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Roundup 7-31-2015

July 31, 2015


Built Environment/Planning/Transportation – Bucharest on Hillsborough?

— The Realtors Talk Walkability

— Mobility Fees: A Step

— Is This Economic Development?

— Conclusion

Transportation – Express Mess

Downtown/West Side/Hyde Park – More on the Tribune Site

Downtown/West Side/Hyde Park – Altis

Tampa Heights – More Action

Rays – More Silliness

Jackson House – Some Movement

Meanwhile, In the Rest of Florida

Meanwhile, In the Rest of the Country

List of the Week


Built Environment/Planning/Transportation – Bucharest on Hillsborough?

— The Realtors Talk Walkability

URBN Tampa Bay posted a link to an article from the National Association of Realtors about walkability. You can read the whole article here. There was one thing in particular we wanted to point out:

Residential walkable communities generate four times the tax revenue compared to regional and business malls, bringing more value to the area, according to panelists.

“Walkable urban regions in the U.S. have a 41 percent higher Gross Domestic Product over non-walkable regions,” said Christopher Leinberger, professor at George Washington University School of Business and president of Locus, a national coalition of real estate developers and investors who advocate for sustainable, walkable urban development in metropolitan areas. “That’s the difference between countries like Germany and Romania.”

Given the low gross metropolitan product (and really low per capita gross metropolitan product) in this area, this is a very interesting point.

Our area has very little walkability.  That is the result of choices made over decades.  Now we are paying the price, and in some very isolated areas trying to get better (in most areas, like in the Pasco County article we highlighted last week, nothing is being done). Of course, the correlation between walkability and economic performance may not be completely direct.  It may indicate more of a mentality – areas that decide to be walkable may be more interested in investing in their community in things like transit, education, proper planning, etc., and more interested in real economic development (not settling).  Those areas may attract higher paying jobs and more talent that creates higher paying jobs. Nevertheless, it is a correlation.  Moreover, regardless of whether it is direct correlation or result of attitude, we are lacking on both counts.

And there is more from the Realtors:

The days of suburban cul de sacs are numbered: Millennials prefer walking over driving by 12 percentage points, according to a new poll conducted for the National Association of Realtors.

That’s the largest margin in favor of walking for any generation. Millennials want to live within walking distance to shops and restaurants, and have a short commute to work. They also favor expanding public transportation and alternatives such as biking.

The housing market must change to meet these preferences. Millennial disinterest in traditional single-family homes may be one reason why the home ownership rate in the U.S. fell to 63.4 percent in the second quarter, its lowest level since 1967.

“While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all community, more and more homebuyers are expressing interest in living in mixed-use, transit-accessible communities,” said NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark.

Looking at the Go Hillsborough discussion as it is, it will not go very far in changing our deficiencies.  It does not really have a real transit feature.  Yes, it expands buses a bit and there is a theoretical idea that someday after the streetcar is moderately expanded there may be a starter light rail line in a small portion of Tampa within 30 years with nothing else contemplated.  That is not really in line with what the Realtors are telling us Millennials want. (And remember, Millennials are making decisions now.  All this should have been done decades ago to lay the ground work for a modern and thriving economy.)

And, of course, it is questionable whether Go Hillsborough will actually do anything directly about walkability. Yes, there is talk of new sidewalks but there are sidewalks around the county – just many of them really serve no purpose.  Sidewalks on massive arterial roads or where you have to walk miles through a subdivision to get to even a convenience store is not walkability.  The planning has to change (it should have changed years ago).

And, just to be clear, this, the plan for the renovated Seminole Mall in Pinellas County is not urban, walkable, or really anything other than sprawl, regardless of how it is held out by government or developer.

From Bay News 9 – click on picture for article

This fact is that nothing in the articles is a revelation.  We knew all this years ago and still little has changed.

Moreover, this is not just about walkability.  It touches basically all the issues we discuss – economic development, planning, transportation, good governance, and built environment. (Walkability correlates with economic development and requires real transit, proper planning, good building, and jobs one can get to on foot.  Moreover, it all requires the proper attitude.)  All this highlights our local failings and what it will take to really move forward. (And the local failures probably explain why business leaders seem ready to support Go Hillsborough even though there is no plan and no one knows what might be in it.   They know the facts and just want something done.)

The one upside is that, if there is the will to really change, it can still be done.

