Housing – Real Estate

For most people, the biggest investment of their life is their home. Many factors can contribute to the property values. Surrounding properties can directly impact home values. Decisions should be made with great concern for surrounding properties and the impact of land use changes. Incentives to properly manage growth and neighborhood revitalization need to be thoroughly explored. The County should pursue housing incentives that offer benefits similar to the types used to promote “downtown” projects. Policies need to encourage and promote investment by untypical investors. I will welcome and entertain all ideas related to preservation and promotion of capital investments.

Housing Stimulus. I believe the American Dream Down payment Initiative Program (ADDI) could be expanded, supplemented and or modified. Modifications could include a $5,000 contribution from the county for each change of ownership closing on a residential property. For each $1 million  contribution to the program, 200 homes could benefit. A goal of $2.5 million would translate into an incentive for the purchase of 500 homes. Eligibility would be on a first come first served basis with a program time period of 2 years or the funds being dispersed, whichever comes first. The program could be partially funded to ensure smoothness of procedure and effectiveness of the desired result. Once finely tuned and achieving the desired result, the remaining funds could be funded. The two year program life would create a sense of urgency to participate. Requirements of the ADDI guidelines could be relaxed to ensure all income levels could participate and all of the diverse inventory of homes could be included. The purchases of homes would then create income for all parties involved in the home sale process and would slow falling home prices and tax base do to the abundance of inventory.

How do you envision Palm Beach County’s build-out over the next several years?

The U.S. economy experienced approximately twenty years of growth from 1988 to 2008. It would not be unreasonable to think we would experience a similar period of correction for many years to come.  The current inventory of existing structures outweighs current demand. Until such time that inventory and demand balance and shift to demand outweighing inventory, I believe the general state of the County build out will remain virtually unchanged. As long as current inventory can be purchased below the cost to build, there is no financial incentive to create what already exists.

Do you support or oppose Amendment 4 on the November 2010 ballot?

Oppose. The existing process calls for public hearings on land use changes. The public has opportunities to express their approval or disapproval for changes to the comprehensive plans. The decision should be left up to the elected officials who should have the full picture based upon the facts presented, the staff attorney, the input of the petitioner and the input of the public.

Please read : Florida AFL-CIO Votes to Oppose Amendment 4 wich states; ” The Florida AFL-CIO today announced its opposition to Amendment 4, becoming a part of the unprecedented coalition of more than 280 leading business, civic and labor groups that are working to defeat the measure in November. The Florida AFL-CIO decision reflects an emerging consensus among diverse organizations across the political spectrum that Amendment 4 is will hurt working families.” ” 1,000 Friends of Florida, our state’s top growth management watchdog group, has raised serious concerns that Amendment 4 would lead to “piecemeal planning” and might harm efforts to “lessen sprawling patterns of development.” “The Florida League of Cities, the Florida Association of Counties and the Florida School Boards Association have all opposed Amendment 4.”

As an elected official, how would you balance the rights of the private property owners with the needs of society to protect environmentally-sensitive lands such as wetlands or lands with endangered or threatened species living there?

Each parcel of land would have to be evaluated on the merits of the individual case. Properties purchased with existing wet lands should be utilized within the boundaries and constraints inherent to the property and neighborhood’s characteristics. Due diligence is the responsibility of the buyer. If no alternate measures can be taken to mitigate the conditions that make a parcel of land unsuitable for the owner’s desired use, then the land is unsuitable for the desired use.