September 2010

  • Sep

Rallying Against Amendment 4

September 24, 2010

As seen in the South Florida Business Journal

Kevin Gale

A lot of big names in Broward County business and government will be participating in a rally to oppose Amendment 4 on Sept. 30 at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art. According to an e-mail, the speakers are:

  • Mike Jackson, chairman and CEO of AutoNation (NYSE: AN)
  • J. David Armstrong Jr., president of Broward College
  • Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler
  • Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis

Amendment 4 calls for giving the public a thumbs-up or thumbs-down vote on comprehensive land-use plan changes after elected officials vote.

Opponents, which include those planning the rally, are concerned that Amendment 4 would crimp job creation, lead to a flood of litigation and boost costs for elections.

Amendment 4 supporters say it would prevent politicians and developers from cutting deals that aren’t in the public interest.

Both sides of the debate were featured in an Aug. 9 in-depth report in the South Florida Business Journal.

Amendment 4 came up in a Critical Conversation about retail that will be featured in the Oct. 1 issue of the Business Journal. I asked if anybody liked Amendment 4, and nobody on the panel did.

While some retail site owners might benefit if competing development is thwarted under Amendment 4, Ivy Z. Greaner, COO of Ram Realty Services, said that’s a very shortsighted view.

Greaner is worried that Amendment 4 might block an industrial project or infill redevelopment that could create jobs.

Paco Diaz, senior VP of CB Richard Ellis, said it could lead to an inflation of retail rates if centers are blocked.

While some readers might be tempted to laugh at the notion of higher leasing rates for retail these days, our panelists hashed out that topic pretty thoroughly, and explained why some areas have relatively few vacancies. (Others are less fortunate.)

If you want to attend the Art Museum event, it starts at 8 a.m.