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What the Mobility Fee can do for Downtown Jacksonville

According to the recently released JAX 2025 survey, a better downtown is at the top of the wish list of its 14,016 respondents. However, Councilman Richard Clark's proposed three year moratorium of the mobility fee could stunt the redevelopment of downtown Jacksonville and leave the average taxpayer carrying the financial burden it leaves behind.

Published February 20, 2013 in Opinion      43 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article




1. Mobility Fee incentivizes infill and redevelopment projects



While those opposed claim the mobility fee kills private sector development, the opposite is true.  The mobility fee is a mechanism that guides development to be fiscally sustainable for the City of Jacksonville in the long term.  It forces new development to cover the cost of its negative impact on existing publicly funded infrastructure.  On the other hand, the Mobility Fee's credit adjustment system incentivizes development projects that invest in infill and redevelopment sites where sufficient public infrastructure to support said development already is in place.

With the amount of infrastructure already invested in downtown, it's an environment where every project, large or small, would be considered infill or redevelopment.



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43 Comments

vicupstate

February 20, 2013, 05:19:03 AM
The biggest irony is that instead of supporting the infill and redevelopment of the city proper, the moratorium would encourage sprawl which will eventually lead to the majority of development to occur in outlying counties.

ricker

February 20, 2013, 06:31:01 AM
What happens to us when our city dies?

As the masses continue to largely watch silently and motionless as significantly remarkable quantities of single and multifamily dwellings within the neighborhoods and entire blocks of once in-demand commercial corridors grow stagnantly vacant in the communities surrounding our once bustling downtown, are we all satisfied? 

Knowing that life is not a popularity contest, as end-users of the spaces we are taxed to use, are we pleased with where we rank regarding needs met for the “choice user” of non-existent mobility services?

Are we not faced with a question directly related to quality of life for all affected?

Who is affected by the choices made during the web of administrations governing our homefronts?

Should we have any drive to care about the pedestrian biased need for human scale built environs along our motorways if we choose to live far outside the municipalities’ city centers?

While our contiguous counties may argue for or against the very success of, and speedy connectivity to the inner river-front core of our fledgling “Downtown”, many may optimistically speculate that the recovery is well underway and that we should at all costs break the bank bending over to incentivize fresh new development throughout any sector and district of the county and state.

What happens to the once glorious structures which still stand yet unoccupied?

Do we continue to pretend that we have forgotten them?

If so, what real and permanent good does this do for us?

How can we reconcile the glaring and obvious divide existing between the very real mistakes sometimes accidentally made in the past by a few well meaning souls short on wisdom-rich in imagination, while the ramifications of such behavior will only continue to reward those who may not seek the best for the whole?

While some legendary leaders of our past made it their goal to befriend certain entities in their upward food chain, we are living now in a time where we must seek leadership in people who reveal their motives and whose consorts are known.

Much like reconstructive surgery following removal of a malignant tumor, we must continue fighting a cancer, organically from within, and rebuild safely from the inside out if we are to realistically have even only the most deeply rooted hope for a permanent and ongoing rebirth and restoration which verily must guide us all into an embrace of the reality we have walked ourselves into.

If it is a renaissance we strive for, with glowing neighborhoods and a citizenry abounding with joyful employment, education, and stability, most simply stated, obviously we first must begin taking notice of the signals which poise our county for a path toward third world status.

Do we feel pride in our breath when we read of the offing of any of our street pole lamps?

Are we aware that our paved road system lends itself to high marks when compared to many other cities and counties where growth has also been sporadic and at times unpredictable?

Do we therefore find it unreasonable that Jacksonville historically and continuously ranks among the top of the list of the worst and most dangerous places for commuters who walk and bike to their destinations of choice?

peestandingup

February 20, 2013, 08:06:44 AM
The biggest irony is that instead of supporting the infill and redevelopment of the city proper, the moratorium would encourage sprawl which will eventually lead to the majority of development to occur in outlying counties.

Not to mention development that would ultimately die, as this type of quick & easy model of outward growth has its days numbered. Gas prices are soaring, brick & mortar retail is dying, budgets are shrinking & Gen Xers/Yers simply don't want it.

Every day that goes by, Jax becomes less & less unprepared for the future.