— Mobility Fees: A Step

Going back to Go Hillsborough, there is a proposal to change planning and bring in mobility fees.  We, and others, have advocated the County making that move quickly and regardless of whether there is a referendum and/or whether it passes or not.  This week the County Commission took some action in that area:

Hillsborough commissioners on Wednesday gave the county planning staff the okay to explore a change to “mobility fees” as part of a larger comprehensive plan for future growth.

Mobility fees charge builders more for the roads and transit needed to support new development, especially if they build outside the urban core. A final proposal is expected in December.

Ok, that is something.

Many residents want to see developers pay for sprawl and a plan for smarter growth before the county raises taxes. In theory, a shift toward mobility fees would accomplish that.

That could make mobility fees an important piece in persuading the public to support the half-cent sales tax increase in a 2016 referendum.

“I do think we need to solve that mobility fee option irrespective of what happens with Go Hillsborough,” Commissioner Kevin Beckner said. “Yes, we can tie it some to Go Hillsborough, but we need to get that figured out, I think, really, before we go into a full referendum.”

And we agree with that, but we do not understand why it should take until December.  This idea has been out there for years.  Moreover, how the money is used is also important.

Commissioner Sandy Murman stressed that the fees need to be used “as a tool in the toolbox for economic development” and “not just raising fees to help fund our transportation needs.”

“We collect these fees, they go right back into economic development areas to really support the infrastructure and all that needs to take place,” Murman said. 

That would be theoretically ok if 1) “economic development areas” are really economic development areas and not supporting retail and sprawl (see Bass Pro Shops) and 2) it is understood that failing to address the needs all around the county that have been neglected inhibits economic development as  much as anything.  In other words, talking mobility fees is fine if they really mean it (and change planning completely), but there is a big question about what they really mean to do – whether this is just cosmetic or a real change of mentality.

However, throwing in a caveat about “economic development” makes the definition of that term exceedingly important, and, so far, the County has had a very strange definition.  It makes one wonder if any real change is contemplated.

— Is This Economic Development?

The relevance of the County’s strange definition was in focus this week because the County subsidized Bass Pro Shop opened.  The store was sold as being the height of economic development with “destination retail” that will bring all manners of tourists.  We did not buy the argument then, and we do not buy it now.  The Times had an interesting column about it:

A much anticipated Bass Pro Shops store opens Wednesday in Brandon – a 130,000-square-foot, 300-employee reminder that the outdoor recreation company has pegged Florida big enough to handle at least 15 such stores – far more, so far, than any other state.

Quite the unique destination. (If you read the articles like this,  you note that, while a large number of people went to the opening, the people interviewed are all local.) There are only 17 Trader Joe’s in Florida, and they did not get a big subsidy.  Yet, the economic development argument is still being made, such as in this article from Thursday:

In an interview before Wednesday’s event, Hagan said the county’s contribution was a “no brainer.”

“This was an unprecedented economic development opportunity,” Hagan said. “I’d say in my time in office, we’ve never experienced an economic development project that has such an immediate return on investment.”

He said hotels, entertainment venues and theme restaurants are “in the pipeline” for the area and that in addition to Bass’ 300 jobs, the area could see 3,000 new jobs by the time the dust clears.

“The ink wasn’t dry on the Bass deal and Top Golf signed on,” he said, referring to the futuristic golf entertainment complex that opened in December on Palm River Road. “This is going to be a one-of-a-kind entertainment destination that really was a lifetime opportunity for Hillsborough County.”

Hardly. Everything mentioned is low wage retail/hospitality.  And, as noted above, it is not “destination” at all.  Moreover, there are already a number of hotels nearby. And, frankly, the fact that many people want to go to Bass Pro Shop or Top Golf is a reason not to subsidize them.  They have a market here (the fact that so many people went to the opening is an argument for making them pay their fair share, not subsidizing them.) and will come anyway to exploit it – and, if they don’t, their competitors will.  Bass Pro Shops does not have a plan for 15 Florida stores for the health of Hillsborough County – it is looking out for its business and trying to preempt competitors.

Moreover, the subsidy Bass Pro Shops received is exactly the kind deal that has caused the County to be far behind in meeting transportation needs.  It is the County giving tax payer money to private companies to create low wage jobs and to relieve those companies of paying what they should for their developments.

Maintaining the Bass Pro Shops is the height of economic development leads us to wonder if mobility fees are just going to be another way to subsidize sprawl rather than really help the County’s transportation needs?  Frankly, given the County’s poor track record on such things, we would not be surprised.

The Times column concludes with this:

Hillsborough County commissioners debated whether to spend $6.25 million on road improvements to attract a Bass Pro Shops store to Brandon. They approved the deal in early 2013, despite complaints by small businesses that a larger competitor was being subsidized by the government.

Small business was right. But as is often the case, all seems forgiven soon after the grand openings.

Sure, it is nice to have Bass Pro Shops, but we only want to give them money if they have a product we want to buy. And, frankly, we think that people will remember (the Commissioner’s argument from Wednesday is a sign of that).  Many taxpayers are do not want their tax money handed to developers in the name of economic development, especially when the County then comes and tells them there just isn’t any money to do things that are actually needed.

We do not think everyone accepts the County choosing the Romania option.

— Conclusion

The bottom line is that the County (and other local governments) needs to change 1) the fees system, 2) planning, and, most importantly, 3) its mentality.  If those things do not change, nothing will change and we will still lag.

Now, decades after we should have made major changes, decisions have to be made.  The step to mobility fees is something, but the overall Go Hillsborough proposal is questionable, as is the continuing insistence that sprawling retail (or playing fields) is real economic development.

So we put it to the County Commission (and all local officials): Do you want to be more economically like Germany or Romania?

Transportation – Express Mess

Looking at transportation, there were a couple of meetings this week regarding the Tampa Bay Express proposal.  First, FDOT:

For the first time Tuesday, the Florida Department of Transportation indicated it may be willing to help pay for expanding express bus service that would run on proposed toll lanes along Interstates 4 and 275.

Huzzah. But there is more.

And with a strong enough commitment from Hillsborough County and its cities, the state also may be willing to help fund more elaborate transit options on the interstates, possibly including light rail, said Debbie Hunt, director of transportation development for the transportation department’s District 7.

First – “may?” FDOT spends money everywhere else on rail.  It should be axiomatic that they will also spend money on rail here.  The same goes for express buses.  It is the department of transportation, after all.

Second, don’t get too excited yet. There is the caveat of a “strong enough commitment.”  Right now the County has no commitment, so the FDOT statement has no application.  And, of course, like we said, the state should be helping (in fact pushing) for full transit in its cities rather than just pushing express toll lanes and saying maybe it might consider helping with other things.  But that is what we have.

The second meeting involved opponents of Tampa Bay Express.  We have mixed feelings about this opposition.  We understand they want to preserve their neighborhoods, but we also know the roads are inadequate.  There needs to be a middle ground on that aspect of the discussion.

On the other hand:

Opponents of the plan stressed the economic dangers the new lane presented. Ricky Peterika and Taryn Sabia of the Urban Charrette, an organization focused on the importance of urban design, said the lanes would limit public access to downtown Tampa.

The plan, Peterika said, would make the I-275 downtown east exit “express access only,” and would close the I-275 Floribraska exit.

“This is for all commuters,” Peterika said. “Only two entrances to downtown, and one of them is tolled.”

If that is the case, it is ridiculous.  How does having limited access (remember, express lanes have a limited amount of traffic by design) help downtown or commuters? How is making service worse for normal drivers in favor of express lane drivers really helping anything?  It would be one more example of the questionable nature of the variable rate toll lane concept.

Of course, all this goes back to the real problem – the complete lack of proper planning and transit in this area. If there was strong local support for transit and proper roads, FDOT would come along rather than dictating everything.  There is no escaping that, even with FDOT’s flawed plans, the real blame (and still the problem) remains local.

Downtown/West Side/Hyde Park – More on the Tribune Site

The Related Group filed more documents with the City regarding their proposal for the Tribune site on the west side of the river.  Included in the packet were renderings and a site plan.  (Thanks to URBN Tampa Bay for posting them and cutting down our work load.)  Let’s take a look:

From URBN Tampa Bay’s Facebook page – click for post

From URBN Tampa Bay Facebook page – click for post

From URBN Tampa Bay Facebook page – click for post

You can read URBN Tampa Bay’s opinion here.  We agree with most of it, but want to emphasize a few things.

Arquitectonica is the architect.  However, just because they are famous does not mean that everything they do is good.  And it looks like they mailed this one in.

First, we find the design to be quite uninspiring.  Yes, it is not med revival, which is good, but it is really not much else either.  Notably, the developer wants to move forward quickly (that would help if they sell it like Pierhouse).

