Friday, April 08, 2016

All-White PZA Supports Deleting Affordable Housing Duties for Nocatee

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called this place "the most lawless" in all of America.
All-white, all-male, all-Republican Planning and Zoning Agency (including an alleged minister of the gospel) is a joke, a mere cat's paw for developers like the PARC GROUP, contributors to corrupt St. Johns County political boss Sheriff DAVID SHOAR, a warped, frustrated developer-driven bully.
This is so wrong -- please contact St. Johns County Commissioners and attend Tuesday, May 24, 2016 9 AM meeting at Taj Mahal, at 500 Sebastian View, north of St. Augustine, Florida.

My late mentor, Stetson Kennedy, infiltrated the KKK and told me that the KKK in St. Johns County all became Republicans -- every single one.

PZA gives nod to Nocatee plans, including less affordable housing
Posted: April 7, 2016 - 11:19pm | Updated: April 8, 2016 - 4:55am


Nocatee’s developer would provide 40 fewer acres of land for affordable housing under a deal supported by most of St. Johns County’s Planning and Zoning Agency members on Thursday.

Nocatee’s development agreement with the county says 50 acres of land must be donated to the county to be used for affordable housing. The land is to be donated over time, and 10 acres have already been donated.

Also, the developer is required to pay $800,000 to St. Johns County for affordable housing as the development builds out. $150,000 has been paid, so the developer is still on the hook for $650,000.

Under the deal recommended Thursday, which will go the County Commission for a final decision, St. Johns County will keep the 10 acres and relieve the developer of its requirement to provide the other 40 acres of land for affordable housing. In exchange, the developer plans to pay the county the remaining $650,000 in one lump sum up front, instead of stretching the payments out over time.

But one of the main benefits mentioned by representatives of the PARC Group — Nocatee’s master developer — and county staff was the chance of a college or other post-secondary educational institution locating in Nocatee.

Under the proposed changes, the developer wants to donate 20 acres of land for the institution. If nothing comes to fruition, the developer would pay the county about $1.6 million to keep the acreage for its own use.

The proposal drew opposition from representatives of Habitat for Humanity and Home Again St. Johns, who cited the need for affordable housing in the county.

Alia Reimer, executive director of the local Habitat for Humanity, said she is concerned that if the county gives up acreage for affordable housing, “that we aren’t serving the needs of the low-income population in the long term.”

She added, “The most recent study that the county has that talks about affordable housing shows that there’s a need for 15,000 units for affordable housing in St. Johns County. And that data is old. It was based on a study done in 2002, and those numbers are through 2015. The reason why there isn’t most recent data is because there hasn’t been an updated affordable housing study done by the county, despite the fact that the Comprehensive Plan requests that one be renewed in 2013.”

The board ended up recommending approval for all of Nocatee’s applications, and the County Commission is expected to hear the matter in May.

The changes affect the Nocatee Planned Unit Development, the development agreement and the Comprehensive Plan, so all three were voted on in separate items and all recommended for approval.

Board member Mike Koppenhafer voted against all three items. Archie Wainright was the only other member who voted against something, which was the Comprehensive Plan change.

The board also nominated former member Brad Nelson to fill a vacancy on the board. In a previous meeting, they nominated Karen Zander. A final decision on that matter will be up to the County Commission.

In addition to affordable housing requirements for Nocatee, the developer is asking for changes such as reducing the percentage of multifamily dwellings required.

Board members first seemed opposed to affordable housing changes.

“I’m concerned that the affordable housing piece that was negotiated way back when ... that we’re kind of moving away from that,” said Dick Williams, board chair.

However, members seemed to be swayed by county staff, who talked about the benefits the county would receive under the deal as well as further details about affordable housing requirements.

Nocatee officials provided a study that showed enough market rate affordable housing in the development to meet thresholds in state law, said Suzanne Konchan, growth management director.

Benjamin Coney, the county’s housing manager, voiced support for the Nocatee changes.

“The proposed changes leveraged with additional resources allows the county to consider home ownership opportunities, affordable rental acquisition, housing rehab and repair for substandard housing, and support homeless housing initiatives,” Coney said. “This will help the county address some of the immediate affordable housing needs.”

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