Overstreet

February 20, 2013, 09:23:29 AM
The mobility fee sounds like another impact fee. I've known projects that were shelved in Tallahassee because of their traffic impact fee. It  raised the cost per sf too high for the market.

bill

February 20, 2013, 09:35:55 AM
Impact fees=Taxes

But its OK around here we like to tax the successful and give to the unsuccessful(DT) it is the democratic way.

thelakelander

February 20, 2013, 09:37:59 AM
No "impact" fee = more taxes and a reduced quality-of-life for everyone else. At some point you have to pay the piper.  I'm just of the opinion if I add something that has a negative impact on the fiscal viability of an existing public holding, I should cover that cost instead of passing it on to Bill, Overstreet, and Peestandingup. 

thelakelander

February 20, 2013, 09:51:44 AM
Impact fees=Taxes

But its OK around here we like to tax the successful and give to the unsuccessful(DT) it is the democratic way.

My focus is downtown today.  In the past, I've covered the impact on other areas, such as Arlington.  Also, I have a second article set to run this Friday that will show how much money has been lost by every district in town. 

Answer this question for me. If you build an apartment complex and it tears up the little road next door, how do you justify reaching into the elderly lady's pockets next door, to fund the widening?  What you're advocating is the polar opposite of fiscal conservatism.  If you're shooting for a communist society, I could understand but that would also mean you'd be splitting your development profits with the rest of the community.

stephendare

February 20, 2013, 09:56:41 AM
Impact fees=Taxes

But its OK around here we like to tax the successful and give to the unsuccessful(DT) it is the democratic way.

Bill, do you have to be such a jerk?  Not every situation calls for the Fox and Friends treatment.

Its obvious that you think that the developers should have everything built for them by the taxpayers: Roads, drainage, public safety etc.  Everything that gives their otherwise worthless land value.

Its obvious that you don't think that they should have to pay for any of their own infrastructure.


You just expect that everyone except the people who are profiting from tax payer financed infrastructure and public services should pay for it instead?

Otherwise, how could they make as much money as they like?

Well let me ask you something bright guy.  Whose taxes should be raised to pay for the infrastructure that is required by the new development?

Mine?  Lakelanders? TUFSUs?

Since you are being so free with our money, what kind of tax would you like us to pay?

ricker

February 20, 2013, 10:04:17 AM
^
Agreed

Let's say you, "bill" are develepor  "B" in the following oversimplified scenario.

owner/developer A (contiguous to you) owns many acres on a two-lane road, and seeks to build a number of homes.
it is determined by the governing municipality that the shoulders must be widened, sidewalks added, additonal overhead lighting and perhaps a signalized intersection, and a central turn lane all must be added.

under the so-called "fair-share" method of assessisng impact fees,
YOU developer Bill would benefit from immediately adjacent roadway improvements.
Let's say your line of work is farming.

Developer C also contiguous to you decides they would like to sell a large portion of their land as well to a builder who wants to construct a small senior citizen condo community.
more impact fees.

later on, after the once two-lane road has become a bustling thoroughfare, you decide to retain your littoral or riparian rights, yet you now also have caught the bug to add housing/retail/etc.,
the road now has sidewalks,  a central turn lane, improved drainage, lighting, signalized intersections,
hmmmm, you pay no impact fee.
fair?

I will guess you would say so.
Well it isn't

In a time when very services we rely on such as rescue, fire, police are being strained and stretched beyond capacity and we cannot afford to fund the sprawl OR retirement accounts for these folks,

Why NOT encourage re-using EXISTING structures, and PROMOTE sustainability as a model for ALL future "growth"?

thelakelander

February 20, 2013, 10:04:36 AM
The mobility fee sounds like another impact fee. I've known projects that were shelved in Tallahassee because of their traffic impact fee. It  raised the cost per sf too high for the market.

Like what specifically?  I can't speak for what Tallahassee has done or charges and what it goes to, but I do know a lot about the mobility plan, since I helped conduct the research used to create it.  The mobility fee doesn't kill development.  Instead it guides it to be fiscally sustainable to the City of Jacksonville long term.  It basically sets a standard that not all development and growth is good for the city.  It also financially incentivizes growth and development that does not negatively impact existing infrastructure.  Case in point, we had a few LA Fitness locations open last year.  Two of those locations would have not had to pay a dime in mobility fees because they went into existing vacant spaces.  Furthermore, the mobility fee itself, still on average is 64% cheaper than the decades old fair share agreement system it replaced. 

