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County submits comments on single-family zoning elimination, asks City to delay adoption of the ordinance

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Alachua County Commission has submitted a Chair Letter to Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe, expressing concern about the City’s proposed ordinance to eliminate single-family zoning and asking the City Commission to delay a vote on the ordinance.

The letter, signed by Chair Marihelen Wheeler, states that the County “appreciates the City’s intent” to “address affordable housing and equity issues within our community,” but the County Commission is concerned about the potential for widespread impacts that “have not been identified or considered as part of the supporting data and analysis for this amendment.”

The letter points out that the amendment to the City of Gainesville Comprehensive Plan would nearly double the allowed density (from 8 units to 15 units per acre) on several thousand acres of land distributed throughout the city.

Under Florida statutes, counties may provide comments on proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments relating to their effects on the County Plan.

The letter also states that under Florida statutes, Comprehensive Plan amendments “shall be based upon relevant and appropriate data and an analysis by the local government. The City has not provided data and analysis on the full extent of potential impacts of the proposed amendment.”

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Specifically, Wheeler writes, the City has not addressed how the amendment would impact land use compatibility with existing land uses surrounding the affected parcels, along with the need for infrastructure, facilities, and services, some of which may affect the County and residents in the unincorporated areas.

The letter recommends that the City delay consideration of the amendment “until the full extent of its potential impacts have been identified and evaluated through appropriate data and analysis.”

The full letter can be read here.

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