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Monday, January 24, 2005

The None-of-your-business Lobby Strikes Again

Gainesville developers are always whining about the anti-business attitude and policies of the Gainesville City Commission, which always gives me a chuckle. It is a perennial complaint usually lodged near election time when a pro-development flunky is trying to get a seat on the commission, and the candidate needs to fool voters into thinking that the city doesn't like honest business owners or some such.

Rarely, if ever, are any specifics mentioned. And truth be told, the City Commission has always bent over backward to help business and economic development.

But along comes an idea from the developers to fix this horrible situation – a "streamlining" of the development review process that would eliminate the Development Review Board's oversight of some projects.

Bad idea. This is a citizen board appointed by the City Commission to flush out projects before they reach the City Commission. And it is important because it helps citizens find out about bad development projects before they gain momentum.

The City Commission is to begin hearing proposals about this tonight, which I realize is late notice. But no worries – any streamlining will take several meetings, so if you want to make your views known, you'll be able to do it. Unless of course the developers decide they don't think you should.

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