Nevertheless, one thing that those in opposition to a mobility fee have not covered, is who pays for the negative impact of new development on existing infrastructure if there is no fee?  It would be one thing, if the public amount invested to support said development was less than the amount of income said development generates long term.  Unfortunately, to date, that's not the case, which is the reason for the mobility fee and the old fair share system in the first place.

ricker

February 20, 2013, 10:06:51 AM
It is HIGH time (ever since the park that got away thread) we get a grip and finally begin building up and not out.

residential over retail is definitely where it's at my compadres 

bill

February 20, 2013, 10:20:33 AM
Darely, Taxes are always passed on to the consumer. I was simply pointing out that it is OK to tax successful development(BAD) and subsidize DT(Good). As usual the facts are not your strong suit. Try do be civil, Hon

Ricker, You have fair share completely backwards. Be quiet.

BTW-the mobility tax is a vast improvement over the fair share tax. A good job by Doug et al.

thelakelander

February 20, 2013, 10:40:32 AM
What you've pointed out is incorrect, in terms of the design and structure of the mobility fee. 

Quote
I was simply pointing out that it is OK to tax successful development(BAD) and subsidize DT(Good).

We should strive to have all development should pay for itself, regardless of whether it's downtown, in the burbs, or in cow country.  Bad development is development you have to subsidize long term for it to exist.  An example of "bad" development is when you have to "invest" millions in public infrastructure for it to materialize that you'll never get back in return (ROI) (ex. Bass Pro on Race Track Road). So good or bad development isn't determined by general location within the city alone.  It's determined by the ROI it provides on the taxpayer's dime.

With that said, you can still develop in the burbs without being hit by a mobility fee.  All it requires is for you to spend a little time on specific site selection and site design.  Examples include redeveloping a previously developed site, filling an existing vacant space (which we have plenty of).  You can also drop the fee by designing a multimodal friendly project or creating a mix of uses on an infill site with decent existing density already around it.

The key is simply finding methods (taking advantage of the mobility fee's credit adjustment system) to lower the amount of auto trips your project adds to existing roadway infrastructure. Do that and you're help achieve on of the mobility plan's main objectives.......changing the development form and pattern of the city into a model that is more fiscally sustainable and quality-of-life enhancing for the taxpayer.



peestandingup

February 20, 2013, 11:03:38 AM
Impact fees=Taxes

But its OK around here we like to tax the successful and give to the unsuccessful(DT) it is the democratic way.

Car insurance & registration = Taxes. Road construction = Taxes. Filling up your tank = Taxes. Traffic tickets = Taxes. Maintenance = Taxes.

No choice but to drive = The opposite of freedom.

stephendare

February 20, 2013, 11:09:51 AM
Darely, Taxes are always passed on to the consumer. I was simply pointing out that it is OK to tax successful development(BAD) and subsidize DT(Good). As usual the facts are not your strong suit. Try do be civil, Hon

Ricker, You have fair share completely backwards. Be quiet.

BTW-the mobility tax is a vast improvement over the fair share tax. A good job by Doug et al.

You certainly were not claiming that.

But I will take it that this new evasion tune signals that you get the point.

BridgeTroll

February 20, 2013, 11:13:35 AM
Just trying to understand.  Lake... you said...

Quote
you can still develop in the burbs without being hit by a mobility fee.  All it requires is for you to spend a little time on specific site selection and site design.  Examples include redeveloping a previously developed site, filling an existing vacant space (which we have plenty of).  You can also drop the fee by designing a multimodal friendly project or creating a mix of uses on an infill site with decent existing density already around it.

Yet most of these projects appear to be either infill or reuse... why did these projects require mobility fee waivers?


thelakelander

February 20, 2013, 11:23:27 AM
The mobility fee is based off the amount of new auto trips you place on the existing infrastructure network.  So if you tear down a single family house to put up a large restaurant, you'll have a mobility fee to pay regardless of if you're in the urban core or Mandarin.  On the other hand, if you put your restaurant on an old restaurant site or a site that had a use that previously contributed to more auto trips on the road, then you would not pay a thing.  In the case of Goozle & Guttyworks, I imagine some of their waived fee could be contributed to the big surface parking lot they are building around the corner.  That's all new auto trips over the long demolished single family residence it will replace.

Also, looking at that list above, nearly all of these places could have had their listed mobility fee reduced by creating a site layout that would be more multimodal friendly (ex. reduced building setbacks that place the front door next to the sidewalk, adding bus stops, bike racks, etc.).  However, since there was a moratorium, there was really no financial incentive for the private sector to change the poor development/site planning practices that we've been employing for decades.

