If Jacksonville’s new liberal mayor lives up to her campaign promise to facilitate growth, it may help offset some of the bad ideas she brings with her into office.
Donna Deegan has said she plans to make the permitting process move more swiftly after she becomes mayor July 1.
That’s good news. Growth is slowed and sometimes killed by a lengthy government approval process that increases costs.
This is especially troubling considering the fact that Florida experienced an 86 percent increase in corporations moving their headquarters into the state, compared to those relocating their head offices out of Florida. The Sunshine State leads the nation in this area.
In addition, Jacksonville is one of three cities, along with Tampa, and Miami, that were among the top 10 cities in America for corporate headquarters relocation.
Finally, some claim there is a crisis locally in producing “affordable housing.”
The way to produce affordable housing is to produce more housing. The way to continue attracting businesses is to make it easier for them to relocate.
Florida’s new “Live Local” law will help with both. Deegan’s promise, if fulfilled, will be another factor.
The Live Local Act, which passed the Florida Legislature with only six votes in opposition, is intended to make housing more affordable. It preempts local land use and zoning requirements in some cases and defines “affordable.”
It isn’t as if the problem of slow permitting has been ignored. There are not one, but two, City Council committees working on smoothing the permitting process.
Their work, with the help of the new mayor, should identify whether the problems are a lack of government employees or a clumsy, inefficient process that causes developers to ran a gauntlet without justification.
Her focus on “diversity and inclusion” and her presumed stance toward the police have caused concern among those who did not support her but when the new mayor promotes good ideas she should be given credit for them.