Readers comment on proposed zoning changes in Gainesville, the Supreme Court and more

·4 min read

Extreme zoning changes

I went to the June 21 City Commission workshop. The meeting went on for roughly three-and-a-half hours; many people who asked to speak had to leave before they got their three minutes. Many speakers gave impassioned pleas not to end single-family neighborhoods in Gainesville. Some speakers asked for a long-term plan for our city or an environmental impact statement, which apparently do not exist. The facts that the city presented were called into question with new evidence.

In the end, most people had left, and Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos began speaking about how he has lived in all kinds of circumstances and knew what our city needed, which boiled down to more dwelling units with few restrictions. He gave no evidence he had heard or cared about anything that was said by the many citizens speaking there.

Gainesville City Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos speaks during a commission meeting in 2019.
Gainesville City Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos speaks during a commission meeting in 2019.

I am trying to remain hopeful that we can find middle ground with our elected officials and their extreme plans for zoning plans, but when I saw Hayes-Santos’ total investment in his own ideas, totally disregarding the people who spoke, some with more background than he has in city planning, it was so discouraging. There is an election coming up, but not before the current commission votes on these extreme zoning changes.

Jeanne Galligan, Gainesville 

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Mass exodus coming

Don’t you love the spin Mayor Lauren Poe used to describe “gentle density” in his recent column on the new zoning proposal? I wonder how “gentle” it will feel when a trashed-out quadraplex moves in next door to a family home? I’m predicting a mass exodus of the tax base followed by the commissioners renaming Gainesville the “Quadruplex City” instead of the City of Trees!

People choose their neighborhood carefully after saving, working hard and applying themselves so they can live where they want. No homeowner wants even one quadraplex in their neighborhood. This plan will decrease taxpayers’ home values and increase crime in the single-family neighborhoods, all in the name of “letting people live where they want to live.” Please!

Build low-income housing on the outskirts, i.e. Jonesville, and run buses to the housing development. Help people get scholarships for Santa Fe College to improve their lives and stop the eternal handouts, which teach dependence. I suggest we do a one-year study and start with some quadraplexes in the commissioners’ neighborhoods.

Kimberly Canterbury, Gainesville 

Lack of support

For years, support for the Supreme Court has dwindled. In fact, according to a recent Gallup Poll (a highly respected polling organization), only 25% of Americans support what the members of the Supreme Court decide.

I recently noted, with sadness, a cartoon I saw in Funny Times magazine. It showed the three recent Supreme Court justices chosen by Donald Trump facing senators. All of the nominees had their fingers crossed when asked if Roe v. Wade was settled law. Due to a very nuanced definition of "settled law," they actually have some wiggle room whether most Americans believe they do.

When we have little confidence in our Supreme Court justices, there is indeed the potential for very real danger. Their decisions, for example, affect the lives of tens of millions of people. This has always been the case but the decisions of the justices often do not reflect the majority of Americans' viewpoints.

When one decision is reversed — for example, Roe v. Wade — there is then a strong potential for other major decisions from the past to be overturned as well. Again, the vast majority of Americans may not agree with those lack of freedoms such as the right of all people who love each other to legally marry.

Jonathan Coron, Gainesville 

Shifting the spotlight

Congresswoman Kat Cammack’s latest e-newsletter touts that “Life Takes Center Stage!” So she might wish. Anything shifting the spotlight away from her vote to overturn the 2020 election must be a welcome relief for her.

Over the past 18 months, Cammack has refused to explain why she voted not to certify election results in Pennsylvania. If she really holds proof of election fraud, then she needs to show those cards now. Otherwise, Cammack should apologize to voters in District 3 and say, “I was wrong.”

In this wounded nation, Congress needs to put truth and the U.S. Constitution center stage. Cammack’s life sideshow — which, by the way, she played no role in deciding? Not even a close third.

David Young, Gainesville

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This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Letters on proposed zoning changes in Gainesville, Supreme Court, more