Amendment would address big box stores

Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 10, 2006 at 10:55 p.m.
On Dec. 30 I was quoted in a Sun article headlined, "Plan aims to restrict location of big box stores." I appreciate the effort of The Sun to inform its readers about an issue of importance to our community but I believe the article painted an incomplete picture of my concerns. This proposal does not seek to restrict the location of big boxes or any other business.
I am one of the people who have requested an amendment to Alachua County's Comp Plan. Our proposed amendment will allow local government to recover the cost of big box stores locating in our community. If adopted it would require companies that propose a big box store in Alachua County to hire a planning consultant of the county's choosing. The consultant would assess the true impacts of the development on Alachua County and determine the fee to be paid by the big box company or developer to compensate county taxpayers for these costs.
Without this amendment, taxpayers will continue to pay for major impacts caused by these big boxes, such as extra police and fire, street and traffic improvements throughout their trade area, affordable housing and related growth management costs.
What we propose is respectful of our citizens' tax dollars and the countless hours that citizens, elected officials, and staff have put into creating the current comp plan; and respectful of the rights of businesses to market their products.
Robert Ackerman, President, Brasington's Adventure Outfitters, Gainesville

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