Public Regains Voice in Fair Share Development Plan
Bauerlein, David, The Florida Times Union
Facing an outcry from Jacksonville neighborhood activists,
Mayor John Delaney has decided that applications for "fair
share" agreements in traffic-jammed parts of the city will
continue to undergo public review.
In July, Delaney proposed a procedure that would eliminate
public hearings for fair share agreements, which allow
construction if the developer will help pay for road
improvements, such as turn lanes or wider streets, that ease
That drew sharp criticism from JaxPride President Lynda
Storkerson, who said yesterday her group would "come out with
all guns blazing" if there is no opportunity for "neighborhood
participation" in scrutinizing fair share applications.
Delaney will revise his proposal to include a forum for public
comment on the applications, city General Counsel Rick Mullaney
"This is a work in progress," said Mullaney, who has been
working with Delaney on the bill filed with the City Council.
Delaney has been grappling with how to create a faster
administrative procedure for fair share applications.
Those go now to the City Council for approval. Delaney's
proposal calls for an administrative procedure with five
officials: the mayor, council president, planning director,
Public Works director and finance director.
Some council members have rapped that change, saying the
council needs more involvement than just the council president.
The question of how to administer fair share agreements is
part of the city's growth management strategy. State law does
not allow new development unless the city's infrastructure can
handle it. In Jacksonville, overloaded roadways have
increasinglycaused development projects to fail that test of
But state law also allows projects that fail concurrency to
proceed if the developer agrees to pay a "fair share" of what
the city must spend to make the needed improvements.
The city has had a policy allowing fair share agreements since
1996 but has so far only approved four. There were few
applications until this year, but 36 are currently on file.
Delaney had put a hold on those while he worked on setting up an
administrative system. He decided this week to allow those to
move forward while he takes more time to work on his proposal.
City Councilman Dick Kravitz said that in addition to the
council president, any administrative review should at least
include the district council member representing the area of the
proposed development, as well as the appropriate at-large
council member. …