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Alachua County and Gainesville Neighborhood Voices Express Concern about City’s Proposal to Eliminate Single-family Zoning

Photo courtesy GNVoices

Press release from Gainesville Neighborhood Voices

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – On Friday, August 26, Alachua County sent an official comment letter to the City of Gainesville and to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, expressing concerns about the City’s proposed Comprehensive Plan change that would eliminate all single-family zoning city-wide. The proposed change will nearly double the allowable density in all existing single-family areas from 8 dwelling units per acre to 15.  

The primary concern expressed by the County is the City’s failure to provide data and analysis of the potential impacts of their proposed actions. The City’s submittal has many deficiencies, including no quantification of new households that could result from the profound change, nor impacts to the public infrastructure that would be required to support them. No Gainesville-specific data or analysis supports the City’s stated goal–to provide affordable housing for the City’s residents.

The County’s letter states, “We recommend that the City delay consideration of adoption of this Comprehensive Plan amendment until the full extent of its potential impacts have been identified and evaluated through appropriate data and analysis.”

The City’s failure to identify potential impacts of this land use change is reminiscent of its past failure to anticipate the financial consequences of the biomass plant in a constantly changing energy marketplace. That failure has left citizens paying exorbitant utility rates.

Similarly, Gainesville Neighborhood Voices, Inc. (GNVoices) has submitted over 40 pages of comments to Alachua County and several State of Florida agencies regarding the City’s proposed Comprehensive Plan. GNVoices cited concerns about stormwater and wastewater infrastructure, flooding, transportation, and historical resources. By law, the public and reviewing agencies have 30 days to submit comments after a Comprehensive Plan amendment is transmitted to the State. Letters from GNVoices to the reviewing agencies can be found here.

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The immediate purpose of GNVoices is to prevent adoption of this untested land use policy change that would result in extensive negative impacts to Gainesville’s neighborhoods without generating affordable housing—the expressed goal of the amendment. 

The most immediate and dramatic threats are to primarily Black neighborhoods by greatly increasing the rate of gentrification and displacing longtime residents. Local residents are already witnessing the rapid gentrification of Porters Quarters, which was upzoned without any neighborhood safeguards in place.

GNVoices includes residents from many Gainesville neighborhoods, affordable housing advocates, technical experts, and community leaders.

  • Sadly the current leaders of our city DO NOT CARE one iota about what their constituents think. They are more concerned with their personal benefit from late night closed backdoor deals. Notice that we the people NEVER had a say in the biomass plant. We just woke up one morning and tada! we magically now own a biomass plant that we will be paying on for 30 years and the salesmen are long gone! These tyrants have GOT TO GO!!!

    • You are spot on Mr/Mrs Disgruntled! Hopefully these “leaders” can be dispatched out of office soon and most everything they’ve done, from straws to plastic, to zoning can be reversed and these fools never listened to again!

      • It doesn’t look good for that, CB. Eastman is cut from the same cloth as the re-zoners and he coasted right on through.

        • They changed the districts so Eastman could win. They knew the whole sorority row neighborhood would be out of town that week. So the Duckpond votes counted more. Yes, he is a real piece of work. People need to make it clear to him that he barely won by a few hundred votes in his district and he most certainly does not have a ‘mandate.’ He is a cancer on the commission along with Saco. Don’t indulge their psychotic ego trips.

          • That’s assuming their wasn’t cheating involved due to the very obvious conflict of interest at the voting headquarters. I think they probably did cheat with Eastman, but that’s just my gut instinct. The state should redo the whole election.

  • The student constituents of Arreola, Hayes-Santos, Saco, Poe (and now Eastman) want the all night party houses back with lawn parking. So these folks are going to deliver.

    • Those students still ignorant, liars too,. Particularly the one they call “Lying Hyphen-Hayes”, a white boy Canadian whose step dad a few years had a Hispanic name. Years later, this super lib wanted minority and victim status (sound like his hero Elizabeth Warren?). There you go! Lying fraud! Was known as Hayes only well into his adult (with momma’s apron strings) life.

  • If only we could impose financial penalties on the feckless leaders who harm our community. By hitting them with an errors and omissions lawsuit after they are out of office would curb this reckless spending. Attorneys, doctors, insurance agents, all are on the hook forever. Unlike Poe and Hanrahan who levied a huge burden with the biomass plant.

  • Affordable housing, affordable housing, What does that mean? …Housing where the rent is affordable?
    —What price of rent is affordable?
    Rents will become affordable once a single family home turns into a 4plex? Is rent control next? The CC
    Needs to focus on making my utilities affordable.

    • In many cases “affordable” means many months or few years “free” after they claim hardship, injured, or psych status, drug addiction, etc. will be a nice place with cut screens, bicycle tires on roof, rusted out bbq grills on porch.

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