Brookside Village Development Approved Over HOA Objections, $4,000 in Campaign Contributions Questioned

Brookside Village Development Approved Over HOA Objections, $4,000 in Campaign Contributions Questioned

Despite protests from neighborhood associations, the Leon County Commission unanimously voted to move forward with the Brookside Village  residential development off of Ox Bottom Road.

Tallahassee Reports previously reported that the neighborhood associations for Ox Bottom Manor and Moore Pond filed a petition to challenge the Brookside Village development that was approved by the Leon County Development Review Committee.

The Brookside Village development is a proposed 61-lot single-family detached residential subdivision on the upland portion of the 35 +/- acre parcel with environmentally sensitive areas being contained within a conservation easement.

Lot sizes range from 0.14 acres to 0.42 acres, with two larger lots of 2.00 acres and 2.19 acres being proposed adjacent to Heartland Circle.

One of the arguments put forth by neighborhood representatives in the court filing, and before the county commission, was that the proposed density is not compatible with the bordering neighborhoods.

The court filing notes that the density of Brookside Village is 3.3 times higher than Ox Bottom Manor and 14 times higher than Moore Pond.

However, according to the developer and other planning officials, density is judged by “gross density”, not “net density.” This interpretation of the rules allowed for the inclusion of a conservation area when calculating density. The validity of this approach was verified by a state judge and accepted by the county commission.

In addition to planning issues, the political influence of the developer, Steve Ghazvini, was raised at the meeting.

Ryan Andrews, a local attorney said that “Through his companies …. he’s made many donations to a lot of your campaigns. Including Commissioner Dozier. On October 27th 2017 Commissioner Dozier received 16 checks totaling $4,000 as a donation to her campaign. I’m uncomfortable knowing that Commissioner Dozier may have a vote today.”

This was first reported by WCTV.

A county attorney informed commissioners and the public that the donations did not present a conflict of interest and Commissioner Dozier did not need to recuse herself from the vote.

Ghazvini, who has developed a number of projects in Tallahassee, told the county commission that “we’ve changed a lot of things based on their comments. Everything that we have done either meets or exceeds your requirements.”

14 Responses to "Brookside Village Development Approved Over HOA Objections, $4,000 in Campaign Contributions Questioned"

  1. Exactly, Georgia S. My husband & I are in our 60s/70s and looking to downsize from our 4 acre property. There are many seniors like us out there and this is exactly what we are looking for.

  2. Another way to look at this – the neighborhoods with smaller lots in good areas of town – will make nice retirement homes when children are grown/married and seniors don’t want to manage larger lots and houses.

  3. If the lot size is 0.14 of an acre, that’s 7.14 homes on an acre! Will garage walls be separated by less than 10 feet? To advertise this as a 35 acre +/- development is ludicrous! Most of that acreage is part of the wetland and cannot be built on. Who does the developer think they are fooling? I’m disgusted with this decision! Those County Commissioners will not receive any votes from me!

    1. There is nothing wrong with folks of lesser net worth. The problem is that cluster housing in the backyards of of existing lesser-density housing lowers their property values.

  4. Our corrupt local government cares not what the people
    Want! They vote for such issues based on their own liberal views!

  5. Just another disgusting decision made by our ultra liberal, corrupt city government! Everyone of them needs to be voted
    Out of office!

  6. This effort to fill in older neighbor hoods with higher density developements is bad policy. The developer gains by lower per unit infrastructure cost and the established developed properties suffer a reduction in market value due to the undesirable increase in per acre density in their neighborhood. It is essentially a liberal humanitarian gesture to provide cheaper housing at your expense ! By all means , resist this policy implementation and vote out of office those that support such garbage policies !!

  7. In Tallahassee and Leon County, you can always make a safe bet that any developer who has greased the right palms of elected officials will get their development approved, no question. I still hold out some hope that justice will be done locally, after reading that the mayor of Hallandale Beach, FL was just busted on 3 felony corruption charges by an FBI sting. FBI, please do the same here (although you’ll have to include a lot more folks than just our mayor). Tally and Leon County really need the help.

  8. No surprise concerning this action. Observed this from the inside while working for Leon County for 32 years. So happy to away from such a sick and wicked group of politicians and management staff.

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