Jeremy's Notebook

Creating a ‘Competitive and Compatible’ LDC

January 9, 2013

The Escambia County Commission terminated the Land Development Code Advisory Committee Tuesday, charging county administration and staff with studying nearby counties in order to produce a revised “competitive and compatible” comprehensive plan.

Interim County Administrator Larry Newsom and Development Services Director Lloyd Kerr suggested the move. Newsom advised that the board rescind the resolution which created the advisory committee—“the committee goes away”—and allow staff to assess the comp plans of neighboring counties.

“They are our competition when it comes to development, you know, because we hear this, we hear this all the time, you hear this as commissioners,” Newsom said, describing how developers often consider moving their projects to locales like Bay County.

Commissioner Grover Robinson made a motion to abandon the committee and allow staff to evaluate committee’s work on an LDC-rewrite to ensure Escambia would be competitive with nearby Florida counties.

“And commissioner, can I have you add to that motion, ‘and to include a review and a study of the existing comp plan?’” said Commission Chairman Gene Valentino. “Is that what you wanted Lloyd?”

The motion passed 4-0, with Commissioner Wilson Robertson absent for the vote.

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  • Jacqueline January 15, 2013 at 9:59 am

    “Interim County Administrator Larry Newsom and Development Services Director Lloyd Kerr suggested the move.”

    Is this a typo or has there been a change? The last meeting that I attended, Mr. Touart was still there as Interim Admin.

  • Ames January 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Seems to me that if staff and administration knew the answers there wouldn’t be a problem. How about hiring a professional? One that does’t know anyone in the Panhandle and doesn’t know anyone that knows anyone in the Panhandle.

  • EPenn January 10, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I’m not sure what the problem is, because all you have to do is hire somebody that’s a close friend with Robertson and he will do all he can to help you out… Wink, wink…

  • Eric2 January 10, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I think they are using “competitive” to mean easy for developers to get by with the lowest common denominator – under the guise of bringing jobs. What the county needs is a progressive and visionary ldc that sets the trend for smart growth and protects our environment.

  • Rocket science January 9, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Its about time this exercise took place. How about this for another step forward – instead of lining up a bunch of projects for a beauty contest for Restore $$$ why don’t we first determine specific priorities for the county and let that drive the funding process? We have done things backwards for so many years and we scratch our heads as to why things never improve. The definition of insanity is……

  • Ames January 9, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    They all need to read the book ‘The Great American Jobs Scam’. Soon.