GNV Voices petitions City to inform residents of city-wide zoning changes

Press release from Gainesville Neighborhood Voices

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Did you know that the City requires residents be notified of zoning changes affecting LESS THAN 5% of City land, but NO INDIVIDUAL NOTIFICATION IS REQUIRED FOR CHANGES AFFECTING MORE THAN 5% of the City’s land?

Gainesville Neighborhood voices (GNV Voices) believes this is unfair and that it has contributed to the atmosphere of frustration and mistrust that has developed between some City Commissioners and their constituents in recent years.

In an effort to contribute to better local governance, GNV Voices will petition the City to require that residents – owners and renters – be notified of changes potentially impacting their homes far enough in advance to have a say in shaping future proposals. 

Their petition, which will be heard by the Plan Board on Thursday, June 27, asks that:

  • 1) A postcard be mailed to each residential address, informing residents and owners of potential city-wide changes, and that the postcard inform residents of early opportunities to have meaningful dialogue with their Commissioners and City staff;
  • 2) Community-wide meetings be held on a twice-yearly cycle, allowing residents to learn about and voice their concerns about all proposed city-wide changes BEFORE  they are finalized;
  • 3) A website be created, with continually updated information about city-wide zoning changes, including community meetings, hearing dates, content of proposed ordinances; and
  • 4) Several definitions be added to the City’s Land Use Code so that residents may better understand how, and when, to participate,

GNV Voices believes these changes are necessary because the City has only recently begun implementing city-wide changes, and many residents do not hear about them in time to participate in the democratic process. In addition, as local press has diminished and fragmented in recent years, the State-mandated legal notice is seen by even fewer people. Finally, land use regulations and processes are often the specialized domain of professional planners and developers. Making the language and processes clearer and more user-friendly will improve civic engagement in our community.

The Plan Board meeting will be held Thursday, June 27, at 6:30.  An agenda for that meeting is here.

GNV Voices has asked that each element of the petition be voted on independently before the Plan Board recommendations are moved to the City Commission for public hearings, likely later this summer.

  • This should have been the process all along.. There should also be a process in place to notify residents when places like Santa Fe College start snatching up over 30 lots in a historic residential neighborhood- lots that have literally sat vacant for years now. And we wonder why there is a housing shortage & we pay such high property taxes (and they pay none).

  • The city is like a business when it comes to hunger for more development, and tax revenues. But why hasn’t the recent growth reaped the taxes to overcome potential loss of the GRU transfer, anybody know?
    Crickets 🦗🦗🦗

  • Just provides the City with the opportunity to ignore even more voices than the past.

  • I’d like to see someone do an analysis of how much tax revenue the county has lost since Wild Spaces/Public Placws started.

  • Yes I agree 100 with the GNV Voices plan it should be the minimum so I say yes to your proposal.

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