Author Topic: City Council prepares to Halt Mobility Fee  (Read 41502 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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City Council prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« on: October 06, 2011, 03:19:17 AM »
City Council prepares to Halt Mobility Fee



The majority of the Jacksonville City Council is on board with implementing a mobility fee moratorium (Ordinance 2011-617) that would result in Jacksonville taxpayers subsidizing the private development's negative impacts on public infrastructure 100%.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2011-oct-city-council-prepares-to-halt-mobility-fee

Bridges

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Re: City Council Prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 07:56:02 AM »
When is the vote taking place?  How long do we have to contact the council members?

For maximum impact, it might be a good idea to have a small 3-5 sentence email script that everyone could use.  One basically stating a position against the moratorium, possibly with a statistic.  Essentially, an on point message that people could easily send to each representative.  Just a thought. 

Great article as always. 
So I said to him: Arthur, Artie come on, why does the salesman have to die? Change the title; The life of a salesman. That's what people want to see.

tufsu1

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Re: City Council Prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 08:41:45 AM »
The final vote is set for next Tuesday...so start calling today!

JeffreyS

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Re: City Council prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 10:08:44 AM »
Here is the email I just sent to the list so if anyone wants to modify it for their own use.

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Mr. Yarborough, Please do not put a moratorium on the Mobility Fee (Ordinance 2011-617).  Jacksonville taxpayers subsidizing the private development's negative impacts on public infrastructure 100% is not acceptable or productive. The Mobility Fee helps Jacksonville maximize the benefits of needed development.  I am keeping score on this one and will donate to campaigns of the candidates who I see helping developers to invest in Jax  not giving away Jacksonville’s smart development future to them.

I also reminded a few of them of prior donations.
Lenny Smash

Miss Fixit

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City Council prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 10:12:08 AM »
This ordinance promotes exactly the kind of development we do NOT need.

Jacksonville is already overbuilt in residential, commercial, and retail.  Prices will not stabilize or increase until the excess inventory is absorbed. 

We need to promote rehabilitation of existing property, not new suburban development.  There are far better ways to stimulate our economy and create jobs.

sunshine

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Re: City Council prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 10:37:55 AM »
I contacted city hall. 
The text of 2011-617 can be viewed at http://cityclts.coj.net/coj/Council/SEPTEMBER-13-2011-SUMMARY.pdf   just scroll down to viewer page 42. 

This bill is scheduled to be voted on in the Rules Committee on 10/17, then it will go to Council on 10/25.  The legislative aid at 630 1404 suggested a call to them on Tuesday 10/11 at 1:00pm or so to confirm the status of the bill in Rules Committee because it is possible they will discharge it from the committee (meaning agree to approve without a vote) and enable Council to vote on it on 10/11. 

Jumpinjack

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Re: City Council prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 11:06:17 AM »
This is promoted by developers who want to build in the area of Jennifer Carroll's  toll road funded by FDOT on the west side of Jax. Housing stock in that area is low since it is mostly rural at this time. However, everywhere else we are overbuilt and suffering from very high foreclosure rates.

Our council is not looking at helping the areas of town that need the help. They don't care about the need to invigorate Arlington, Northside, and the urban core. They don't want to help people get to work. They aren't thinking about the infrastructure that the city will have to fund or the schools which will have to be built.  This is the same good ole boy politics that got us in the mess we are in right now.  Council members who support this idiotic scheme need to share some agony from the rest of us.

thelakelander

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Re: City Council prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 11:31:33 AM »
This is promoted by developers who want to build in the area of Jennifer Carroll's  toll road funded by FDOT on the west side of Jax. Housing stock in that area is low since it is mostly rural at this time. However, everywhere else we are overbuilt and suffering from very high foreclosure rates.

Why would you want new tract housing stock near Cecil Field and Whitehouse?  We blew an opportunity to bring the Navy back because of the incompatible land use encroachment that already exists. 
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

sunshine

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Re: City Council prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2011, 01:13:15 PM »
I just sent this LTE to the FTU

Mobility Fee Delay

I am appalled at the City Council proposal (ordinance 2011-617) to delay the mobility fee which would assess developers for new road construction related to new development.  Until passage of the Mobility Fee, Jacksonville collected a Fair Share fee that has provided $15.9 million for roads for new development. 

A decision to not assess the fee on developers is a decision to place the burden on us taxpayers.  We just went through a ruinous budget process where many painful cuts were made (remember the libraries?).   The rationale for rollback of the fees is to stimulate development in Jacksonville. 

