Posted in: City, Exclusive, Local News, Media Gallery, Opinion, Stewart's Blog

Stewart’s Blog: Heads Up Killearn Estates, City Ignores Neighborhoods on Zoning Issues

Posted on January 11, 2017

Stewart’s Blog: Heads Up Killearn Estates, City Ignores Neighborhoods on Zoning Issues

Residents in the 4,000 home Killearn Estates neighborhood recently received a questionnaire from the Killearn Homeowners Association (KHA) asking how they would like the Association to move forward with regards to the redevelopment of the land that was previously a nine hole golf course. The current owner is seeking a zoning change from the City of Tallahassee that will make it easier to develop.

The options outlined by KHA include mediation, legal intervention, and buying the golf course from the current owner.

However, if you have been watching the City Commission’s recent actions with regards to neighborhood zoning issues you would conclude input from neighborhood residents really does not matter!

Consider these recent votes.

First, there was the move by the City Commission to develop 10 acres of City owned land that is located between Myers Park and Cascades Park. The land is the current home to the City’s neighborhood and park administration offices.

However, out of nowhere, an issue about noise impacts on the Myers Park neighborhood turned into a debate over a potential development.

How did this happen? An unidentified developer told a City staffer that he would be interested in purchasing the property. That was enough for the City staffer to present the option to the City Commission.

Despite pleas by Myers Park residents, the City Commission voted  4-1 (Commissioner Richardson voted against) to move forward with the potential development.

More recently, the City Commission sided with a developer involving a multi-family project on the soutside. The 3-2 vote occurred despite objections from the City’s own Planning Commission and impacted residents.

Mayor Gillum and Commissioner Richardson voted against the request. Commissioners Maddox, Miller, and Ziffer supported the project.

Consider the process that took place for this development.

A developer asked the City’s Planning Commission to change the zoning of a 30 acre parcel located off of Ridge Road on the southside of town from 8 units per acre to 18 units per acre to accommodate a four story multi-family dwelling. When the developer bought the property in 2007, the zoning allowed 8 units per acre.

Residents of the crime ridden section of town complained the development would only increase problems in the area and would do nothing to promote responsible home ownership.

The Planning Commission agreed and denied the request. The Planning Commission told the developer to alter the plan and come back for another review. The developer said no thanks, I will just go before the City Commission.

This past month, a number of residents showed up at the City Commission meeting to fight the development. Representatives from two homeowner associations with over 200 residents spoke against the project.

However, three City Commissioners voted to ignore the the Planning Commission and the concerns of residents.

It would be wise for residents of Killearn Estates to take note of the recent actions by City Commissioners which demonstrates no respect for the planning process or for the concerns of people most affected by developers who want to change the character of a neighborhood.

6 Responses to Stewart’s Blog: Heads Up Killearn Estates, City Ignores Neighborhoods on Zoning Issues

  1. Bill Carlton Reply

    January 11, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    The Myers Park Project is most disturbing. Even a lay person knows the proposed townhouses or condominiums on the old park site are not going to abate the noise from concerts at Cascade Park. The city has already shafted the residents of Myers Park and Woodland Drives by allowing late night concerts. This one is rotten to the core. Either
    some planners, planning commissioners, or the city commissioners are trying to help some of their friends out with a sweetheart deal on this one. The city does not need to sell this parcel of land.

    Ditto on the Ridge Road project; the planning commission and neighborhood associations are correct on this one. The last thing this area needs is greater density.

  2. Dirk Dynamic Reply

    January 11, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    “Either some planners, planning commissioners, or the city commissioners are trying to help some of their friends out with a sweetheart deal on this one.”

    Their friends? Maybe.

    Themselves? Most definitely.

  3. Laurie Davis Reply

    January 12, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks for the heads up! I believe residents are already aware of the very strange behavior of the Commissioners. It is sickening that the person who purchased the property did so with FULL KNOWLEDGE of the special covenants, restrictions, and zoning, but now he thinks it’s his “right” to change everything based on the premise that he isn’t making money. The City and County Commissioners need to remember that Killearn Estates homeowners number in the THOUSANDS and they turn out in large numbers to vote. There has been quite a bit of mobilization, and if the Commissioners are smart, they will remember, favors or not, votes enable them to keep their jobs. Just sayin’ . . .

  4. Mr. A Reply

    January 12, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    And yet they keep being voted into office time and time again….

  5. Pat Gardella Reply

    January 15, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    I suggest every concerned citizen search “Sustainable Development” . It’s all part of a well developed and well infiltrated plan to change life as you know it. This is not a conspiracy theory.Try reading Behind the Green Mask;U.N. Agenda 21 by Rosa Koire.

  6. Mike Reply

    January 17, 2017 at 8:22 am

    You can bet a pint of your own blood that Mayor Gillum is in total agreement with Agenda 21 and is pursuing an action plan to initiate it here in Tallahassee. One only has to look at Gillum’s hard liberal stance on issues, his statements, and his sometimes-climbing reputation in the uber-liberal side of the Democratic party.
    It’s now eleven years after my wife and I moved to Tallahassee and bought a home in Killearn Estates. So after only eleven years of observing the libertine governing of the mayor and his cabal of equally corrupt Commissioners, I’ve repeatedly pointed out that Northeast Tallahassee should secede from the systemic Tallahassee corruption and start our own city, with our own government and schools etc.
    The model for this is Atlanta, which started seeing outlying areas seceding from Atlanta in 2005 and forming their own cities and school systems. All of these “new” cities have balanced budgets and governments with their own elected officials focused on their own areas/issues, and are working to form their own school systems. The outlying new cities (Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Dunwoody, et al) have been very successful.
    Quote: “These cities, after breaking away politically from urban Atlanta, have become so successful that a libertarian think tank, the Reason Foundation, has featured Sandy Springs as a model of effective government. The Economist has also applauded the northern Atlanta cities for solving the problem of unfunded government pension liability and avoiding the bankruptcy that looms over some urban areas.”
    link to story (one story of many on the subject):
    http://www.wnd.com/2013/03/suburbs-secede-from-atlanta/

    Just substitute the word “Atlanta” in the quote above and put “Tallahassee” in it’s place. It may seem outlandish now, but given the continual pathetic state of Tallahassee government and the moving trend of Tallahassee residents to the Northeast when they get the chance, it may be only a matter of time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *