Valdosta Daily Times

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September 4, 2013

City discusses zoning request

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta City Council met Tuesday in a work session to discuss two zoning issues that will be up for vote Thursday.

Matt Martin, a city zoning administrator, spoke about rezoning and expanding the Parkwood Development Center, which has been located at 1501 N. Lee St. for 43 years.

Currently, the Parkwood Center is zoned as Single-Family Residential (R-6) and (R-10), and Martin suggested that it be rezoned as an Office-Professional (O-P) as requested by UHS Pruitt Corporation. This would allow the current facility to expand by adding an Activities Building to the north of Two Mile Branch creek, and a 20-bed dormitory to the east of the creek.

Councilman Robert Yost requested further explanation as to why this facility wanted to be rezoned as O-P because he saw Parkwood more as a residential facility. Martin explained that Parkwood is “close cousins” to similar facilities with the O-P label.

Martin said that these buildings would benefit the campus because it would allow them to house more people and also give them more room for activities.

Councilman Sonny Vickers expressed  concern about the facility being too close to the stream. He asked if the City approved this and there was a flood, would the City be liable. He asked if any of the surrounding areas have been flooded in the past, and Martin said that in the past 43 years, there has never been an issue.

As of now, the facility shares a driveway with a neighboring business, so Martin has proposed a new service drive, along with a new 19-space parking area. Both of these would add to the current parking.

Concerned about the surrounding area, Vickers asked if the residents have expressed concern about the proposed development, and Martin said that they have not had contact with the residents.

Pat Collins, city engineer, addressed City Council about the current bids for two proposed sidewalk projects. The first is on North Oak Street, while the second is on Lamar Street. Collins said that these sidewalks would “serve the college” because a lot of students walk along those streets.

The city's estimated cost of both projects is a little under $270,000, but the current winning bid is held by the Scruggs Company at a little more than $330,000. Mayor John Gayle asked if these projects were in demand, and Collins answered, “I think they are.”

Collins also said that he thinks that the council should accept the current bid because the unit price of materials and services vary. For example, the city estimated the grading cost to be $15,000, and the Warren Company had the cost at $28,000, Scruggs estimated it at $41,000, and Reames and Son had the price at $86,000. Collins said that traffic control for the project also varied because the estimated cost was $7,500, while Warren and Associates had it at $5,000, Scruggs had it at $3,200, and Reames and Son estimated the cost at $2,500.

Further requests from the council included: Vickers proposed that the city put in a sidewalk on River Street in district three because kids walk down that street. He said, “We need it there more than anywhere else.” Councilman Yost requested that the city repair a crosswalk signal on Jerry Jones Drive that was hit by a car so that people would not “walk off with those parts.” Finally, Mayor John Gayle wanted to encourage people to attend the Mayor's Breakfast, next Tuesday morning. If you would like to reserve a seat, then you have to reserve it before Thursday, September 5, at Valdosta.cbmc.com

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