Jacksonville developers are already getting a great deal by only having to pay an impact fee for roads.  Many local governments , including St. Johns, require impact fees that cover schools, roads, buildings, safety services, fire rescue, parks and waste management.  Their impact fees are much higher.   It is only fair to require developers to at least pay for traffic concurrency and NOT foist more road costs on to the taxpayer.

We taxpayers already pay gas taxes that go for roads, we are paying ½ cent in sales tax under the Better Jacksonville Plan. 

Did you know—Jacksonville’s residential vacancy rate is 11.38%?  Our home values have declined 10% in the last year and 31% since 2006.  We have vacant shopping centers and office buildings aplenty.  Additional development will cause further property value decreases and more vacancy of existing structures. 

A 2010 study by Dr. James T. Nicholas of the University of Florida found that development is UNAFFECTED by reductions in impact fees.  Developers base development decisions on other factors. 

Please tell your Council Person that new growth and development in Jacksonville must pay for itself. 

Janet L. Stanko
Chair, Sierra Club Northeast Florida

Ocklawaha

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Re: City Council Prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2011, 01:22:24 PM »
Even in Jacksonville, with our horrendous record of wrong-think and bad decisions it is hard for me to wrap my brain around the idea that we would even consider a bill that will further our record of blunders.

Here is a story for those who think these things are minor or temporary bumps in the road to our future. When I was a City Councilman in Oklahoma, Oklahoma City had the opportunity to land a major manufacturer that would create thousands of jobs. OKC is already a powerhouse in the automotive industry with a General Motors assembly plant, and several component plants, including one that turns out Ford transmissions. The site location team for that major manufacturer included their CEO.  No effort was spared and the prospective new residents got the royal treatment and tours of the city. Unbeknownst to any of us, the CEO and his inner circle escaped from the hotel and drove all over the city...ALONE. The next day, their visit cut short, they announced that they would NEVER locate in a city who's transit system is virtually non existant and it's infrastructure a shambles. They released photos they took on the unofficial tour that included dirt paths in lieu of sidewalks, narrow potholed and patched roadways, and miles of litter.

Why would we promote sprawling suburban development by eliminating the funding for the very public improvements that make our community more livable. There is a hidden indication that this fee will result in a property tax increase in order to pay our "fair share" of road widening, mass transit, streetscapes, street lighting etc.

Giving the developers a blank check to build whatever, whenever and however they so desire by placing the infrastructure burden directly on the backs of the existing citizen is foolish.

Seriously, how many million dollar homes or developments have been stopped dead by a few thousand dollars of impact fees? NONE!

If we were at war, with our city's very survival at stake, it appears that our generals would adhere to a tactical military rule known as: "Advance to the rear!" We finally have something both unique and workable, a award winning prototype being studied by cities around the globe. True to form, we 'pink slip'  the genius that created this plan and we now propose to eliminate the highly praised plan itself.

How many more jobs would be created and how many new industrial, office or residential project will take root in a city that uses such fees for continious improvement as opposed to one that sells itself cheap? Even at the peak of the recent realestate boom, Jacksonville managed to fall far behind the competition, which begs the question, why didn't Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta or Nashville suffer the same fate even though THEY HAD higher fees? The answer is obvious, the cities that collected various impact fees reinvested those dollars into local improvements and those improvements did far more to attract new development then giving the builders a free ride.

It has been said that Jacksonville is a diamond that wants to remain coal, but there has never been tangible proof until now. There is simply no reason for us to progress when failure is so easy to achieve.

OCKLAWAHA
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 01:30:00 PM by Ocklawaha »

JeffreyS

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Re: City Council prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2011, 02:09:24 PM »
I contacted city hall. 
The text of 2011-617 can be viewed at http://cityclts.coj.net/coj/Council/SEPTEMBER-13-2011-SUMMARY.pdf   just scroll down to viewer page 42. 

This bill is scheduled to be voted on in the Rules Committee on 10/17, then it will go to Council on 10/25.  The legislative aid at 630 1404 suggested a call to them on Tuesday 10/11 at 1:00pm or so to confirm the status of the bill in Rules Committee because it is possible they will discharge it from the committee (meaning agree to approve without a vote) and enable Council to vote on it on 10/11.

Tuesday 10/11 was 2 days ago?

No it is 10/6 today.  I am only correcting you so no one is confused and knows they still have time to call or email.
Lenny Smash

JeffreyS

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Re: City Council prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2011, 05:35:11 PM »
Here is my first non auto reply.  I respect his difference of opinion just wish he were better informed.