BridgeTroll

February 20, 2013, 12:37:51 PM
Thanks Lake... that helps my understanding a bit.  Gozzle actually tore down a structure and the addition will add to street traffic so that example makes sense... what about the Waffle House projects?  They seem to be simple remodels on the existing site.

thelakelander

February 20, 2013, 01:05:10 PM
The list posted only shows projects with mobility fees. I have another spreadsheet (much larger than those posted) that list every project that applied for a mobility fee waiver during the moratorium period.  Several don't show on the shorter list because they didn't have to pay a fee.

For example, Waffle House #71 in mobility zone 4 (MZ4)would have had a mobility fee of zero because they replaced an existing structure that either already contributed the amount of auto trips that project is projected to or more than Waffle House will bring.  Mobility fees ranged for several other Waffle Houses (wow, these guys are in expansion mode, btw.); Waffle House/103rd Street ($40,985/MZ 6), Waffle House #54 ($1,610/MZ 7), Waffle House/Atlantic Blvd. ($41,685/MZ 2), etc., ranged depending on specific site locations and buildout.  Without looking into the details, I suspect the Waffle Houses with the higher mobility fees are completely new construction on a previously undeveloped site. Some other projects that would have had mobility fees of zero on the larger spreadsheet include Krispy Kreme on Cassat (replacing a similar use), and Mellow Mushroom on St. Johns Avenue (replacing a gas station).

The mobility plan and fee structure is truly innovative in its approach.  If you take the time to understand and work with the fee's credit adjustment system, you'll be developing a project that truly benefits COJ's taxpayers and you won't need a moratorium to increase your personal profit margins.  However, this means you may have to move away from the "one size fits all" strategy of development.  For example, if you're a gas station developer, your fee will greatly range depending on where you attempt to build your 20 pump station.  You just can't slap up your Racetrac anywhere and not expect to pay for the additional strain you put on the roads serving it.  In the past you could and if the 3-year moratorium is approved, you still will and the taxpayers will ultimately carry the financial burden of what arises in the future.

Steve Ducharme

February 20, 2013, 03:20:19 PM
There is a lot of wishful thinking in this article and frankly it seems to be trying to make a case for shifting direct subsidies for businesses to relocate (which I oppose by the way) to indirect subsidies (and shell games with fees) for things like transportation to and from the core city in the hope that it will shift behavior.   This is an idea that frankly only an impassioned and vocal minority seems to believe will make any significant difference. 

And before you jump me on this I grew up in Montreal which is a fantastic and densely populated city (literally an island) where it all worked well. But be honest about where you live.  We don't have the densities and we are far too spread out.  I men for crying out loud, gas is approaching $4 a gallon and people STILL stick to their cars.  I don't believe it's because they are indifferent or foolish but because there is not a realistic choice that allows for people to ride a bus on a regular basis viable.

fsujax

February 20, 2013, 03:31:21 PM
why not try and give people realistic choices? there are many examples of other sprawling southern cities making transit work. We dont have to be left out.

stephendare

February 20, 2013, 03:36:54 PM
There is a lot of wishful thinking in this article and frankly it seems to be trying to make a case for shifting direct subsidies for businesses to relocate (which I oppose by the way) to indirect subsidies (and shell games with fees) for things like transportation to and from the core city in the hope that it will shift behavior.   This is an idea that frankly only an impassioned and vocal minority seems to believe will make any significant difference. 

And before you jump me on this I grew up in Montreal which is a fantastic and densely populated city (literally an island) where it all worked well. But be honest about where you live.  We don't have the densities and we are far too spread out.  I men for crying out loud, gas is approaching $4 a gallon and people STILL stick to their cars.  I don't believe it's because they are indifferent or foolish but because there is not a realistic choice that allows for people to ride a bus on a regular basis viable.

how silly.

Bridges

February 20, 2013, 03:59:04 PM
There is a lot of wishful thinking in this article and frankly it seems to be trying to make a case for shifting direct subsidies for businesses to relocate (which I oppose by the way) to indirect subsidies (and shell games with fees) for things like transportation to and from the core city in the hope that it will shift behavior.   This is an idea that frankly only an impassioned and vocal minority seems to believe will make any significant difference. 

