Permitting Problems Aired During Business Group Meeting

Mar 1, 2017

Tallahassee's Network of Entrepreneurs and Business Advocates (NEBA) had a panel discussion on permitting during its Tuesday (2/28)luncheon meeting.

Despite all the recent construction activity in Tallahassee, such as this student housing complex near FSU, developers complain the approval process is too slow, complicated and conflicted.
Credit Tom Flanigan

The panel members agreed the local process to allow development could be faster and easier. Builder Roger Osbourne said, of all the places he's had projects approved, Florida's Capital City is about the toughest.

"My experience in Tallahassee is that there's always been a conflict between the building code, concurrency and zoning," he told the gathering of more than 100 area business people.

Gaines Street businessman Jeremy Matlow complained he's had approval problems, too.

"Why I had to get rejected twice to have a 20-minute conversation and wait six more months and lose all the money we had invested into it doesn't make any sense to us at all."

Commissioner Scott Maddox, one of several city officials at the meeting, thought there is room for improving the process.

"I want to see our economy grow, so I want us to follow the rules but do it quickly because time is money in business."

All sides say the conversation about simplifying and speeding up development approvals needs to continue.