Restore Financial Stability Preserve Neighborhoods Make Informed Decisions
APPROACHING A TIPPING POINT
July 10, 2022
The Gainesville City Commissioners plan to take an imminent vote that will drastically accelerate the rate of the destructive zoning changes already underway in our historic and established neighborhoods. A commission majority—Poe, Arreola, Hayes-Santos, and Saco—appear poised to pass this ill-conceived change. The Commission is rushing to make changes before a new Commission is elected.
You have been kept in the dark. You, a thoughtful voter, are probably asking “Why are they doing this?” Commissioners mistakenly claim that single-family zoning is racist and that eliminating it will result in affordability and racial equity. This misguided belief has resulted in up-zoning of historically Black neighborhoods that has ended in demolition of affordable houses and replacements with $1,000 per bedroom “small dormitories” near campus. Commissioners contend that overbuilding will eventually lower rents. They have an “affordable housing plan” in their minds, but so far they present no data to back up their assumptions and expectations. They plan to pass the changes in July after their summer recess.
What I have done and will continue to do. As an interested and involved citizen, I continue to follow this issue, speak out, and inform others. GNV Rise was the City Commission’s 2018 attempt to redefine single-family zoning. In the end the public came out in great numbers and were able to get the Commission to vote to not move these changes forward. Today’s variation on the effort is Exclusionary Zoning/Inclusionary Zoning, which would allow duplexes, fourplexes, and more in single-family neighborhoods. Reduced to the City Commission’s alphabet soup, it is called EZ/IZ. It feels like Groundhog Day again. Once again, we are trying to stop a bad decision with long-term implications.
What can you do? Inform yourself. Email the City Commission (firstname.lastname@example.org), attend City Commission meetings (the next one is July 13, 2022) and voice your concerns about the threat to our traditional neighborhoods. Together we can stop this next ill-founded decision.
What if together we fail to stop this now? If we fail now, I will do all in my power as a Commissioner to overturn or abandon the decision, and I will ask for your help to do so. It is easier and less costly to taxpayers in terms of time, money, and energy to stop this now than to try to reverse it later.
I invite and welcome your support and your vote!
Jo Lee Beaty