And before you jump me on this I grew up in Montreal which is a fantastic and densely populated city (literally an island) where it all worked well. But be honest about where you live.  We don't have the densities and we are far too spread out.  I men for crying out loud, gas is approaching $4 a gallon and people STILL stick to their cars.  I don't believe it's because they are indifferent or foolish but because there is not a realistic choice that allows for people to ride a bus on a regular basis viable.

I think a lot of people get hung up on the transportation aspect of the mobility plan.  And they are fantastic things to talk about, but they're benefits of the mobility plan.  At its core its a development vision that addresses the very concern you just expressed.  It is a guide for how we wish to see the city develop.  With infill instead of the sprawl you recognize as problematic. 



thelakelander

February 20, 2013, 04:29:07 PM
There is a lot of wishful thinking in this article and frankly it seems to be trying to make a case for shifting direct subsidies for businesses to relocate (which I oppose by the way) to indirect subsidies (and shell games with fees) for things like transportation to and from the core city in the hope that it will shift behavior.   This is an idea that frankly only an impassioned and vocal minority seems to believe will make any significant difference.

What exactly is wishful thinking? I certainly am not trying to make a case for subsidizing any type of growth, urban or suburban.  What I'm attempting to point out is how the mobility plan and fee begins to remove the decades of subsidies we provided (and still do) for fringe development that never provides us with more ROI than the initial amount we've put in to support it.  At it's very base, the mobility plan and fee's integrated land use and transportation policies work to guide development in a manner that will significantly increase our tax base without requiring us to sink billions into expanding public infrastructure to support it.  An area where high density can easily be accommodated without significant public infrastructure investment, such as downtown, does benefit from such a structure.  However, I'd argue that this is leveling the playing field by removing the indirect subsidy supported developmental model we currently operate.

Quote
And before you jump me on this I grew up in Montreal which is a fantastic and densely populated city (literally an island) where it all worked well. But be honest about where you live.  We don't have the densities and we are far too spread out.  I men for crying out loud, gas is approaching $4 a gallon and people STILL stick to their cars.  I don't believe it's because they are indifferent or foolish but because there is not a realistic choice that allows for people to ride a bus on a regular basis viable.

What you mention here is what the mobility plan and fee is structured to accomplish.  The mobility plan is organized to actually increase densities, revitalize neighborhoods, and create environments where using mass transit, walking, or riding a bike are realistic options.  The fee is a funding mechanism that guides change in the development pattern.  Without the fee, the plan is essentially worthless and all the environmental problems we face today only continue to grow.

JeffreyS

February 20, 2013, 04:30:35 PM
Impact fees=Taxes

But its OK around here we like to tax the successful and give to the unsuccessful(DT) it is the democratic way.

Impact fees are paying the costs your development generates. The developer should reap the profits and bear the costs of their projects.

Now if your building sprawlville style the mobility fee will nowhere near cover the impact in terms of costs the community must bear so developer can make his or her profits.

This plan is designed for the developer to avoid the fee just build where the infrastructure is in place and the community is mitigated against the cost of your development and you enjoy the profits with no fee.

My guess is you know this and just prefer the taxes necessary to support the development be shifted to the community and away from the developer.  Extra road capacity cost $, new storm drains cost $, added school rooms cost$ ect. ect. ect.

JeffreyS

February 20, 2013, 04:39:22 PM
There is a lot of wishful thinking in this article and frankly it seems to be trying to make a case for shifting direct subsidies for businesses to relocate (which I oppose by the way) to indirect subsidies (and shell games with fees) for things like transportation to and from the core city in the hope that it will shift behavior.   This is an idea that frankly only an impassioned and vocal minority seems to believe will make any significant difference. 

And before you jump me on this I grew up in Montreal which is a fantastic and densely populated city (literally an island) where it all worked well. But be honest about where you live.  We don't have the densities and we are far too spread out.  I men for crying out loud, gas is approaching $4 a gallon and people STILL stick to their cars.  I don't believe it's because they are indifferent or foolish but because there is not a realistic choice that allows for people to ride a bus on a regular basis viable.

Never zone, plan or tax based on oh this is just what we should settle for because others did.  Always plan and try to implement the type of development you want the area to experience.