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Mr. Sutton:

If you are going to reduce my service on City Council to this one vote then get out your checkbook and get ready to write a check to my eventual opponent(s).

Maybe you haven’t noticed but there’s a depression on in the construction industry. If a TEMPORARY waiver of Mobility Fees will cause some projects to move forward that would have otherwise been delayed then that is a very good thing. At least we can generate a few of the jobs that are so desperately needed.

Here are the defects in your arguments:

1.   If the waiver leads to a substantial uptick in construction then I am correct in arguing that Mobility Fees, at least in this very bad economy, are a job killer.
2.   If the waiver fails to generate a measurable increase in construction activity then there is no harm. Construction is already so anemic that there will be little revenue generated by Mobility Fees in the near or intermediate future.
3.   You assume that infrastructure is or will be overburdened. I don’t know that this is the case. Generally speaking the “fair share” regime that was just done away with had kept pace with our needs, albeit inequitably, and I certainly don’t think that “infill” projects would do much to strain the infrastructure that’s currently in place.   
4.   Those who focus on transportation infrastructure and argue that its direct costs place an undue burden on local governments ignore the substantial wealth effect that results from having an economy that prominently features private automobile ownership. The reality is that approximately 15% of all economic activity in this country is either directly or indirectly dependent on the private ownership of automobiles. This may create a need to spend on roads and highways but it also generates a very large amount of income and sales tax revenue that otherwise would not be available. It also creates a large portion of the wealth that sustains other sectors of the economy.

For the record very few of the citizens I hear from, even those who might suspect that my views run contrary to their own, threaten me by telling me they will oppose my re-election. Most of them understand that if the goal is persuasion then the best thing for them to do is to stick to the facts and to build a compelling case for their position.

If I caved in to you because you threatened to oppose my re-election then what kind of City Council member would I be?

My advice to you when you communicate with City Council members is to stick to the facts and to save the saber rattling for another day.

The challenges we face as a city over the next few years are substantial and it would be a mistake for any of us to declare that our city’s future hinged one particular issue or one particular vote, especially in light of the tremendous economic difficulties we face as a society.

I’m sorry to disappoint you but I will be voting for the TEMPORARY waiver of the Mobility Fees and I believe that the overwhelming majority of City Council members will be joining me.

Robin Lumb, City Council
Group 5 At Large
________________________________________

Lenny Smash

JeffreyS

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Re: City Council Prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2011, 05:59:23 PM »
My response included that this type of TEMPORARY waffling is how great ideas never get done.

Lenny Smash

thelakelander

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Re: City Council prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2011, 06:27:03 PM »
Quote
4.   Those who focus on transportation infrastructure and argue that its direct costs place an undue burden on local governments ignore the substantial wealth effect that results from having an economy that prominently features private automobile ownership. The reality is that approximately 15% of all economic activity in this country is either directly or indirectly dependent on the private ownership of automobiles. This may create a need to spend on roads and highways but it also generates a very large amount of income and sales tax revenue that otherwise would not be available. It also creates a large portion of the wealth that sustains other sectors of the economy.

As I expected, it appears that many still believe that sprawl and oil based growth is economically viable.  In reality, its a big ponzi scheme and Jim Jones kool aid drinkers like Jacksonville will end up with no place to sit when the music stops (one could argue that it already has).

Dashing Dan asked me in another thread if support for the mobility plan had been abandoned.  I replied no and that the problem isn't the mobility plan itself, its our belief that we can grow our way out of this economic downturn.  When I moved to Jacksonville in 2003, the region felt 10 years behind most cities of similar size.  To close the economic gap, we have to develop a 21st century economy that is based on quality-of-life and not sprawled centered building for the sake of building.  That's what has gotten us into the hole were in now. 

With all of this said, if this moratorium is approved, I'd like to see the city keep a before and after record of building permits, as well as a record of mobility money lost.  Right now, it appears the council is making decisions based on hopes (no public data has been presented to show that other impact fee moratoriums have worked) instead of facts (several sources out there indicate they don't).  Collecting data over the next year will at least provide local proof that kissing a toad of an idea won't end up in it becoming a prince.

For Jacksonville to overcome its economic problems, we're going to have to come to the conclusion that we can't beat a dead dog (an unsustainable growth-based economy) back to life.  A re-education process needs to take place in this city and it needs to center around economic trends.  As long as we wallow in the past, we'll continue to be a pass through and not a destination.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

sheclown

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Re: City Council prepares to Halt Mobility Fee
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2011, 07:04:35 PM »
The urban core needs to unite and form a significant political voice.

Lake, keep on educating all of us. We need it.