VALDOSTA -- The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission paved the way for a new subdivision near the Valdosta Country Club on Monday.

Commissioners unanimously recommended approval for a rezoning request from Jeff Lovell, representing Bellmeadow LLC, to rezone 15 acres from single-family residential to Planned Residential Development and Planned Professional Development.

The site plan calls for 60 single-family detached and single-family attached units ranging from 1,600 to 3,600 square feet in size. The plan also includes eight units for office-professional use ranging from 1,330 to 2,600 square feet.

The Bellmeadow development will be located off Country Club Road, though access to the subdivision will be off North Valdosta Road and through an extension of Wild Meadow Circle.

Lovell told the Board the subdivision would cater primarily to retirees and "empty nesters" and would feature restrictive covenants.

Under the requested zoning, the subdivision could contain up to 103 houses and 16 businesses, but Lovell said the property developers wanted to preserve greenspace and minimize impact on surrounding neighborhoods. To that end, developers agreed to a 40 percent reduction in housing density and a 50 percent reduction in professional density, while also adding a 30-foot vegetative buffer around 80 percent of the project, and an eight to 10 foot semi-opaque fence along the outer boundaries.

Because the requested zoning classification is a Planned Residential Development, any modifications to the site plan would have to be approved first by the Planning Commission and then by Valdosta City Council.

In other business, the Planning Commission:

Unanimously recommended approval for a request from H.M. Barfield for a variance to Hahira's front yard setback requirements in a Highway Commercial Zoning District at 107 S. Church St.

Recommended denial by a 6-1 vote for a request from Ellis Shiver to rezone 0.83 acres along the 400 block of Lawson Street in Hahira from Single-Family Residential to Light Manufacturing in order to add mini-warehouses to an existing legal, nonconforming commercial warehouse on the site. Neighborhood residents voiced concerns about encroachment and future use given manufacturing zoning. Staff planners with the South Georgia Regional Development Center recommended approval. Commissioner Larry Zipperer cast the lone dissenting vote;

Recommended tabling for one month by a 5-2 vote for a request from Arney Lucas to rezone 41.39 acres adjacent to Coleman Road and Interstate 75 from Agricultural Use to Highway Commercial for the purpose of placing billboards on the property. Commissioners Jennifer Powell and Tim Carroll voted against the motion to table. An earlier motion from Commissioner Chip Wildes to deny the request outright failed 4-3 with Commissioners Anthony Payton, Phil Martin, W.G. Walker and Zipperer voting against denial and Wildes, Powell and Carroll voting in favor of denial. Carroll said he felt C-H zoning was inappropriate for the largely agricultural area.

Unanimously recommended tabling for one month a request from Larry Dean to build a racetrack on 51 acres along Peterson Road in south Lowndes County;

Unanimously recommended tabling a request from David DeLoach for a Planned Development near Highway 84 in western Lowndes County;

Unanimously recommended approval for a request from Jerald A. Howard for a special exception to allow a personal service shop -- in this case a beauty shop -- in a Residential Professional zoning district along East Adair Street;

Unanimously recommended approval for a request to annex and rezone 0.8832 acres along North Valdosta Road from Highway Commercial in the county to Highway Commercial in the city;

Unanimously recommended approval for a request from Antonio and Kathy Harrington to rezone 0.210 acres along Lake Park Road from Multi-Family Residential to Community Commercial;

Recommended approval on a 5-1 vote for a special exception request from Katherine Califf to allow a group day care facilit





y in a Single-Family Residential zoning district along West Cranford Avenue. Payton voted against the request saying the facility would constitute a commercial enterprise in a decidedly residential neighborhood. RDC planners also recommended denial;

Recommended, on a 5-1 vote, tabling on a for one month an annexation and rezoning request from the City of Valdosta on behalf of Meacham Farms, LLC and Meacham Properties, LLC covering 17.489 acres along Norman Drive from Highway Commercial in the county to Highway Commercial in the city. The property contains the Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center, and

Unanimously recommended tabling for one month a text amendment to city zoning ordinances that would create an overlay district along Inner Perimeter Road. Ken Rickett, a local architect, argued that the proposal, as written, would be anti-development by allowing curb cuts on Inner Perimeter only every 500 feet. Rickett noted that many parcels along the road were less than 250 feet wide, and the overlay district could hamper access to those lots, choking off development. Rickett argued north Valdosta development was inevitable, and draconian restrictions on Inner Perimeter risked pushing new development further up the Bemiss Road corridor.

The GLPC is a recommending body only, final action on Hahira items will be taken by Hahira City Council on Oct. 10. Final action on Lowndes County business will be taken by Lowndes County Commissioners on Oct. 22, and final action on City of Valdosta items will be taken by City Council on Oct. 10.



To contact reporter Bill Roberts, please call 244-3400, ext. 245.

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