Before you get stuck on the we are too spread out line read the "I'm smaller than Jax and I have rail" series here or the many success stories of American city sprawlers who have successfully added good connectivity and urban renewal. This site has more examples of small, large and spread out cities who have done exactly what Jax refuses to believe is possible than you will have time to read.

thelakelander

February 20, 2013, 04:40:21 PM
Also, as an example of a public subsidy being made right now to stimulate new development, consider the outer beltway.  Whenever fully built, the public will have sunk $2 billion into initial capital costs alone for the hope of seeing new property tax paying generating development sprout up on previously inaccessible land around it.  Whenever that new growth comes, we'll then need to spending additional millions on new schools, parks, utilities, libraries, police/fire, public employees, and the pensions that come along with them.  So that number needs to be added to the initial $2 billion.  On top of that, you'll have 30 years at best, before you'll have to completely rebuild or refurbish your initial $2 billion investment.  That's a lot of money for private sector development to equal out indirectly. To change this fiscal model, which doesn't work (we're now cutting off street lights for crying out loud), you have to create some sort of structure that alters your overall development pattern.  The mobility plan and fee is our attempt to channel growth in a way that won't require us to invest the billions in infrastructure upfront in an effort to enjoy the revenue generating fruits of fiscally sustainable growth.

Steve Ducharme

February 20, 2013, 05:46:21 PM
I'm swamped at the moment but a few quick thoughts.  First off, don't get me wrong,  I AM sympathetic to your cause.  I love vibrant city centers and what they can bring a community.  Heck when  I moved here in 1978 straight from Montreal I immediately headed to the two places that I "thought" would offer the most potential for general excitement/culture/fun. I went downtown and to the beaches.   Till that point my idea of a coastal Florida city came from the south and southwest so needless to say I was dumbstruck at how two resources with such HUGE potential could be so monumentally neglected and exist essentially as blighted districts.

Then over the next decade I watched no end of centralized plans and halfhearted schemes come and go to no "real" avail.  Those were the heady days when the Jacksonville landing was going to "save" downtown.  When the People Mover was going to "revolutionize" public transportation.   When half hearted planning was followed by massive overspending and flat out lies as to what the projected usage of these miracle renovations would turn out to be.   Then I watched the beaches just languish for over a decade while every crackpot funding idea imaginable was floated for a massive city run reorganization of the CBD.

 That was a lost decade where no one bothered to invest their own money fearing eminent domain would wipe it all away.  Then Jax beach FINALLY just let the big schemes go.  And BOOM!  in just a few years private initiative took over. To their credit, the city chipped in with some intelligent nudges like a new city hall, police building, public works buildings ans some smart building codes.

So... I guess my point in all of this is... what...  I'm not sure exactly.  I guess that after 30 years I've developed a feel for the mindset of this town and the direction has generally moved has been outward.  Everyone seems to want to get away to the new territory.  From Arlington to Mandarin and the Beaches.  From Duval to St Johns.  From Regency to The Avenues.  On and on always outward.  I think that turning them around and back towards the city center is "metaphorically speaking" against the grain I think.  Bu I do wish you well.

thelakelander

February 20, 2013, 05:57:24 PM
^The mobility plan and fee doesn't even attempt to do that.  It attempts to change development patterns in a manner where we have a more connected land form.  Suburban areas will still grow and people will still have a choice to live where ever they choose in town.  They just won't be subsidized at the expense of other areas of town.

The mobility plan's land use policy allows for multi-modal redevelopment of every major suburban corridor throughout this city.  If allowed to do what it is intended to do, you won't have to move back to downtown, you could just as easily walk from your single family neighborhood to the mixed use node perched along your neighborhood's main arterial intersection.  If you desire to go some where else in town, because of the decent density along suburban highways like Beach, Blanding, Main Street, Philips, etc., using mass transit will actually start to make sense. 

thelakelander

February 20, 2013, 06:01:37 PM
^The bad thing for Jax is, if we can't find a way to revamp growth and development in this city by enhancing its quality-of-life, then we're fighting a losing economic battle anyway.  As we grow and run out of raw virgin land, we're not going to be able to compete with the Clay and St. Johns Counties for cheap tract houses (assuming Millennials will even want this in the future, which is another debate itself).

ricker

February 20, 2013, 06:43:02 PM
Darely, Taxes are always passed on to the consumer. I was simply pointing out that it is OK to tax successful development(BAD) and subsidize DT(Good). As usual the facts are not your strong suit. Try do be civil, Hon

Ricker, You have fair share completely backwards. Be quiet.

BTW-the mobility tax is a vast improvement over the fair share tax. A good job by Doug et al.


