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NCFAA Alachua County Charter Amendments

Industry News ,

There are six Alachua County Charter Amendments that will appear on the November 3, 2020, general election ballot.

Every ten years, the Charter Review Commission reviews the Alachua County Home Rule Charter and proposes amendments or revisions for placement on the general election ballot. The County Commission can also place Charter Review Amendments on the ballot. This November, four of the ballot amendments were proposed by the Charter Review Commission, and two by the County Commission.

Charter Review Commission Amendments:

Please note: Below you will find the ballot title and ballot summary for each ballot proposal.

1. County Growth Management Area (Resolution 2020-01)

COUNTY CHARTER AMENDMENT ESTABLISHING COUNTY GROWTH MANAGEMENT AREA
Shall the Alachua County Charter be amended, effective countywide, to establish a County Growth Management Area (Area), provide that the County's comprehensive plan and land development regulations will exclusively govern land development in the Area, whether inside or outside the municipal boundaries, authorize implementing ordinances, provide for removal of lands from the Area, and provide that the charter and implementing ordinances shall prevail over conflicting municipal ordinances?
Note: This amendment provides consistent comprehensive planning and land development regulations across the county for areas within the Growth Mangement Area. It provides that if an area of land is annexed by the city, the county's land regulations would still apply. 

2. Affordable Housing Trust Fund (Resolution 2020-04)

COUNTY CHARTER AMENDMENT ESTABLISHING AFFORDABLE HOUSING TRUST FUND
Shall the Alachua County Charter be amended to establish an Alachua County Affordable Housing Trust Fund used to create and sustain affordable housing, which may be funded by fees from new commercial and residential development and other sources, all as directed by the County Commission, and to provide for the purposes, revenue sources, appropriation and expenditure of funds, annual audit, continuing nature, implementation by ordinance, and administration and oversight of the Trust Fund?
Note: This amendment creates a mechanism for local funding of affordable housing. Does not create or authorize any new taxes or fees. It is simply the creation of an affordable housing trust fund.

3. Unconstitutional Item "Cleanup" (Resolution 2020-05)

COUNTY CHARTER AMENDMENT REMOVING UNCONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS
Shall the Alachua County Charter be amended to remove two unconstitutional provisions, one unconstitutionally prohibiting protections based on sexual orientation, sexual preference, or similar characteristics, and another imposing unconstitutional residency requirements for Alachua County Commission candidate qualifying?

4. County Commission Candidate Treasurer Report (Resolution 2020-06)

COUNTY CHARTER AMENDMENT CONCERNING CANDIDATE TREASURER REPORT REQUIREMENTS
Shall the Alachua County Charter be amended to remove any requirement that candidates file treasurer reports on paper, while retaining the existing requirement that they must file treasurer reports electronically?

Amendments Proposed by the County Commission:

5. Relationship between County and Municipal Ordinances for Protection of Certain Natural Resources

Shall the Alachua County Home Rule Charter Section 1.4 be amended to authorize countywide protection of certain natural resources by establishing that the more protective of County or Municipal ordinances for such purpose shall prevail to the extent of any conflict and be enforceable countywide?
Note: This amendment provides the highest protection for key natural resources and special ecosystems and forbids smaller municipalities within Alachua County from adopting less stringent standards than the county. The county would be allowed to protect natural resources within a city. Stringent requirements could lead to development concerns.

6. Identification and Elimination of Racial and Gender Bias in Alachua County Policies

Shall the Board of County Commissioners annually examine policies for all County operations and endeavor to eliminate all elements of racial and gender bias in both the design and delivery of County programs and services?

Additionally, There is One Final Amendment:

Renewal of the Existing One Mill Ad Valorem Tax for School District Operating Expenses

Note: This is an extra tax ($1 per $1,000 taxable value of a home) that pays for ~320 nurses, councilors, etc. Some of the specifics on how this works and how it can be more equitable will be revisited when the new School Board is seated.