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Here we go again with government officials looking out for everyone except the citizens they are elected to represent.
In the matter of changing the 2004 zoning requirements for the Mundy Mill development, is our government looking out for the developer or themselves by trying to boost tax revenues at the expense of the citizens in the area of the development. The original plan was developed to enhance the area and the changes proposed would never have been supported by the citizen in the area.
Quote from the Saturday Times article: "A new proposal by the city's planning department eases 12 of the current zoning conditions on the development and would allow for smaller homes with a little vinyl siding, a material that had been completely shunned from the original plan. The proposal also removes the requirement to build tennis courts, gazebos, grills and picnic tables and lowers the expectation of a tiled bath to a ceramically-tiled bathroom floor."
Now the city planning board wants to rush through these changes because Gainesville's Community Development Director Rusty Ligon says the city initiated the zoning change, because it would be "logistically" impossible to receive support from all of the property owners in a timely manner.
No, the city is initiating the zoning changes because it knows it cannot get the support of the property owners in the area that would be affected by the changes. Again, government officials are bypassing citizens because they think they know better than those who have an investment in the area.
The city wants to get this development going forward again because it and the developer made a decision on the development in 2004 without an understanding of the risk of a change in the economic conditions.
They accepted the risk of developing the property and now want the citizens to bail them out because the economy has taken a turn for the worse.
What if these proposed changes don't get the development going again? Are we in line for future changes that would lower the standards even further? Are we in line for higher density and lower- valued homes that will negatively impact all the property owners in the area?
It is time that we hold the line on bailouts and force the city and developer to fulfill the 2004 promises they made the citizens in the area, even if it takes longer than originally planned. The zoning rules set out in 2004 must be enforced and this developer or future developers of the property must be held to the rules originally passed.