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Just a Thought

SUBTITLE: When Reality Meets Righteous Nonsense

May 28, 2010

Dear Mayor and Commissioners,

I urge you to re-read the writings linked below in light of expected material reductions in assessed values recently provided by the Orange County Appraiser. Wes Hamil has already provided you with the estimated impact of these reductions on our 2010-11 operations as follows:

From: Wes Hamil
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:34 AM
Randy Knight; Michelle del Valle
Property tax numbers

We received our “best estimate” numbers from the Property Appraiser this morning.  Our overall valuation decreased 10.4% while the valuation in the CRA decreased 16.75%.  This means a lower payment to the CRA.  The overall revenue effect of these adjustments is as follows:

FY 2011 Valuation FY 2010 Valuation Percentage Decrease Revenue Decrease
General Fund $4,347,732,300 $3,895,678,623 (10.40%) ($1,355,225)
CRA $656,607,720 $546,600,525 (16.75%) ($926,363)


I trust it is obvious to each of you that raising the millage rate and/or utility fees on people whose property values are declining is not tenable, meaning that these revenue reductions will need to be absorbed through spending reductions, directly impacting service levels.

Back in 2008 when I criticized the most restrictive and hostile Comprehensive Plan in the State of Florida I offered the following questions; “While I hope our local economy rebounds soon, what happens if revenues continue to decline? What happens if valuations decline?” (See: We Get What We Deserve.) I look forward to your answers to these questions, especially given that our General Fund Reserves are insufficient to help buffer the needed spending reductions (and why might that be?).

Perhaps we should re-write the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code to better incent redevelopment that will be compatible with Winter Park.

Just a thought.

Regards, Pete Weldon
700 Via Lombardy
Winter Park, FL 32789


From: Peter J Weldon []
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2010 2:25 PM
To: ‘’
Subject: My application to serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission

Dear Mayor and Commissioners,

I would welcome your support of my application to serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Like many involved citizen’s I have followed the events of the past several years with concern. I have written extensively on the problems that will come from a Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code designed to stop redevelopment rather than nurture and incent the kind of redevelopment that will add value to our city long term.

I have been criticized for my criticism but that is OK. I could walk away from these issues but feel strongly that our city needs a balanced approach to planning and zoning if we are to wisely adapt to inevitable changes around us and be able to afford to protect and preserve the attributes of Winter Park that make it so unique and desirable. I believe a detached, objective review of my writings on these subjects (see below) will assure you that my aim is to make our commercial property owners valued partners in creating the future of Winter Park, not to give them anything they want and not to chase them away or make them adversaries.

The commission has recently been faced with issues related to the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code that confirm the validity of my observations. Rezoning, tolling agreements, and fundamental Comprehensive Plan language changes have had to be undertaken to avoid legal risks. The legal risks are the tip of the iceberg of implications for the future of Winter Park.

I provide links below to my writings on the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code so each of you can refresh your understanding of my views and the support for them. You may find them of interest in the context of the recent changes being made.

I welcome speaking with you about my application and hope you will look favorably on my willingness to serve as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Regards, Pete Weldon
700 Via Lombardy
Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: (407) 645-1002


Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code Writings:

November 2008 –

February 2009 –

October 2009 –

October 2009 –

November 2009 –

February 12, 2010 –

February 15, 2010 –

February 20, 2010 –

March 31, 2010 –

Posted in Development, Money, Policy.

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