Mayor John Holic of Venice wants the Sarasota County Commission to revise its workforce housing impact fee structure. Developers pointed out the new county ordinance has incentives for affordable housing units that are up to 750 sq. ft. But what about those struggling who need more than a 1-bedroom unit? Here’s what Venice City Council members came up with. In the end, the board agreed to ask Mayor Holic to bring the matter up at a Council of Governments meeting for their feedback.

Mayor Holic

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JOHN HOLIC

A solution: Redefine the size of the unit in some manner to allow for incentives not just for 1-bedroom units limited to 750 sq. ft., but also 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom units.

Rationale: There are families that would benefit from the incentive. I was tickled pink when the county lowered the impact fees on units less than 750 sq. ft., but a problem has surfaced. There is a way it can be corrected.

Rich Cautero

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RICH CAUTERO

A solution: Don’t grant more impact fee incentives. Go after the Sadowski funds, Florida’s affordable housing trust fund, which is supposed to be steered toward workforce housing.

Rationale: The state legislature keeps sweeping the funds into state coffers, using them for other projects. By tweaking local impact fees, you’re letting the legislature off the hook, and perhaps establishing a bad precedent.

Bob Daniels

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BOB DANIELS

A solution: Get our lobbyists to go after the Sadowski money.

Rationale: We’ve been advocating for lower impact fees while instituting new ones. It’s like talking out of two sides of our mouth. Maybe it’s better to go after the Sadowski money instead of caving in on lower impact fees.

Chuck Newsom

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CHARLES NEWSOM

A solution: Adopt a similar but more flexible local impact fee incentive program that allows for 2- or 3-bedroom units in the city’s own Land Development Regulations.

Rationale: We need to find a way to allow this incentive for 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units in Venice. Let’s say to them, “here’s what we’re doing in the city, and maybe it would work in the county,” so it doesn’t seem like we’re being critical.

Jeanette Gates

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JEANETTE GATES

A solution: Pressure legislature on Sadowski funds and implement own local impact fee incentive program in Land Development Regulations.

Rationale: Ditto to Cautero and Newsom comments.

Helen Moore

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HELEN MOORE

A solution: Pressure legislature on Sadowski funds.

Rationale: You’re (Cautero) speaking to the choir when it comes to pressing the legislature not to raid the Sadowski funds. Pursue support of members in the Coalition of Governments and lobby them to make county appropriations.

Mitzie Fiedler

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MITZIE FIEDLER

A solution: Agrees with idea of pressing legislature on Sadowski funds and adopting the city’s own similar impact fee incentives in the Land Development Regulations.

Rationale: Until we have our act together, it’s hard to criticize the county’s effort.

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