Tag Archives: sprawl

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. Continue reading

Withdrawn but will return: subdivision in aquifer recharge zone near Little River, Lowndes County, GA @ LCC 2021-12-14

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

Update 2022-01-09: Cancelled: Lowndes County Commission Meetings 2022-01-10, so expect expect the contentious Miller Bridge Road subdivision that was withdrawn last time to be back with larger lot sizes at the January 24 and 25 Commission meetings.

The subdivision WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman spoke against at the November Planning Commission meeting was withdrawn before the December Lowndes County Commission meeting.

[Lowndes County Commission, Rezoning withdrawn temporarily, Aquifer recharge zone]
Lowndes County Commission, Rezoning withdrawn temporarily, Aquifer recharge zone

But the withdrawal letter said they would be back with a new plan by January 5th. The subject property near the Little River is still in an aquifer recharge zone, and far outside any appropriate Character Area in the Comprehensive Plan. Continue reading

We do not need endanger the aquifer recharge zone with a subdivision. –Gretchen Quarterman for WWALS @ GLPC 2021-11-29

Update 2022-01-02: Withdrawn but will return: subdivision in aquifer recharge zone near Little River, Lowndes County, GA @ LCC 2021-12-14

When the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) held a Public Hearing Monday for a rezoning for a subdivision in an aquifer recharge zone, WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman spoke against it. Three hundred other people opposed the rezoning. The Planning Commission unanimously voted to recommend denying it.

But GLPC does not decide: the Lowndes County Commission will do that on December 14, 2021. And the County Commissioners can, if they choose, change the lot size or approve the rezoning as proposed.

This is what to watch for on that upcoming agenda: REZ-2021-28 Windy Hill S/D, 7532 Miller Bridge Rd., 0010 022, 34 ac., Community well & septic, EA to R1.

[Gretchen, speakers, aquifer recharge zone]
Gretchen, speakers, aquifer recharge zone

Here is the LAKE video of Gretchen speaking, at 19:56. Continue reading

Roads next to Mud Swamp, which drains to Alapahoochee, Alapaha Rivers @ LCC 2021-08-24

The Lowndes County Commission started the process of taking over two flooded private roads, they adopted a fire department millage rate for all real and personal property in the unincorporated parts of the county, and they discussed how that millage was to aid population growth in the unincorporated areas, apparently including building closer to and perhaps in wetlands that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had recently decided were not Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). All these actions at their August 24, 2021, Regular Session, at least taken together, would seem to support sprawl.

[Mud Swamp Road and Swamp Edge Drive adopted by Lowndes County, GA]
Mud Swamp Road and Swamp Edge Drive adopted by Lowndes County, GA, in the lower left corner of this map, between two arms of Mud Swamp Creek, in the WWALS map of all public landings in the Suwannee River Basin.

Better would be to 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.

Continue reading

Videos: toll road planning –E.D. Scott R. Koons & Ken Cornell @ NCFRPC 2019-05-23

Last Thursday, NCFRPC E.D. Scott R. Koons noted that Appointments to the task forces for each of the toll road corridors would start soon. Among the types of representatives that are supposed to be appointed, are environmental organizations (two of those listed in the bill are on record opposing it).

[Scott R. Koons, E.D., NCFRPC]
Scott R. Koons, E.D., NCFRPC

Koons also discussed approved funding for a hurricane evacuation study. Why, you may wonder, was the toll road bill, supposedly largely about hurricane evacuation, passed before that study was even started?

Ken Cornell of Alachua County noted “There’s a lot of election cycles before this is going to be done.” Indeed, a new governor could decline to implement this toll road boondoggle, and if enough elected officials on the task forces oppose it, that might even stop it. He also said:

[Planning, Ken Cornell, Alachua County]
Planning, Ken Cornell, Alachua County

Cornell asked for new Executive Committee members to get together before the next Council meeting,

So we can have some discussions at this Council like what we’re doing for Valdosta, and have a united front. Alachua County and I know many others will stand in support of this issue.

Suwannee Riverkeeper stands in support of the counties opposed to the toll roads.

Below are the WWALS videos from that North Central Florida Regional Planning Council meeting in Lake City, FL, with more details. Continue reading

Citizens for water against toll roads @ NCFRPC 2019-05-23

Update 2019-05-28: See also Videos: toll road planning –E.D. Scott R. Koons & Ken Cornell @ NCFRPC 2019-05-23.

Eight citizens from across the region spoke Thursday against the toll road boondoggle, at the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council meeting in Lake City, FL.

Below are links to each WWALS video of each speaker, followed by a WWALS video playlist.

See also Continue reading

Videos: Parker Pond water withdrawals, BMAPs, Valdosta, and Testing @ SRWMD 2019-05-14

The deputy went in to see what the ruckus was about. It was Lu Merritt, Mike Roth, Jim Tatum, Mike Kern, and then me, in extensive discussion about a water withdrawal permit request, that Jim Tatum called Words of Truth to the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) Board.

On the agenda for that Monday, 14 May 2019:

20. Approval of New Water Use Permit 2-001-234425-1, Authorizing a Maximum 0.1462 mgd of Groundwater for Agricultural Use at the Parker Pond Project, Alachua County

I was actually there for this later item:

30. Valdosta Wastewater Update

In interaction with Tom Mirti, I confirmed that FDEP is doing DNA and sucralose (human waste marker) testing monthly at the GA-FL line on the Withlacoochee and Alapaha (not Alapahoochee) Rivers, and at the Withlacoochee Confluence with the Suwannee River. However, SRWMD has no plans for doing complementary weeks.

I found the public relations method research by Katelyn Potter to be fascinating.

Below are links to each WWALS video of each speaker, with some notes, followed by a WWALS video playlist. Continue reading

Help stop sprawl in Marion County 2018-12-18

You can help protect the Rainbow River and the Withlacoochee (south) River this Tuesday. WWALS member Janet Barrow recommends:

Love Marion County? Want to keep what you love about it? Show up and support changes to the Comp Plan that will help curtail sprawl and add protections for our rural and conservation lands and waters, including protection from a toll road cutting through our area. Show up. Speak in support of the language to protect the Farmland Preservation Area and all areas to the south and west to the county lines (SW Marion County.)

When: 2PM, Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Where: Board of County Commissioners Auditorium
601 SE 25th Avenue
Ocala, Florida 34470

What: “The Marion County Board of County Commissioners to hold a Transmittal public hearing to consider the 2018 Evaluation and Appraisal Report based amendments to the Marion County Comprehensive Plan.”

Event: facebook

Julliette Falls Golf Club and Community to the north
Photo: Jim Tatum, on WWALS Southwings flight, pilot Roy Zimmer, navigator Andrea Rea, 2017-02-07.

Marion County denied the AZ Ocala Ranch development and is Continue reading