You DO get my point the the previous "fair share" never was that!
*applause for bill*

JeffreyS

February 20, 2013, 08:49:14 PM
Perhaps instead of the mobility fee we should've called the development pattern incentive.  It may have been easier to sell it as what it is you save this community some money and we save you  the developer some money.

PeeJayEss

February 21, 2013, 08:56:14 AM
Impact fees=Taxes

But its OK around here we like to tax the successful and give to the unsuccessful(DT) it is the democratic way.

Car insurance & registration = Taxes. Road construction = Taxes. Filling up your tank = Taxes. Traffic tickets = Taxes. Maintenance = Taxes.

No choice but to drive = The opposite of freedom.

Where do you live/work? Why do you have no choice but to drive? Is your freedom being infringed only in Jacksonville, or do you perceive this as country-wide? But I digress...I just wanted to say, referring to the bolded text, that you don't have to break the traffic laws. I dislike speeding tickets, but I don't call everything I dislike a "tax." Traffic violations are pretty simple to avoid. Not a tax, not even figuratively.

If we are equating the impact fees to taxes, they are smart-bombs of taxes. Yes, the developer will pass on the taxes, of course, but they can't pass them onto me if I do not support their development. The tax will go to those who are using or further stressing the infrastructure in those areas, the people that are buying homes isolated from civilization and the goods they are purchasing from businesses built to serve them in the wild.

thelakelander

February 21, 2013, 09:16:08 AM
^Pretty much.  I seriously don't understand why having new development cover its own costs is a problem for some.  I mean, at least the mobility plan and fee structure gives you wiggle room.  If you want your fee reduced, or believes it kills your project, develop on sites or create a project site plan that eliminates or drops the fee.

peestandingup

February 21, 2013, 09:27:13 AM
Impact fees=Taxes

But its OK around here we like to tax the successful and give to the unsuccessful(DT) it is the democratic way.

Car insurance & registration = Taxes. Road construction = Taxes. Filling up your tank = Taxes. Traffic tickets = Taxes. Maintenance = Taxes.

No choice but to drive = The opposite of freedom.

Where do you live/work? Why do you have no choice but to drive? Is your freedom being infringed only in Jacksonville, or do you perceive this as country-wide? But I digress...I just wanted to say, referring to the bolded text, that you don't have to break the traffic laws. I dislike speeding tickets, but I don't call everything I dislike a "tax." Traffic violations are pretty simple to avoid. Not a tax, not even figuratively.

Its a national problem, but Jax is one of the worst big cities I've seen for it for a number of reasons. The spread out nature of the town, the highly sucky/unreliable/antiquated mass transit system via bus,  the fact that there's no real thoughtout connected bike network (either dedicated paths or lanes), the fact that sidewalks just abruptly end (or aren't there at all), etc. Or did you think we rank so high for pedestrian/cyclists deaths just by sheer coincidence?

If you don't live & work in the same immediate area, and an area that is even halfway decent for pedestrians (not common here), then your ass is driving. Period. And if you have kids, forget about it. The only people that don't are the ones who simply can't afford it & are the forced to use the bus system & take an extra 2 hours to get to their destination, or the ones who brave the car-centric nature of our infrastructure. Don't believe me? Try it for a month. You'll see. Because I've been there & done that. Its not possible. That is unless you're willing to put your life/your kid's lives in danger, or put up with the city's version of "mass transit" poor people mover.

I'm not even gonna get into your silly notion about traffic violations, but to say they have jack squat to do with safety. Its a form of taxation & revenue generation. Seatbelt violations & going 10 miles over the speed limit on an open road isn't a danger to society & you know that. So lets not pump each other full of BS.

thelakelander

February 21, 2013, 09:52:46 AM
Quote
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Action News has learned the city missed out on nearly $5 million to fix up area neighborhood streets and bike paths.

Megan Griffith is scared to take her 2-year-old child walking on the sidewalks in the Riverside area.

"We don't walk around the streets." She says it's not safe for pedestrians or bicyclists. "The sidewalks are mess up, and pedestrians walk in the street," said Griffith.

Action News found the city missed out on nearly $5 million that would've helped fix the problem. It has to do with what's called a mobility fee moratorium.

http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content/topstories/story/City-losing-out-on-5-million/nrUXwShdn02MNFx6zmtFYg.cspx

tufsu1

February 21, 2013, 10:03:42 AM
^ yep...saw this last night

I think you hit on a key point in a post above Lake...you said

" If you want your fee reduced, or believes it kills your project, develop on sites or create a project site plan that eliminates or drops the fee."

