Thursday, February 16, 2017

Myself and Commissioner Maier on different sides of important issues: Broadening the zoning code for “home occupations”.

Although Commissioner Maier is not seeking re-election that doesn’t mean his issues go away as well. We’ll all welcome Maier’s continuing work to help the homeless, for example, although there continues to be a strong debate how to go about achieving that in the best, most effective way possible.

Early in March 2015 after Maier was elected, as I was leaving a Historic Resource Preservation Board meeting (I was Chair of the HRPB then, my resignation letter), I passed a group of people entering City Hall at the invitation of Maier. Being the curious one later found out this would become the group, Artist & Cottage Entrepreneurs (ACE).

Please note the video below of Maier is from an August 2013 City Commission meeting, much prior to him getting elected. In light of the proposed idea by ACE to change zoning (some call “upzoning”) to allow for ‘home occupations’ in the City gives these comments by then-citizen Maier much more significance. Maier supporting an idea that will contribute to parking problems, increase traffic and require more demand for City services is puzzling, as you’ll see below.

Remember, the ‘heights’ group composed of former Commissioner JoAnn Golden et al. with all their banging of drums about the City not recognizing the referendum in March of 2013, is a group Maier supported from the very beginning. A state law later was passed and called any such referenda “null and void”, retroactive to June 2011. Therefore, the City Charter wasn’t amended and the height possible east of Federal, along Lake and Lucerne Avenues remains at 65′ in the land development regulations, but only when there is a hotel use or a mixed use project with more than 50 hotel units.

Maier was (and presumably still is) a supporter of the height restriction and in the video below talks about the conditions in his neighborhood related to property access and on-street parking:

These are the very same concerns people have about allowing home occupations that would increase traffic, use up more neighborhood parking, and put more demand on City services.

Even now, in early 2017, continue to see this very disturbing disconnect of some people being against the Gulfstream Hotel redevelopment and opposing a possible revived and expanded hotel downtown which includes a parking garage (!), while at the same time ignoring the city-wide impacts from the intensification, increased traffic, infrastructure demands, etc., in single family neighborhoods by supporting the ‘home occupation’ ordinance to be greatly broadened.

Can someone, anyone, please help me out with the logic here?