Chamber Advocacy Update – May 26, 2015


As part of your Chamber Business Advocacy Committee’s goal of monitoring, informing, communicating and advocating on your behalf regarding important issues impacting local businesses, listed below are highlights for the upcoming local government meetings during the week of May 26th.

Chamber representatives will participate in support of your business and joining with our partners toward enhancing our region’s economic climate.  Below you will find a brief description of those issues on the public agenda that you may find of special interest.

Leon County Commission Meeting (May 26th)

The next Leon County Commission regular meeting is scheduled for today at 3 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of the Leon County Courthouse.   A relatively brief agenda, additional information regarding all County agenda issues can be found in the full City agenda at:

Most noteworthy from this meeting are a) the County’s Mid-Year Financial Report (see Item #4), b) a status report regarding the placement of new fire hydrants in the unincorporated areas of Leon County (see Item #10), and c) the 6 p.m. public hearing regarding proposed amendments to the comprehensive plan (see Item #13).  The comprehensive plan amendment proposal serves as a “meeting within the meeting” and has its own agenda:

City of Tallahassee Commission Meeting (May 27th)

The next City of Tallahassee Commissioners regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday May 27th at 4 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of City Hall.   Additional information regarding all City agenda issues (such as those highlighted below) can be found in the full City agenda at:

The City Commission has a few notable action items on the agenda that are of interest to the business community, including:

  • Item 9.05  Authorizes an agreement with CollegeTown’s developers to gain conclusion of the Lorene Street construction for the road segment between Madison and St. Augustine Streets.  As new construction projects take hold within CollegeTown and ongoing projects are being finalized, this new street connectivity gains importance to the quickly expanding community.
  • Item 13.03 addresses the potential sale of city property of approximately 3 acres on Railroad Avenue for roughly $2M to private developers and toward the creation of new commercial space in that key corridor adjacent to CollegeTown, potentially including the future development and location of a major grocery retailer.  Such a space for the grocer could be gained by connecting the city’s parcel with adjacent parcels that are also reportedly under contract by the same developer.  Clearly, an item of interest to the business community and residents alike.
  • Item 13.04 presents an update to the City Commission by the City Attorney’s Office regarding new, proposed regulations impacting “drivers for hire” (such as Uber) within the Capital Community.  A future public hearing on a possible ordinance (to occur in June) is also under consideration via this agenda item.
  • Item 13.05 presents to the City Commission a request to overturn a lower design review board ruling stating that ground floor uses at the Plaza Tower complex (located within Kleman Plaza downtown) should be used for future retail and or restaurant uses that are still to be determined.  The developer is currently proposing that a market demand exists for office space at that location in lieu of retail.  The denial by the design review board was reportedly based upon long-standing and consistent city guidelines within Kleman Plaza to help create a vibrant downtown core with ample retail and restaurant uses.
  • Item 15.02 is a public hearing to update the City’s sign code ordinance within the Multi-Modal District, amongst other modifications.  The Chamber is appreciative of the inclusive review process engaged by the City team, both at the staff level and by Commissioner Ziffer, to include businesses in the “glitch bill” development process that led to this update. It is believed that this proposal largely addresses concerns expressed to date by vocal members of the development community engaged in the process and that a more thorough review of the ordinance will also be forthcoming soon by the City.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any further questions you may have about this content and/or the Chamber’s comprehensive set of activities to Monitor, Inform, Engage and Advocate on behalf of the Greater Tallahassee business community through the Chamber’s Business Advocacy Committee.

On behalf of your Business Advocacy Committee,

Benjamin H. Pingree, MPA
Vice President, Business Retention/Expansion & Public Policy

Seeking to monitor, inform, communicate and engage for the benefit of our members, businesses and economic good.