Chamber Advocacy Update – September 10, 2014


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 weeks of September 8 & September 15.

As with all City & County Commission meetings, Chamber staff will be in attendance 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 that you may find of special interest.

City of Tallahassee Meeting (September 10)

The next City of Tallahassee Commission regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 10 at 3 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of City Hall.  A series of issues presented on the agenda appear of particular interest to the business community.  Additional information regarding all City agenda issues (such as those highlighted below) can be found in the full City agenda HERE.

  • Two items under the Consent portion of the Agenda appear of interest to the business community. Item 9.03 allows for a local sign (billboard) vendor to utilize a progressive City incentive program to forfeit five of their current traditional billboards in return for the approval of one double-faced electronic billboard moving forward.  This incentive program has been met with support from both industry leaders as well as advocates of limiting overall signage within our community.  Additionally, Item 9.09 provides for the abandonment of Goodbody Lane Right of Way between Apalachee Parkway and Lafayette Street. This item is of interest as it serves as a good example of how public reinvestment via transportation/sidewalk improvements already performed along Lafayette Street is generating both a) new private investment along that commercial corridor (such as a new Chuy’s restaurant) and b) creative negotiated public/private solutions to improve access from the Parkway while reducing costs of same to taxpayers. This item, which has a few related parts, will come back before the City Commission for full approval in a future meeting.
  • After substantial public input and study during recent months, Item 13.01 seeks board approval to a staff recommendation to work toward the expansion of the boundaries of the current Downtown Improvement Authority (DIA).  It is anticipated that this DIA expansion process, to be formally approved later in October by the City Commission, would better position the City’s downtown core for future commercial and residential reinvestment and economic vitality in a rebounding economy and via improved planning efforts and outcomes.
  • At 6 p.m., a series of scheduled public hearings shall begin.  The most important of the agenda items covered during this section of the agenda are the first of two (total) public hearings required as part of the City’s approval of their annual budget plan for FY 14/15. These public hearings provide citizens with the opportunity to directly speak to their elected officials regarding the City’s proposed taxes and expenditures prior to their formal approval. The final public hearing on the budget will occur at 6 p.m. on Monday, September 22.
  • Item 16.07 is also of keen interest as it serves as the final renewal and approval for the development agreement for “Governor’s Park Corners.”  Significantly, this development covers areas around the intersections of Blair Stone and both 1) Park Avenue and 2) Governor’s Square Boulevard, respectively.  While some of those parcels have been developed (such as the Panera/Publix at Park and Blair Stone), four of the commercial parcels have yet to be developed and are also covered by this development agreement.
  • Item 16.04 also updates the planned unit development for the old Albertson’s complex on the corner of North Monroe and Bradford Road.  This action by the city will finally allow for additional acceptable uses at that site and is anticipated to result in refurbishment of the existing building into smaller storefronts with additional uses and significant refurbishment of the parking area and landscaping.  This is also key to ongoing redevelopment and improvements along the North Monroe Street Corridor.

Leon County BOCC Meeting (Sept. 16)

Next week, the Leon County Board of County Commissioners has scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday, September 16 at 6 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of the County Courthouse.  The full meeting agenda can be found HERE. In this specific case, and similar to the description in the analysis above regarding the City’s first of two public hearings on their budget, the county’s meeting next Tuesday is singularly focused upon holding a public hearing to review their proposed FY 14/15 budget plan (the first of two such public comment forums).  The second and final public hearing on the County’s revenue and expenditure plan for the coming fiscal year will occur on September 23 during the Leon County Commission’s next regular board meeting.  It will be at that time that the budget plan will meet final approval from County Commissioners.

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.