You Don’t Want To Miss Reading This News Straight From County Commissioner Donna Fiala!
A few months back I received a 50 page draft of the Collier County Community Housing Plan, slated to be discussed at a Commission meeting on September 26th, 2017, but of course Irma came to visit and now this draft is scheduled to be heard for discussion by the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, October 24th. The proposed plan was a very difficult read, but being that I received it in time to read it during our summer recess, I spent many hours thoroughly reading it, and there are a few things you REALLY need to be made aware of! I will quote directly from the final draft we received last week. Being that I found this product difficult to read and understand, I would guess that many people will not take the time to read the whole thing, but let me warn you….“The devil is in the details!” I won’t go through all 50 pages, but I’ll mention the quotes that disturbed me the most, and the pages on which they are located.
Please try to attend the Special BCC meeting on
Wednesday, Oct. 25th at 9:00 AM in the Commission Chamber
3rd floor of the Government Complex, Building F. [Map]
You make your own decisions from there.
Here is a link to that housing plan with Donna Fiala’s markups on it so you will know why she is so concerned about what is trying to be done without the knowledge of current and future property owners in Collier County. Share this information with your friends and neighbors in Collier County!
Pg. 22 – It is recommended that Collier County initiate a process to amend its comprehensive plan to allow for the maximum residential density to be increased to 20-25 units per acre at certain Strategic Opportunity Sites.
Pg. 22 – #2 – Modify the existing Affordable Housing Density Bonus program to allow higher densities from 8 to 12 units per acre.
Still Pg. 22 – It is recommended that the existing Affordable Housing Density Bonus Program be amended to allow up to a 12 unit per acre BONUS, thus allowing development of housing that is affordable to be built up to the county’s maximum allowable density of up to 16 units per acre.
Pg. 23 – (read carefully!) The proposed Mixed Income Housing Ordinance will require new residential development seeking approval by the Board of Collier County to address housing affordability. Developers have several options as to how to meet this requirement, including 1) accepting a 30% density bonus and including the mixed income units onsite (this is inclusionary zoning), 2) providing the mixed income units off site – (in other words: not in my backyard but in YOURS!), 3) partnering with another entity to provide the mixed income units (again, not in my backyard but wherever the affordable housing corporation wants to put them, just not in my back yard), 4) paying a fee in-lieu of providing the mixed income units.
Pg. 24 – Downzoning a site from commercial zoning reduces the intensity of uses allowed on site As such, the need for public vetting and approvals of such actions should be greatly mitigated (I read that as reduced – so I read that there would be little need for public vetting. Here is an important sentence: It is recommended that for developments proposing to include housing that is affordable through a commercial to residential conversion be approved administratively! That means you nor I would ever see it! Staff would approve it themselves in their own department without our knowledge! !
Pg. 24 – AND HERE IS THE REAL KICKER! Item # B – Allow affordable housing densities by right! ! ! I bet most of you have no idea what that means.
To put it in plain speak: By Right means “Affordable Housing that could be developed with no public hearing or public notice required. The only requirement would be the submission of a Site Plan to the County to meet administrative rules, such as set back and height restrictions, but once satisfied; the project would be developed with no dialogue with the surrounding community”, no newspaper announcements, no Neighborhood Information Meeting, and would not be heard by the Planning Commission nor the County Commissioners. Presently the affordable housing density bonus is allowed “by right” in Immokalee. It is recommended that this provision be expanded to allow Affordable Housing Density Bonuses up to 4 units to the acre to be approved administratively throughout the urban area. With this provision, a developer could build a dense affordable housing apartment building right next door to your community, staff could approve it, and you would have no right to object. Golf Course redevelopment jumps to my mind as well!
Page 25 – #5 – Expedite the Permitting and Approval Process (this is called “fast tracking”), including zoning, Land Development Code and Growth Management Plan changes! A.) The current Expedited Permitting Process for Affordable Housing (Fast Track) prescribes a certain number of review days depending on the action required. Rejections are then sent back to the applicant and resubmitted to be reviewed and either rejected again or approved. This cycle can repeat itself 5 or 6 more times. Each time adding months to the project approval. **** Create a concurrent and interactive review to clear discrepancies in one meeting! (In my words – you do not get a chance to hear about it, and they want the process to go so quickly that you won’t even know until it’s too late!) continuing…………..It is recommended that the current Expedited Permitting Process be amended to include a concurrent and interactive review to clear discrepancies in one or two meetings between staff and applicants. (notice, public/residents are not included)
At this time, this change to the Community Housing Plan is scheduled to go before the County Commission on Wednesday, Oct. 25th at 9:00 AM to be heard for the first time to get their input, and then it will go back to the affordable housing department for possible changes.
There is so much more to tell you, but for right now this is a huge amount of information to absorb.
[Please attend the meeting on October 25th!]
Map Of Collier County