Second, the tallest feature of this project is the parking garage, which is not really a trend we think Tampa should allow.  Moreover, the garage is in the northwest corner and features what appears to be a 9-10 story blank wall, which cuts off the surrounding area (which is yet to be developed) from the project and, to some degree, the river (which is odd since the river is supposed to be the center of all our development).  Interestingly, the site plan indicates that there will be riverfront restaurant space in the north-east corner, which is fine, except the only way to walk to that is to walk by the rather uninviting parking lot.  (And, even if the garage is to be used for some future project as well, it can be done much more elegantly and without destroying the street level.)

Third, strangely, the project seems to feature apartments that will look straight into the side of the Selmon Expressway – and pretty much nothing else.  Moreover, the side of the building that looks right at the Selmon actually is quite short (about half of it is only four or five stories).  They are not our apartments to rent, but that seems odd.  If anything, the giant blank wall of the parking garage should face the highway (though we are not really in favor of that either).

Finally, our biggest concern is the public space.  This lot is a key connection to any future western riverwalk and from that riverwalk to the area behind the lot towards Hyde Park Ave.  However, looking at the site plan and renderings, it does not appear that there is a riverwalk portion in the plan.  Yes, there is open space by the river, but it looks primarily private space (especially with the pool right on the river).  That would be a major mistake that would push back the formation of any western riverwalk for many years (like the poor designs on the east side did for that project).  Moreover, it seems contrary to stated City plans (see #19 in this pdf).  On the other hand, if the space is going to be part of a riverwalk, it does not appear to connect to the Brorein bridge, which makes it not that useful in connecting to downtown.

In sum, yes, this project is wrapped in an Arquitectonica façade, but that does not make it a quality project.  Sadly, the more that comes out about this project, the less excited we get.  This is a great site that could spin off much more development. We know that Arquitectonica can do better.  We know that Related can do much better.  The City should push them to do so.

Downtown/West Side/Hyde Park – Altis

Meanwhile, the first project proposed for this area has changed again.

The northern building, fronting Grand Central Avenue, will be six stories, with 5,000 square feet of storefronts lining Grand Central. The parking garage will be eight stories, with an eighth-floor amenity deck that includes a pool, a two-lane bowling alley and a covered lounge area. On the roof of the lounge area will be a dog park and a demonstration kitchen, where the developer will host cooking events.

From the Business Journal – click on picture for article

That is better.  We are still not sure about the big parking garage, though.

The Business Journal article on the changes also included this:

Tampa has been slower to embrace mixed-use development than other cities, with ground-floor retail in residential buildings slower to lease than freestanding retail, but the concept appears to be gaining traction. The retail portion of Post Properties Inc.’s SoHo Square in South Tampa leased up quickly, and the retail spaces for the Pierhouse in Channelside are fully leased, too. 

Actually, Old Hyde Park Village is mixed use and was very popular for a while.  It was the City that kept settling (and keeps) for plans that do not promote walkability (say 10 story parking garages on the main street corner, having large surface parking lots like NoHo Flats or basically anything in Westshore).  That made (and still make) people less likely to get out of their cars.  That, in turn, makes it harder to rent walking based retail the space.  If the City had pushed for walkable development, it would be much further along as walkable areas now.  The same goes for other areas.

So when you say “Tampa has been slower to embrace” make sure to be clear that you mean the government.  Change the planning, stop settling, and see what happens.

Tampa Heights – More Action

There was more news from the Heights.

The developers of The Heights have picked up more land for their mixed-use project.

An affiliate of SoHo Capital paid $3.5 million for 6.3 acres of land on the eastern fringe of what’s known as The Heights, according to a Hillsborough County deed filed Thursday.

The Heights is an undeveloped parcel of land on the Hillsborough River, just north of downtown Tampa. It is entitled for 1,600 residential units, 400,000 square feet of office space and 200,000 square feet of retail space.

That is interesting. But

The first phase of The Heights, an apartment development named The Pearl, was to break ground in the first quarter of 2015, though that is yet to happen.

Plans for The Pearl call for a 317-unit apartment building on a parcel north of Palm Avenue, with a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units and 17,000 square feet of retail space.

(You can see renderings of the Pearl here.)

