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Jacksonville, FL (October 26, 2020) – Councilman Becton was the guest presenter for the Monthly meeting of the Southeast Citizens Planning Advisory Committee (SE CPAC) held via Zoom on October 26th. The purpose of the presentation was a Land-Use and Zoning training of sorts to teach the CPAC members as well as the attendees of the meeting what they needed to know to help be more effective in their neighborhood advocacy.

It is always a pleasure to be asked to present to the SE SPAC membership,” Council Member Becton stated. “This organization is where I have my civic roots and it means a lot to me that citizens get involved in their local government and communities to improve the quality of life which surrounds them.”

During the presentation Councilman Becton stated the following:

 “Tonight, I have been asked to discuss the Objective: How to improve your Letter Writing for Concerns and Issues involving Land Use and Rezoning matters.

 In doing so, I have updated and enhanced my “Land-Use, Zoning, Exceptions & Waivers Citizens Handbook” with an Oct 26, Version 4 (now v5) that is available to you on my website www.dannybecton.org, under Land Use, to be found at the bottom.

 Also, within this same area for future reference, you will see a folder named ‘2030 Comprehensive Plan’. This folder contains all of the documents for which makes up the comprehensive plan for your reference.

 I have a lot to cover, so it is my plan to move quickly and I will be glad to answer as many questions as possible with time remaining but as always I will be available outside of this meeting as well.

 Let me say as we begin, the concerns or issues for which you have are only as good as the time and detail for which you communicate them. You are advocating typically “against” issues of “property rights”, therefore, the seriousness of these opinions should always be respectful of the time and money, and the fact that this is probably dealing with other’s livelihoods as well.

 Your opinion and concerns matter and they are able to be heard and considered in approving or denying an application. It is for those reasons that nothing in this process should be taken lightly.”

 Councilman Becton went over the following topics during his presentation:

  • Policy vs. Quasi-Judicial
  • Discuss/Review Land-Use vs Quasi-Judicial Ordinance (Explain that the following Pages provide much more detail than we will be discussing)
  • Quasi-Judicial
  • Planned Unit Developments and Specific Criteria for Exceptions, Variances, Waiver of Minimum Distances Required for Liquor, a Sign Waiver, Waiver Street/Road Frontage, Zoning is a Waiver for Medical Marijuana Dispensing, Administrative Deviation

 “Land Use and Zoning is one of the more complicated areas of government for which one may get involved. As rezoning’s are Quasi-Judicial, this means that the process is run like a court proceeding, providing for evidence, deliberation and then a ruling by the legislative body who sit as judges.” Council Member Becton explained. “One thing that citizens do need to understand is that Council Members under these proceedings, should not and can not take a position for or against these actions prior to this process being performed; to do so can disqualify them from being able to vote on the matter.”

 Councilman Becton said the following pages are useful to review and quickly notes them during his presentation: 

  • (Page 12) Appeals Process
  • (Page 13) Appeals Process, Where Do they Go, to Whom?
  • (Page 14) Flowchart – Conventional Rezoning & PUDs
  • (Page 15) Waivers – Sign & Min. Road Frontage
  • (Page 16) Exceptions
  • (Page 17) Variances
  • (Page 18) Admin Deviation

 He continued his presentation:

 “This is Part Two of Our Presentation, this evening. Page 19 – Land-Use: Small Scale vs. Large Scale Criteria for Policy Decisions is driven by the 2030 Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan has (10) Elements, it is those elements that contain the policies for which changes are either justified or not justified. These documents contain GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES for which will be cited to support conclusions. While rezoning’s are Quasi-Judical, Land Use Bills are no; they are policy decision”.

By Tiziana Onstead, District 11 Executive Council Assistant