Sprawl in an aquifer recharge zone back on the Lowndes County Commission agenda 2022-02-08

The same proposed rezoning in Lowndes County that WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman spoke against in November will be back on the Lowndes County Commission agenda for a decision at 5:30 PM February 8, 2022.

That’s 5:30 PM, Tuesday, February 8, 2022, on the second floor at 327 North Ashley Street, Valdosta, GA 31601.

Remember, this is upstream on the Little River from Florida and Brooks County Georgia, as well as Lowndes County. Because it’s a rezoning, anybody from anywhere can speak during the public hearing at that meeting. However, they will only allow a few people to speak for a few minutes.

So even better would be to send a written objection before the meeting to commissioner@lowndescounty.com. You can also try emailing the Commissioners individually, https://lowndescounty.com/directory.aspx?did=19 Beware that some of the Commissioners do not read their county email addresses, so best to also copy the County Clerk, belinda@lowndescounty.com.

Gretchen spoke against the new version of this rezoning (bigger lots) again Monday at the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission, this time pointing out that when community wells fail, their owners hand them over to the county, which puts the taxpayers on the hook for fixing them, so we don’t need any more community wells. A room full of opponents raised their hands at that meeting, and more than 300 signed a petition against the rezoning.

[Gretchen Quarterman at Planning Commission, aquifer recharge zone, sinkholes]
Gretchen Quarterman at Planning Commission, aquifer recharge zone, sinkholes

The subject property is also near some notorious sinkholes, the Myers Bluff Sinkhole on the Little River, and the Shiloh Road Sinkhole that fortunately did not take down that road or a nearby house. The Snake Nation Road Sinkhole, a bit farther south, forced the county to reroute that road to the tune of about half a million dollars.

Sinkholes in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

These sinkholes are evidence of aquifer recharge. Is the Floridan Aquifer, our source of water for drinking, agriculture, industry, and recreation, worth risking for a few more house lots?

Especially when similar lots a mile away mostly have not sold in two decades?

What should the developers do if the County Commissioners decide not to let them have a community well? How about not build outside where the county has water and sewer lines?

Building out beyond county services costs taxpayers money to send school busses, Sheriff vehicles, Fire trucks, and in road maintenance. Costs that property taxes will never be enough to recover.

So please contact the Lowndes County Commissioners and help stop this subsidy of yet another sprawling subdivision.

This rezoning perhaps even more than some others, raises questions about Secrecy of Lowndes County Commission and Staff. Road lists not revealed even to the County Commissioners. A 300-signature petition purposely omitted from the board packet. Two board packets not returned within the 3-day statutory limit for responses to Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) requests. No board packets on the county’s website. Minutes hard to find or completely missing before 2012. No videos by the county of Work Sessions or Planning Commission meetings. A year gap in videos of Regular Sessions.

Why are they so secretive? Don’t they think we the public including the taxpayers of Lowndes County, Georgia, need to know?

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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One thought on “Sprawl in an aquifer recharge zone back on the Lowndes County Commission agenda 2022-02-08

  1. Pingback: Withdrawn but will return: subdivision in aquifer recharge zone near Little River, Lowndes County, GA @ LCC 2021-12-14 | WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) is Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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