We are not clear on the reason for the delay, but it is disappointing.  This is an important area of Tampa to get redeveloped, and it has been a very long time in coming (and apparently some more to go).  The only thing we can hope is that the delay is the result of a redesign to make the parking garages less dominating that in previous renderings. (See “Tampa Heights – A Little More On the Heights Project”)

Rays – More Silliness

Last week, St. Pete decided to do something about the Rays.  No, they did not agree to let the Rays look around the area for a proper site for a potential stadium.

City council members will ask Mayor Rick Kriseman to approve a study assessing the value of the Tropicana Field site — with and without the existing baseball stadium.

The request for a study was approved by the council Thursday night. The request next goes to the mayor for his consideration.

The study would calculate the value of the site with various uses. The assessment’s $125,000 cost would be shared equally between the city and the Tampa Bay Rays, the domed stadium’s primary tenant, said council member Jim Kennedy.

“We have an opportunity to show the Rays what advantages exist within Tropicana Field,” Kennedy said.

The study could be done by Urban Land Institute, a non-profit group highly regarded for its expertise in planning and land-use matters, or a similar organization, Kennedy said.

It could show the advantages of the site, though

Council Chairman Charlie Gerdes, the only board member who voted against the proposal, called such a study a waste of taxpayer money.

“If there’s one site in the world that the Rays know about, it’s the Trop site,” Gerdes said. “They know how many people come to it, when they come to it, what price they come to it for,” Gerdes said.

The city and the Rays both know the property, about 85-acres, would be successful if developed, Gerdes said.

“We’re going to get this report that’s going to tell us a bunch of things we already know,” he said.

Pretty much.  And there is another problem:

Jim Cloar, the leader of the Tampa-based Urban Land Institute, said the institute is not eager to get involved in the stalemate between St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay Rays over the team’s desire to look elsewhere for a new stadium.

“This has been a somewhat contentious situation with respect to the Rays and the city,” Cloar said.

On Thursday, the city council voted to ask Kriseman to hire a company to calculate the value of the 85-acre site with various uses, both with and without the stadium. The assessment’s $125,000 cost would be shared equally between the city and the Rays, said council member Jim Kennedy.

If the Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit group highly regarded for its expertise in planning and land-use matters, was hired for the study, eight or nine people would have to be brought in from out of town to work on the job. Even then, Cloar said, he’s not sure the institute could give the city the detailed type of information city leaders say they want about the site.

“Our concern when we read this was that it’s a little more specific than ULI is able to do in that short period of time,” he said.

In other words, St Pete’s plan is to hire people who do not want the job.  That would be consistent with St. Pete’s entire handle of the Rays stadium issue.

What St. Pete should really do is actually address the situation seriously and let the Rays look.  They know the Trop site.  If it is not appealing, a report will not make it more appealing.  If nowhere else is better, so be it. Everything else is just noise.

Jackson House – Some Movement

While the City is tearing down history (the Bro Bowl) to build monuments to history, there is still one building in downtown Tampa that actually part of local African-American history: Jackson House.  This week, there was news that efforts to save it (it is in a bad way) might be moving forward.

Over the past year and a half, owner Willie Robinson Jr. has deeded the storied rooming house to a nonprofit group, the Jackson House Foundation.

A local firm, Bracken Engineering, has donated the time and expertise to design a plan to shore up the ramshackle, wood-frame house. That, supporters hope, can buy enough time for them to raise money for a larger renovation and repair job. A contractor, R.W. Tymewell, has signed on to do the stabilization.

And the Tampa Bay Lightning have given $50,000 to help save the two-story building on E Zack Street.

“We were hoping that we would be able to say to you tonight that (work had) started,” Carolyn Collins, chairwoman of the foundation’s board of directors and past president of the Hillsborough NAACP, told the City Council on Thursday night.

It hasn’t, but Collins said efforts continue to raise matching funds and donations of supplies from private donors, local or state governments, building supply companies, contractors and others. She hoped the $63,685 job to shore up the historic boarding house could start as soon as next week.

While, over the years, the City has done essentially nothing to help save the actually historic structure, there are some donations.

“That phase we have funding for, we are very fortunate,” Collins said. Jeff Vinik donated $50,000 to the Jackson family. That money will go towards the $64,000 stabalization bill.

And thank you to the Lightning owner for that.  The efforts of private citizens might be pushing the City to finally be constructive.

When prospects looked bleak, the NAACP stepped in to try to rally support for the house. City officials have met with the NAACP, Robinson and others to work on the plans to seek grants.

