She has videoed all the official public meetings where citizens of Lake Park have opposed rezoning for an apartment complex, including the public hearing of April 28th. The attorneys for the developer tried, but they were up against much stronger opposition than they appeared to have expected. “A molehill to cover up an eyesore,” said one.
Even after an hour of neighbors more than adequately expressing their positions and responding to the developers, the highlight of the evening was Judge Wayne Ellerbee’s presentation for the opposition. The judge brought up many points relevant not just to this rezoning, but to any rezoning, such as water pollution and drainage is a big issue, local governments don’t actually get sued by developers unless there’s actual discrimination, and apartments are the most expensive land use, about which he said:
It’s going to cost the City of Lake Park to change to give them the opportunity to make the money. And that’s what doesn’t make sense to me. Why should the citizens of Lake Park pay to reduce the expenses of someone to make a profitable project out of this for themselves.
Judge Ellerbee noted that it was important for a local government to follow the law, including for proper submission of a rezoning application, and that the primary responsibility of an elected government is to its citizens.
Here’s a video playlist:
Citizens, lawyers, and developers
Rezoning Public Hearing, Lake Park City Council (Lake Park),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Lake Park, Lowndes County, Georgia, 28 April 2014.