January 17, 2011
The advent of the New Year also hails the start of the year-long regulatory assault on property rights by municipalities across Florida. Municipal officials frequently seek to justify their positions through the advancement of regulations which they believe demonstrate “leadership” and job security. The current “cultural belief” within most municipalities that “regulation equals leadership” must be changed. Citizens must work to redefine true leadership as the protection of private property rights and the creation of public policy which stimulate the economy and promote individual freedom.
As part of CPR’s work and mission, we monitor the actions of local government and provide live “front-line” testimony at local public hearing where regulations and impacts to individual property owners are being discussed. Today’s edition highlights a few of the local issues CPR is monitoring.
WINTER PARK: On Thursday, Jan 13, the Winter Park City Commission held a town hall meeting with the full commission. CPR Executive Director and a number of property owners offered comments and concerns regarding the treatment of property owners and tenants along Fairbanks Avenue who will be significantly impacted by a sewer and beautification project which may take a full year of construction to complete. CPR expressed strong concerns regarding the critical importance of maintaining ingress and egress points to businesses which are struggling during the current recession and also regarding the mandated assessments on these businesses to pay for the beautification costs. The City has planned these beautification elements and believes the changes to sidewalks and light poles will help create a more aesthetically appealing entrance into the city. However, the economic reality is that the City has created a beautification plan and will be forcing property owners and small businesses to pay for during a recession. The City is also installing a number of medians in the center of Fairbanks Avenue which will create new access issues for many of the small businesses and residents who live in the neighborhoods off Fairbanks. City officials did state on official public record that eminent domain would not be utilized in the Fairbanks improvement project. City officials were also responsive to CPR’s request for a second forum specifically to discuss impacts to individual affected property owners. Mayor Ken Bradley and the City of Winter Park have an opportunity to reconsider the economic impact of the beautification assessments and to create a model for how construction zones are managed in minimizing the effect on small businesses. CPR thanks each of the property owners who offered comments and helped to raise awareness of the serious impact of this project on small business and homeowners.
ORLANDO: On Monday, Jan 24, the Orlando City Commission will discuss a regulatory overlay plan for a section of Semoran Blvd./SR 436 from Brosche Road north of the State Road 408 expressway and Grant Street south of Curry Ford Road. Commissioner Tony Ortiz is championing this new regulation and has expressed his belief that the community support and community preferences for this area take precedence over the individual property owners’ rights and impacts. The overlay plan includes restrictive development standards, landscaping and sign regulations, as well as new taxpayer spending and potential future assessments to fund on sidewalk improvements and other beautification elements.
SANFORD: On Monday, Jan 10, the City of Sanford passed a new regulation (Ordinance 4226) which unfairly limits specific uses in certain areas, in this case specifically targeting residential duplexes and bail bond offices. This type of micro-regulation represents an abuse of power by officials seeking to impose their personal preferences as to what uses are appropriate where. Duplexes offer a valuable residential option to citizens. Bail bond offices are legitimate businesses which offer valuable insurance services in our judicial sector. The free market is a far better determinant of what is or is not an appropriate use of land than a small handful of commission members. These unnecessary restrictions impact affected property owners by reducing the potential uses of their property. Restrictions on use can not only reduce income, but also reduce the future market value of their land. Sanford also adopted Ordinance No. 4227, substantially revising and amending the provisions of Schedule “S” of the City of Sanford Code/Land Development Regulations.
RAYS OF LIGHT:
OSCEOLA COUNTY: On Jan 10, the Osceola County Commission approved a moratorium which eliminates commercial impact fees in unincorporated Osceola County for one year. This action removes the current financial penalty on the use of commercial property. This should be applauded and imitated by all Florida municipalities. Impact fees are a narrow form of taxation designed specifically to discourage the entrepreneurial use and redevelopment of private property. CPR also encourages Osceola and other municipalities to “leave no property owner behind” and to include all properties, including residential properties, in these waivers.
JACKSONVILLE: Let’s hope that Jacksonville City Council members believe “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and follow Osceola County’s demonstration of economic common-sense. The Florida Times Union today reported Jacksonville is considering an impact fee moratorium.
REGULATION WATCH: Become a “Property Rights Sentry” and report new or proposed regulation in your municipality to CPR via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and help us to spotlight the hyper-regulatory activity continuing in municipalities across Florida and also to highlight the courageous local leaders working to reverse this trend!
On Tuesday, Jan 18, CPR Executive Director Carol Saviak will address the Downtown Orlando Kiwanis Club and offer a presentation on the topic, “Property Rights Built Florida” and will discuss the vital link between the protection of property rights and the health of Florida’s economy. To request a guest speaker for your professional association or civic club, please call 407-481-2289 or email email@example.com.
BECOME A MEMBER:
If you support private property rights, help give property owners a greater voice in the fight to defend these important human rights. Join CPR or Renew Your Membership Today! www.proprights.comA downloadable membership form is also available, which can be mailed in to CPR, 2878 S. Osceola Avenue, Orlando, FL 32806.
QUOTE FOR THE DAY:
“A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1801 First Inaugural Address
Reader responses always welcomed! firstname.lastname@example.orgCarol Saviak Executive Director Coalition for Property Rights 2878 S. Osceola Avenue Orlando, FL 32806 407-481-2289 407-481-0834 Fax