Central Georgia Joint Development Authority

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is purchasing the property?

Through an agreement with Bibb and Houston Counties, the Central Georgia Joint Development Authority is the entity responsible for purchasing property.

What do these easements restrict?

Residential uses, heights of buildings, certain types of commercial and industrial development.

If the owner decides to sell, who pays closing costs?

The CGJDA pays the attorney’s fee. The seller pays for any title transfers or past due taxes.

Has the Federal Government invested in this project?

Yes. In fact the federal government has contributed $3.5 million towards this project. The federal funds are used to place a restrictive easement on the properties.

Will encroachment cause the closure of Robins Air Force Base?

No. The issue with encroachment pertains to new missions and Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), which are inter-related. First, as budgets are tightened throughout the federal government, more pressure is being placed on military installations to operate more efficiently. Air Force reorganization and potential consolidation could dictate that Robins gain or lose missions. The ability to take on new missions is crucial to Robins’ survival by increasing its relevance as a military installation. Encroachment, defined as an environmental issue, is one of the criteria used to assess an installation’s ability to take on new missions and is one of the few issues that can be addressed outside of the Base. Likewise, encroachment also impacts BRAC as this is one of the contributing factors to overall score received for the installations. Notably, there are three maintenance depots in the United States, and the other two maintenance depots, Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma and Hill Air Force Base in Utah, have addressed and resolved their encroachment issues.

How did the recent Bibb County Revaluation impact the project?

The Bibb County Tax Assessors use macro appraisal methods to efficiently assign individual values to large numbers of properties. The recent Bibb County revaluation used market transactions to support the assignment of these values. The appraisal of a single property by a certified real estate appraiser is a more in-depth analysis of a property’s characteristics. This property is then individually compared to similar sales for the development of an opinion of value. The individual analysis (appraisal) is not affected by the revaluation since both activities independently rely on market data to support their conclusions.

Who is the Central Georgia Joint Development Authority (CGJDA)?

The Central Georgia Joint Development Authority is a multi-jurisdictional entity created 2/7/1995 under Georgia General Statute (O.C.G.A. 36-62-1). As of today, the member counties include Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Monroe, and Twiggs.

How long do I have to move from the property, once I decide to sell?

At present, sellers are given thirty (30) days to read, study and sign the sales contract, and closing is scheduled within sixty (60) days after signing of the sales contract by all parties, or sooner if needed. The Central Georgia Joint Development Authority is trying to address any critical needs of property owners and has adopted a flexible plan for closing. At present, a seller may remain on the property up to 60 days after closing to complete the moving process. Five percent of the sales price will be withheld until the property is surrendered.

When will you begin purchasing properties in the 70-74 decibel area?

Because we are working with multiple funding sources and only purchasing from willing sellers, unfortunately we cannot give you a date when we will be able to purchase homes in the 70-74 decibel area. All properties in the 80-84 and 75-79 decibel areas, whose owners are willing to sell, must be purchased before properties in the 70-74 decibel area can be purchased. However, to keep the process moving quickly, if a seller in the 70-74 decibel area is willing to sell immediately at the original appraised value, consideration will be given if no sellers in the 80-84 and 75-79 decibel areas are immediately available.

How does this effort to purchase property differ from the effort in 1995?

This effort is almost completely different in that condemnation is not part of the plan to acquire properties, but rather the principle of “willing buyer willing seller” is the approach being taken. Also, because of the passage of time from 1995 to today, different individual people are involved such as the Central Georgia Joint Development Authority.

What is the Macon Bibb-County Chamber of Commerce’s role in this process?

The Chamber has supported this project since it was restarted in 2008 and is largely responsible for the progress to date. Chamber involvement includes:

  • Covering cost for property appraisals.
  • Hiring a part-time person to interact with property owners willing to sell their property and coordinating each purchase.
  • Assisting with cost associated with environmental remediation for purchased homes (e.g. asbestos abatement).
How are Bibb and Houston Counties involved if CGJDA is purchasing the property?

Because the project involves properties in two counties and needs to be coordinated, Bibb and Houston Counties have agreed that CGJDA is the best way to administer the project. Both Counties have representation on the CGJDA, and the Boards of Commissioners are regularly updated on the status of the project.

Do you really believe there will be another BRAC and that RAFB is in any kind of danger?

This is a question that has been asked many times, and the answer is always the same: Yes at some point. One has only to go to the internet and surf about, and find multiple references to the next BRAC, expected now in 2013. Certainly the future of RAFB is of such consequence that none of the interested parties are willing to take a chance that it will not come anytime soon.

What is the cost to purchase the property needed–is there enough funding to meet this goal?

The estimated value to purchase all property is between $18-$24 million.  Much of the funding equation depends on the Houston County SPLOST which will be voted on March 6, 2012.  If the SPLOST is successful, it is very likely that remainder of the funds needed could be leveraged through other funding sources.

Why should I not hold on to my property and wait until it is zoned Commercial or Industrial? Would it be worth more to me?

That is a decision only you can make. Future zoning will be restrictive, since the object of this entire process is to protect the future viability of RAFB, so increased value of the land is not an expected outcome.

What will happen to the property owners who do not sell? Will their land be condemned? Will they eventually be forced to move?

The eventual goal is the removal of all residential properties in the area. So as properties are acquired, the amount of vacant land will increase. The Central Georgia Joint Development Authority does not have the powers of condemnation which are expressly reserved for Counties and Cities. However, condemnation has not been part of the acquisition strategy discussed with Bibb and Houston Counties.

At one time you said that Accident Potential Zone (APZ) 1 & 2 would be your first priority; then you changed and said that first priority would be given to the two highest noise decibel areas. Why did this change? Has it changed again?

Properties are prioritized in order of importance as follows:

  1. Properties located in APZ 1
  2. Properties located in APZ 2
  3. Properties located in DNL 80-84dB
  4. Properties located in DNL 75-79dB
  5. Properties located in DNL 70-74dB
  6. Properties located in DNL 65-69dB
What happened to the life estate option, where I could stay in my home if I had a limited life expectancy? Is that still available? If not, why not?

At its core, the entire project is to remove citizens from harm’s way, while allowing the possible expansion of missions at RAFB in the future.  Allowing residents to remain on the land defeats the purposes of the Department of Defense.

Who is your appraiser, and if I do not like the appraisal, may I get one of my own? If I do that, and it comes back higher, will you pay me the higher price?

The appraiser for the Central Georgia Joint Development Authority is Sterling Appraisers, the same company that conducted the earlier appraisals. The Department of Defense requires a more in-depth appraisal called a Yellow Book Appraisal. These appraisals are done at no cost to the property owner. A property owner may secure his or her own appraisal at their own expense; if it is higher than the Yellow Book Appraisal, the CGJDA will pay up to 10% difference in appraisals.

Will you try to re-zone the property while we still live in our homes that are zoned Residential or Agricultural? If so, what zoning will you seek, and why?

At some point in the future, re-zoning will be sought. It is not certain at this time, what zoning will be most desirable for the future of RAFB. Consultation among the various communities and stakeholders involved will be sought before an application for re-zoning is filed.

Will agricultural land, without buildings, be allowed to continue raising farm products, i.e. corn, strawberries, peanuts, hay? Will there be any restrictions on agricultural use?

Limited agricultural use will still be allowed.