Once supporters get to the point where they are ready to move forward with stabilizing the building, City Attorney Julia Mandell said Tampa officials will be in a position to resolve some of the outstanding code enforcement violations and fines that have been assessed against the property.

Good.  History walks and monuments are fine, but actual history is much better.

Meanwhile, In the Rest of Florida

We have been critical of the City’s obsession with removing the mounds in Riverfront Park rather than rebuilding them to look more organic and provide a vertical element that affords unique views of downtown in what is basically a flat area.

Recently a reader pointed us in the direction of Sarasota County where landfills have been transformed into a somewhat unique park – Celery Fields.  While the park is a bit isolated, there is a relatively large hill with trails that overlooks a wetland area and provides unique views. We were curious if there were reviews of the park, and, low and behold, there are reviews on TripAdvisor.  And they are almost all good.  We suspect that is because you cannot get a hill anywhere in Sarasota, and the park is really cool. (There is another park built on a landfill with a major hill and a trail further east.)

There are also precious few hills in Tampa (and those that do exist are not treated very well). We understand that downtown Tampa is a little different but some creativity and vision would see that the idea of providing the public a unique vista would be a very positive thing.  We don’t need every park to be essentially the same.

And, completely coincidentally, this week the County started talking about how to spend the BP settlement money.

That assessment is shared by two Hillsborough County commissioners who want to spend a $22.8 million settlement from a county lawsuit against oil company BP on environmental protection.

“This is money from an environmental disaster that had far-reaching effects, not only on our environment but our economy as well,” said Commissioner Stacy White, who floated his proposal late last week. “It only makes sense to spend this on environmental projects.”

On Tuesday, Commissioner Les Miller rolled out a proposal that mirrors White’s. Both would give the bulk of the money, $15 million, to the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program, commonly known as ELAPP. The money could be used to buy conservation land andto maintain land already under ELAPP protection.

* * *

In addition to funding ELAPP, White wants to spend $5 million on greenways and on blueways, coastal areas that can be explored by canoe and kayak. The remaining money would go to coastal restoration, $2 million; boat ramp enhancements, $700,000; ecotourism, $50,000; and native plants for county parks, $50,000.

In a departure from White’s plan, Miller would spend just $2.5 million on greenways and blueways and $2.5 million on the Environmental Protection Commission, the county’s regulatory agency. 

As a general concept, that makes sense to us.  We need more green and blue ways. We need creative recreation areas, like those in Sarasota.  This is a quality of life issue that, addressed properly and creatively, helps draw talent by giving a greater variety of recreation and lifestyle.  Unless the County is going to put all the money to transportation, green and blue ways seem a logical focus.  It certainly should not go into some discretionary fund to help subsidize more sprawl in the name of “economic development.”

Meanwhile, In the Rest of the Country

There is a lot of talk about a boom in Tampa, especially downtown.  We thought it might be interesting to see a real boom graphically represented.  Seattle’s city government has created an interactive map showing just that.  Click here and scroll out a bit to see a full on boom.

Now that is a boom, but they are Germany to our Romania.

List of the Week

There is no list this week.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. EyesWideOpen permalink
    July 31, 2015 3:05 AM

    On the changes FDOT wants to make to interchanges in the downtown area, you don’t know the half of it.

    If you’re a downtown commuter TBX is your worst nightmare.

  2. July 31, 2015 11:22 AM

    So who should be the majestic planner? Or what is the best plan? Should you decide? The neighborhood? The city? The city doesn’t own the land. We get it. Everything should be centrally planned by TOP MEN and us private property owners should conform.

  3. July 31, 2015 11:28 AM

    Oh and check out Seattle’s CF of tunneling. The planners messed up the Interstate to begin with, but the new plan is even worse.

    I also don’t understand why you think the city or anyone but the property owners should have a say on design. Well I do, you are a statist. You don’t mind using state power to mold the little ideal village.

    As for Millenials, they/we have to be the worst generation in history. Many of us are underemployed or unemployed. More so than past generations.

    Another fact you don’t have is that Tampa Bay added a high percentage of jobs in high wage sectors according to Witten Advisors.

    • July 31, 2015 12:31 PM

      Government already has a say on design. There are all manner of zoning, parking, height, setback, etc. regulations. The list goes on and on, especially in overlays and historical districts. The real issue is the effectiveness of the regulations and whether they should be modified, not whether there are regulations at all.

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