives: wetlands

3 Lowndes including wetlands, 2 Valdosta @ ZBOA 2016-09-13

Mostly setbacks, plus lot width, and one about wetlands at the decision-making Zoning Board of Appeals 2:30 PM today.

That wetlands one is about Union Springs Subdivision, which came before ZBOA previously in June 2016 about wells, wastewater, and wetlands, when ZBOA approved a variance 6:0.

Here’s the agenda for today. Continue reading

EU could cut 40% emissions with little cost: and we can, too

If Europe can do it, the U.S. can do it. And we know Georgia can get a third of its power from wind, and even Spain is north of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, which have a lot more sun for solar power than anywhere in Europe. Solar power is already winning, even in Georgia. Let’s help it win even faster, plus wind.

PR from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) 16 January 2014, EU could cut emissions by 40 percent at moderate cost,

The costs of achieving a more ambitious EU climate target are estimated to be moderate. Upscaling greenhouse-gas emissions reduction from the current 20 percent by 2020 to 40 percent by 2030 would be likely to cost less than an additional 0.7 percent of economic activity.

And that apparently doesn’t count the additional economic activity that would be produced by all those wind and solar deployments, not to mention related activities like electric cars. This is actually a pessimistic study, because it doesn’t account for such likely positive corollaries.

Many options to choose from—wind power could expand sevenfold

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Videos: VLMPO Policy Committee @ VLMPO 2013-10-29

I commend VLMPO for addressing real issues and getting a broad variety of organizations to show up. However, map after map on the consultant’s slides showed a straight-line highway going from Moody’s front gate to Hahira:

Highway straight line from Moody AFB to Hahira?

There is no such road. There better not be, since it would go straight through my property and would drive development right through agricultural and forestry areas that the Comprehensive Plan says aren’t supposed to be developed,. not to mention the Moody MAZ. I’m told the consultant is going to fix this.

I have my doubts, because Continue reading

Nelson Hill waivers by staff @ LCC 2013-08-13

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

What happened at Nelson Hill on Val Del Road? @ LCC 2013-08-12

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.

So what was supposed to be there? In the Minutes for the Work Session of 12 February 2007 condominiums are mentioned: Continue reading

Plant the seeds for viable water future

This AJC op-ed is about coastal wetlands, but much of it applies to wetlands such as cypress swamps and streams in Lowndes County and the rest of central south Georgia, especially since our state water plan for the Suwannee-Satilla Region points us at County-Level Population Projections from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget that project 45% growth in Lowndes County population in 20 years to 156,650 people by 2030, which means near doubling in 30 years to 2050. -jsq

David Kyler wrote for the AJC 29 December 2006, “Plant the seeds for viable coastal future”,

Recent population projections for the Georgia coast issued by 2010-2030 Change in Population of Georgia Counties Georgia Tech say nothing new. We’re growing at almost 20 percent a decade, meaning a near doubling every 35 years.

The Center for a Sustainable Coast projected a population of about 1 million by 2030 for the 11 counties in the coastal region as defined by the Department of Natural Resources, somewhat higher than the 844,000 predicted by Georgia Tech. This compares with a population of 538,469 reported in the 2000 Census report.

But the accuracy of projections is not the point. Increased population will result in more land clearing and environmental disturbance than in the past—there will be larger homes, bigger lots and fewer people per household.

National studies show up to twice as much land is

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Rezoning denied: REZ-2012-12 Parker Place, 4842 Parker Place Rd. @ LCC 2012-09-11

After no changes since the previous morning's Work Session, the Lowndes County Commission at its 11 September 2011 Regular Session did the right thing and denied a rezoning that would have put many houses in a wet area next to many people who did not want it. One speaker against the rezoning said some of the adjoining land had been in his wife's family since her Indian ancestors.

Here's a video playlist:

Rezoning denied: REZ-2012-12 Parker Place, 4842 Parker Place Rd.
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 11 September 2012.

-jsq

REZ-2012-09 Copeland rezoning @ LCC 2012-06-12

How can a man with health care financial troubles make a living with a shop he’s had for decades when some of the neighbors complain about a rezoning that is now required? A controversial case that raised issues ranging from wetlands to public safety to Moody Air Force Base jets flying out of Valdosta Airport made its way through two appointed boards to a Solomonic rezoning decision by the elected Lowndes County Commission. Nobody wanted to deny a man a living, but many people wanted to limit potential commercial uses of the subject property. The Commissioners attempted to take all that into account, yet failed to incorporate two major considerations raised by neighbors, mentioning one of them only to disparage it. Even that isn’t the end of it, since it may head back to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a buffer variance. Here are videos of REZ-2012-09 Copeland at the Lowndes County Commission.

