GNV delays final passage of zoning ordinances

Locals watch city commission meeting
Locals watch the city commission's Aug. 4 meeting from an overflow room. (Photo by Megan V. Winslow)
Photo by Megan V. Winslow

The Gainesville City Commission has pushed back its special meeting for a final vote on controversial zoning changes first approved on Aug. 4. The commission had scheduled the second reading for Oct. 4, but cited the Yom Kippur holiday that starts that Tuesday as the reason for the delay.  

Commissioners cast about for a replacement day during Thursday’s General Policy Committee, searching for a day that fit the city schedule, would allow enough time to issue notice of the meeting, and take into consideration travel plans.  

The commissioners settled on Oct. 17 at 3 p.m., and city staff sent a public email confirming the change.  

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The email also highlighted four ways that the community can make public comment on the issue that has drawn significant local attention:  

  • Pre-recorded comment: 
    Dial 352-334-5003 to record a general public comment voicemail message (up to 3 minutes). Recorded messages will be played during the meeting. The public comment line will open by 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12 and close at noon on Monday, Oct. 17. 
  • Written public comment: 
    By mail: City of Gainesville, City Clerk, P.O. Box 490, Station 19, 32627-0490 
    By email: 
  • By e-comment: 
    Visit the Agendas and Minutes webpage for information on submitting a written comment online before or during the meeting. 
  • Comment by telephone: 
    Dial toll-free 1-800-742-1099. During this meeting, neighbors may call in to share a public comment live. 
    A moderator will call on you when it is your turn to speak. Please mute the sound on your computer/device if you are watching the meeting online.  

With opposition signs waiving on the City Hall steps, the commission approved the zoning ordinances 4-3 in early August, despite the public pushback.  

The plan would eliminate the city’s four current classifications of single-family zoning and replacing it with a neighborhood residential category. Under the neighbor residential classification, property owners can build duplexes, triplexes and quadruplexes on land that currently only allows single-family homes. 

The ordinances also allow for greater housing density so more homes can be built on an acre of land than under existing single-family classifications.

Alachua County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity analyzed the city plans and sent back recommendations. The state department recommended shelving the zoning plans, but Mayor Lauren Poe told Mainstreet Daily News that the ordinance package would return for a another meeting.  

The commission will also bring inclusionary zoning up for discussion at the October 13 General Policy Committee meeting.  

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Too many areas are already flooding, due to over- building. University and 13th area is already proof of the cities mis management.