Plan to revitalize Arlington passes zoning committee

Full council expected to vote on plan next Tuesday

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A plan to revitalize Arlington took center stage Tuesday night at during a Land Use and Zoning Committee meeting.

City Councilwoman Joyce Morgan's ordinance called the Renew Arlington CRA focuses on revitalizing and renewing the neighborhood's appearance. But some residents and Jacksonville business owners said they are just learning that they would be responsible to pay for the upgrades, and to them, they said that would be a hardship. 

Gary Flagler, the owner of Cargo Transmission, said he has operated in Arlington for 33 years. He said he recently learned about the Renew Arlington plan.

"A lot of the business owners were just notified," Flagler said. "They're not aware of what's going on after two months."

PREVIOUS STORY: Councilwoman's plan to revitalize Arlington takes spotlight
DOCUMENTS: Renew Arlington explainer | Ordinance 2019-239 

Morgan's Renew Arlington CRA would set new standards for business owners, requiring them to improve their appearance with landscaping, fencing and other aesthetic changes.

Flagler said he doesn't have a problem with making Arlington look better, but he takes issue with all of the changes he would have to pay for.

Renew Arlington advisory board members said residents and businesses were notified well in advance of the proposed ordinance and point to the success of similar programs in other neighborhoods. Jacksonville University officials are backing the ordinance.

But some residents and other business owners who just moved into Arlington feel the wool has been pulled over their eyes.

"Evidently this overlay district has been developing over a period of years without my knowledge," one man said during the meeting.

The ordinance passed the Land Use and Zoning Committee Tuesday night by a vote of 4 - 2. It goes before Jacksonville City Council next Tuesday for the full council vote.

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