Submitted by cmosteller on Tue, 11/14/2017 - 12:50

 

FAC News Clips –November 14, 2017

 

Local News

 

Naples Daily News

Collier Commissioners to discuss funding for business accelerators, some fear cuts

Collier County Commissioners on Tuesday will review the county's contract with Economic Incubators Inc., which runs the Naples Accelerator. Some fear the review will spur changes in the agreement that could lead to funding cuts and delay the opening of a long-promised business accelerator in Immokalee — or even kill it. County staff recommended the renewal of the contract, placing it on the consent agenda, which would have allowed commissioners to approve it with other noncontroversial procedural items in one quick action.

 

Beach Re-nourishment

 

Sarasota Herald Tribune

Longboat leader predicts beach nourishment to be next big fight

SARASOTA — Outgoing Longboat Key Town Manager Dave Bullock predicts one of the major clashes facing coastal government agencies in the coming years will be over an increasingly rare resource — high-quality beach sand. As more areas along both Florida coasts look to rebuild eroding beaches, there will be fewer offshore options for sand nearby, increasingly expensive onshore options and more intense competition between neighboring governments over finite quantities of both, he predicts.

 

Panama City News Herald

Gulf County exploring ‘options’ for beach restoration

PORT ST. JOE — More than three years ago county coastal engineer Michael Dombrowski stood before the Gulf Board of County Commissioners and uttered words that proved prophetic. A final number, a sticker price on a beach restoration project for St. Joseph Peninsula would only be known once the bids from dredge contractors were submitted, Dombrowski cautioned. Until then, estimates were just that, estimates. One of the most significant drivers of cost, he added, would ultimately be availability of a dredge contractor in an area, the Gulf of Mexico, where less than a half-dozen operate under the good graces of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

 

PACE Program

 

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

OpEd: Support and expand PACE to protect Florida families

Florida is once again facing a challenge: We must rebuild from Hurricane Irma while also strengthening our communities to prepare for the next storm. When I served as majority leader in the Florida House of Representatives, we understood the importance of creating common sense solutions to challenges like this and I’m confident our current leaders are prepared do the same. There will continue to be endless conversation and political debate about how to deal with hurricanes and severe storms.

 

Preemption

 

Leesburg Daily Commercial

Our Opinion: Tree bill should be removed

The constitutions of the United States and the state of Florida give “the people” a right to petition their government representatives for “redress of grievances.” Greg Steube, a representative of the people in the state Legislature, has a penchant for using his position to seek redress for his personal grievances. As a member of the House of Representatives and, now, the Senate, Steube has filed a slew of bills so he and other extremists could take their guns almost anywhere.

 

Longboat Key News

City takes on Steube parking rights bill

Right now, if anyone were to back into a public parking space in a parking garage in the City of Sarasota, they could get ticketed. State Senator Greg Steube, R-Bradenton, wants that changed. In a bill sponsored by Steube, SB-378, the senator seeks to prohibit any county, municipality or governmental entity from adopting or maintaining any rule that would prohibit a driver from receiving a citation for backing into a parking space. In essence, it would make any rules prohibiting back-in parking void.

For Sarasota Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie the legislation could prove dangerous.

 

Lakeland Ledger

Editorial: If a tree falls, does anyone in Tallahassee hear it?

Hurricane Irma apparently intervened in defusing the fireworks that were expected at last month’s meeting between the Polk County Commission and the community’s legislative delegation. The commission’s anticipated criticism of Tallahassee’s encroachment into local affairs — driven largely by the Legislature’s support for a new homestead exemption that voters will decide next year — was subordinated to discussions of how the state will fuel the hurricane recovery. But don’t worry, the Legislature is about to hand Polk County and other local governments more reasons to grouse about undermining home rule.

 

Gainesville Sun

Worries grow with lawmaker’s plan to kill tree rules

Tree canopies in Alachua County and Gainesville are considered some of the most impressive in the state and country, both Lachnicht and Niederhofer said. Alachua County and the city of Gainesville take pride in their reputations as tree-loving communities, and a state legislator’s proposal to dismantle local tree ordinances is not germinating well locally — or throughout the state. Last week in Tallahassee during committee meetings to prepare for the 2018 Florida Legislative Session, Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, introduced Senate Bill 574, which would cut down municipal tree ordinances that deal with “trimming, removal or harvesting of tree and timber on private property.”

 

Recovery

 

CBS 12

Palm Beach County collects $27 million worth of debris following Hurricane Irma

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — Debris scattered around Palm Beach County during Hurricane Irma is adding up. The price tag: $27 million. The Solid Waste Authority in Palm Beach County says they’ve collected the equivalent of a football field filled with 120 stories of debris. After the debris is brought to 1 of 9 Solid Waste buildings, it’s turned into mulch and distributed across farmland. The county says FEMA will eventually help out with the cost, but they’re still waiting on money from last year’s Hurricane Matthew, so it will likely take some time.

 

CBS12

Palm Beach County still waiting for FEMA reimbursement

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — Thousands of pounds of debris were scattered across Palm Beach County when Hurricane Irma hit two months ago. "The storm hit on a Sunday into Monday and by that Thursday, crews were out picking up storm debris,” said Willie Puz with the Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority. “Since then, up until last weekend, we collected county wide about 2.7 million cubic yards of vegetation debris from the storm. It's about taking a football field and putting a 120 story building on top of it that's all debris."

 

State Budget

 

FloridaPolitics.com

Rick Scott to unveil budget in Jacksonville Tuesday

Florida Gov. Rick Scott comes back to Jacksonville Tuesday, where he will unveil his final budget. Of course, some hints have already been provided. Scott has already touted an ambitious (at least by recent standards) spate of environmental spending. The $1.7 billion of “historic investments” in the environment, $220 million over the current year’s levels. The budget proposal has something for most constituencies: $50 million for state parks; $55 million for springs; $100 million for beaches; $355 million for Everglades restoration; $50 million for Florida Forever.

 

Vacation Rentals

 

Associated Press

Seattle approves tax on Airbnb, short-term rental operators

The Seattle City Council has voted to tax operators of short-term rentals, such as those listed on Airbnb. The Seattle Times reports that the Council voted on Monday to impose taxes of $14 per night for entire homes and $8 per night for rooms. The taxes begin in 2019. The tax ordinance states that the proceeds will be used to support community-initiated development projects and to create affordable housing. The council was also scheduled to vote on regulations for the short-term rental industry, but that topic was instead referred to the land-use committee for additional discussion.

 

Orlando Sentinel

Orlando could require home-sharers to be at home

Orlando could soon allow bed-and-breakfast-style room rentals in most residential areas, as the city continues to grapple with how to regulate Airbnb and other similar online services. Though hundreds of Orlando listings can be found on sites such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway, the city considers short-term rentals of fewer than 30 days a code violation in neighborhoods. Violators are typically cited only when complaints arise.  But city planners have proposed a change that would let homeowners rent out space for short-term stays, but only if the owner is living on the property at the time, which the city calls a “hosted rental.”