It had been to the Planning Commission for a recommendation on rezoning, it had been to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a buffer variance, Monday morning it had been to the County Commission Work Session at which we learned a bit more, and Tuesday evening it went to the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session for a vote on rezoning.

Monday 11 June 2012 Work Session

At the 8:30 AM Monday Work Session, County Planner Jason Davenport had several updates since Commissioners had received their packets the previous week.

  • An email from a Mr. Bradford in opposition.
  • Some open records requests to be filled after the work session.
  • Some opponents of the rezoning had hired a lawyer. (Those of you who watched Bill Nijem at the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting already would have guessed that. Nijem also spoke the next day at the Regular Session.)
  • Davenport had met with the applicant, Mr. Copeland, who had provided more materials because he believed there were some accusations about lack of continuous operations in the building.

Davenport summarized that he thought there were three camps:

  1. Those not supporting the case.
  2. Those supporting the case,
  3. Those supporting the case with conditions,

He said one possibility would be for he and the county attorney to meet with the opposition attorney to try to work out some conditions.

Tuesday 12 June 2012 Regular Session

The agenda item was

6. Public Hearings – REZ-2012-09 Copeland, 3258 & 3264 Loch Laurel Rd, R-A & R-1 to C-C, well & septic, ~5 acres

Here’s a list of every citizen speaking for, at any of GLPC, ZBOA, or County Commission: John A. Copeland (the applicant), Kevin Copeland (applicant’s son), Nancy Hobby, Charles Miles, Fuller Sorrell, Alan Davis, Robert Roffe, and Norman Bush, plus a petition for.

Here’s a list of every citizen speaking against, at any of GLPC, ZBOA, or County Commission: Bill Nijem (attorney for several neighbors), Jimmy Hiers, Gail Hiers, Greta Vargas, and Patty Haynes.

For the rezoning

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Videos @ LCC 2012 04 10

Your county commission might have a problem with transparency when no item in a voting session takes more than a few seconds longer than the invocation and pledge. Or perhaps a public hearing in which the public is not invited to speak.

Another five minute meeting, like the previous morning’s four (Chairman’s count) or five (VDT’s count) minute work session. They did not spend even one minute on any item of the agenda.

We did get to learn that the cryptic

7.a. Seminole Circle Property

is owned by the county which wants to sell it off. Commissioner Richard Raines even read from Georgia Code the reason why the county could do that without putting it up for bids. If you did have any objection, or maybe you wanted to buy it, you’re too late, because a few seconds after we learned what it was, they sold it off. That was the longest item, at 1 minute and 20 seconds.

They didn’t mention that the subject property is apparently a splinter of a much larger 538.31 acre parcel, 0172 119, which is presumably the “land application site” they referred to. According to the 8 December 2009 minutes they use it as a hay field. After land application of what? Continue reading

Conservation records @ LCC 2012-03-13

Update 21 May 2012: Fixed meeting date. See also Planning Commission discussion of this item.

An issue of conservation records came up at the 28 February 2012 13 March 2012 Lowndes County Commission meeting, regarding a rezoning at Lake Alapaha, in far northeast Lowndes County, near the Alapaha River.

County Planner Jason Davenport described the problem, which came up in a request to rezone a piece of property that was partly zoned RA (Residential Agriculture) and partly Conservation:

We did get help from the clerk’s office to try to clear up when this property was zoned and why it was zoned conservation. I just don’t have anything [unintelligible]. We have minutes that say one thing and a zoning map that says another.

He said they had had limited time to investigate, and had not been able to resolve this issue.

That issue is still on the table. I would just remind you that in the grand scheme it is a minor issue.

Commissioner Richard Raines made the motion:

For my part I’m for rezoning the entire property RA and eliminating the conservation.

And that’s what they did. Which raises issues of what we should do.

Here’s a playlist:


Conservation records
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 28 February 2012 13 March 2012.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

The issue here is at least fourfold:

Continue reading