Whether the city of Jacksonville should freeze a fee for construction projects brought a long debate to the Jacksonville city council meeting last night.
At issue is if the city should place a three year moratorium on it’s mobility fee.
The mobility fee is placed on new construction projects with the intention to encourage redevelopment and reduce sprawl. The funds are used for transportation enhancements like sidewalks, bike lanes and road expansion.
But the local construction industry says it’s a job killer that is hurting economic growth.
Builder David Schacter says he has land he could begin developing a housing project this year, if the fees were waived. Schacter says that would increase the property tax dollars coming into the city.
But opponents say Jacksonville needs to spend more money to make the city more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
Jeff Holstein is the head of the local branch of the Florida Bicycle Association.
He points to studies that show Jacksonville is one of the most dangerous cities in the country for bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
The mobility fee moratorium is expected to be discussed in three city council committees next week.