Some will say that charging them more to develop in a certain area infringes on their private property rights and is "communist".  Noting that they can reduce the fee even in the outlying areas through site plan revisions counters that argument.

fsujax

February 21, 2013, 10:08:17 AM
Glad to see Action News picking up on this story. Where's News4Jax? get Jim Piggot on the case!

thelakelander

February 21, 2013, 10:26:30 AM
Great video by Action News.  However, they did miss one major issue.  They mentioned that since the moratorium expired, only $10k has been generated by the fee.  There is a reason for this.  If you applied and were approved for a mobility fee waiver when the moratorium was in effect, you have a year to start construction.  All in all, nearly $28 million in waivers are floating out there.  While we know we've lost $5 million to date, we stand to lose $23 million more by this fall if all projects approved for waivers become reality.

For those who say this is an investment in creating jobs that would not have come if the fee were in place, just how many jobs are you talking about?  In most cases, there were development projects coming on line that would have happened regardless of the fee.  For example, in the case of 7-11, this quote from our facebook comments is pretty damning:

Quote
So to 'create jobs', we gave a $323,571 subsidy to a 7-11 (which coincidently signed a master development agreeement to open 55 stores in North Florida over the next five years and only received two mobility waivers out of the eleven stores they opened during the moratorium) that generates an average annual payroll of $90,000. That's a fantastic return on our taxpayer dollars while libraries close, streetlights get turned off, grass goes un-mowed, parks sit in ruin, we fire police officers and a fire station within this particular mobility zone gets threatened with closure... right?

So if someone is claiming the moratorium of last year created jobs, exactly how many, because several created by 7-11, Wendy's, Waffle House expansions, and the national multi-family building boom most likely aren't result of a Jacksonville specific moratorium. So once you take those out of the equation, what's our ROI on the $5 million already lost and the potential $28 million by the end of this year?

tufsu1

February 21, 2013, 11:02:03 AM
Glad to see Action News picking up on this story. Where's News4Jax? get Jim Piggot on the case!

One of the stations did a piece last week...but it was misleading in that it made it sound like the fee was to pay for alternative transportation

fsujax

February 21, 2013, 11:27:35 AM
^^oh yeah. i remember that, i think it was channel 4.

peestandingup

February 21, 2013, 11:31:24 AM
Quote
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Action News has learned the city missed out on nearly $5 million to fix up area neighborhood streets and bike paths.

Megan Griffith is scared to take her 2-year-old child walking on the sidewalks in the Riverside area.

"We don't walk around the streets." She says it's not safe for pedestrians or bicyclists. "The sidewalks are mess up, and pedestrians walk in the street," said Griffith.

Action News found the city missed out on nearly $5 million that would've helped fix the problem. It has to do with what's called a mobility fee moratorium.

http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content/topstories/story/City-losing-out-on-5-million/nrUXwShdn02MNFx6zmtFYg.cspx

But remember, guys. No one's holding a gun to your head & forcing you to drive in this town. So get out there with your kids on the busted sidewalks that abruptly end, walk in the streets & take them biking on the roads that don't even have shoulders. ;)

Don't forget the life insurance.

PeeJayEss

February 26, 2013, 02:23:25 PM
Quote
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Action News has learned the city missed out on nearly $5 million to fix up area neighborhood streets and bike paths.

Megan Griffith is scared to take her 2-year-old child walking on the sidewalks in the Riverside area.

"We don't walk around the streets." She says it's not safe for pedestrians or bicyclists. "The sidewalks are mess up, and pedestrians walk in the street," said Griffith.

Action News found the city missed out on nearly $5 million that would've helped fix the problem. It has to do with what's called a mobility fee moratorium.

http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content/topstories/story/City-losing-out-on-5-million/nrUXwShdn02MNFx6zmtFYg.cspx

But remember, guys. No one's holding a gun to your head & forcing you to drive in this town. So get out there with your kids on the busted sidewalks that abruptly end, walk in the streets & take them biking on the roads that don't even have shoulders. ;)

Don't forget the life insurance.

I haven't heard of many pedestrians on the sidewalk in Riverside being hit by cars. That's the one place in town where walking might be safe. Use better evidence. Or just explain your personal situation, and we'll analyze whether you really need a car.
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