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BHCav

Question about Downtown height restrictions

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New to this board so forgive me if this has been posted elsewhere.

Does Tally have height restictions on new downtown developements? I know there are environmental restrictions (ie Aquifer), but I was wondering if we will see a building high enough to eclipse the Capital in size.

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BHCav,

It is possible that we may in the future see a building higher than the Capitol. Variances are available to downtown developments that include a substantial amount of Residential as a component of the project.

As far as the actual zoning of downtown districts is concerned, the max. allowable per paper (The Commissioner Katz Compromise) is 150" or roughly 15 stories in select areas.

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I would imagine that this will change as Tally continues to grow.

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I hope the height restrictions in Tally will be totally banished in the near future (but that's not gonna happen).

Actually, when considering the 4 major metro areas (Orlando, Tampa-St. Pete, Miami, and Jacksonville) Jacksonville is the only area that doesn't have them which has become a major reason why industries are chosing to locate there. The other three cities impose the restrictions as a result of aviation safety measures, which I totally understand.

As far as Tallahassee, I'm not sure why we still have them because the CCPD in no longer in existence. The restrictions are probably the remnants of its primative ideology that downtown development will destroy Tallahassee's charm - go figure. A particularly sensitive area in the Park Avenue district which only allows a building height of about 50 ft. There are about 10 blocks in the downtown area which allows development heights of up to 150 ft. Most of the remaining blocks are probably in the 100 ft range, with some scattered areas of 75 ft or less. I think the lowest regulations of 35 ft allowances are somewhere between Calhoun and Meridian as they intersect Park Avenue.

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While I do not feel that 50+ story towers are appropriate for Tally, I do, however, feel the time is quickly approaching where the demand for a larger commercial presence downtown will warrant amendments to the height restriction policies. Sometimes it is disappointing seeing the lack of progressive thinking in a town with so much potential.

Reasons for potential:

The capital city of the fourth (and soon to be third) largest state in America,

Located in the South less than an hour away from the beach,

Home to two state universities.

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I can't even imagine a 50 story tower here and I honestly think that a 30 story tower in Tallahassee is a stretch. But if the market and subsurface foundation could support it, then I'm all for it. A 50 story tower would probably send some of these folks into cardiac arrest (LOL!).

I would just like to see a vibrant downtown here in Tallahassee to help reduce the stress on the natural resources outside the urban fringe due to urban sprawl. As you stated, Florida will soon become the 3rd largest state and sooner or later other Floridians (and those relocating from out of state) will began to see the potential in this area and begin to settle here. It's probably already happening to a lesser degree and there is not much we can do about it. Tallahassee is already experiencing urban sprawl (in the areas to northeast and east Tallahasse) inspite of tight regulations. So why in the heck are some people so concerned about restricting heights in downtown. The whole thing just seems silly to me.

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I will never understand why folks who claim to love Tally want to turn it into New York city.

If you love 50 story buildings, move to New York. If you love the flavor of North Florida. Go to Tally and enjoy it for what it is. Don't try and change it into something it isn 't.

Will there be change? ABSOLUTELY. But you can have change while staying true to your roots. I think that is often lost on this board (staying true to your roots).

I have lived in New York city and enjoyed it very much. I live in tally and love it. I like Tally just how it is, with that North Florida charm.

Taller is not always better

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But you can have change while staying true to your roots. I think that is often lost on this board (staying true to your roots).

SJ I'm not trying to pick on you, I'm just wondering exactly what you mean by this statement. You say it a lot and I'm just not sure what you mean by it. When most people in this area say this sorta thing, they mean they want no change here at all and for Tally to remain as it was when they were born here or arrived here. They tend to fear change IMO. I don't think that's what you are saying so I'd appreciate your explaining it a little more. Thanks.

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I'm also a little confused as to what Tallahassee's roots are in your statement SJ. Throughout history we've always had modern buildings in our downtown area, many of which have been torn down or replaced but Tallahassee has always been a modern city.

To reflect the fact that we live in this modern age with limited space; does it really make sense to continue to build flat and wide buildings when they can be verticle downtown? What self respecting city hates a quality skyline? Surely, I'd heard no mention of New York before your post, and I don't think anyone here wants us to become that. But working with what's already there, sure we need more tall structures downtown to give our Urban Core a more complete look and feel.

I think we all love Tallahassee for what it is, and for the potential we see in it. Members on the board shouldn't be knocked for wanting to tap into that potential.

God never intented on anything to remain the same, else the grass would never grow and the rivers would never flow. Now is our time to step into a new class of cities and I think our desire to see the downtown develop in a more modern way reflects this.

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I will never understand why folks who claim to love Tally want to turn it into New York city.

If you love 50 story buildings, move to New York. If you love the flavor of North Florida. Go to Tally and enjoy it for what it is. Don't try and change it into something it isn 't.

Will there be change? ABSOLUTELY. But you can have change while staying true to your roots. I think that is often lost on this board (staying true to your roots).

I have lived in New York city and enjoyed it very much. I live in tally and love it. I like Tally just how it is, with that North Florida charm.

Taller is not always better

Being short has done too much for Tallahassee, so why not make it taller?

Actually, I've been to New York a few times and I must say that it's not one of my favorite cities. I know my view points and ambitions for Tallahassee are too aggressive for many because there are some who love Tallahassee the way that it is. Futhermore, I don't think I've ever posted a comment about "LOVING Tallahassee the way it is", but I do love seeing some of the most recent changes (Tennyson, Kleman Plaza, Southwood, etc.) that are happening in OUR city. I like Tallahassee because of its potential. But we need to attract more private - hi tech industries (especially in the downtown area) to make it more vibrant and I see the height restrictions as an impediment.

The private sector is very competitive and a lot of the most promising prospects are not going to waste their time applying for variances. They'll just locate to other regions that are more economically friendly. A taller downtown means bigger projects and more tax dollars for the CRA and Blueprint projects. Corporate sponsorship can also pave (pun is intended) the way for the new Performing Arts Center as well as other culture projects for our downtown - which will enhance Tallahassee's charm.

Some will say that Tallahassee is the State Capital and should received State funding, but why should we wait years to receive State donations to fund our projects, when corporate sponsorship is so much more efficient. And believe it or not, the major metros of Florida are more likely to receive state funding before Tallahassee does anyway.

We don't need a New York City to make things happen in Tallahassee, but we do need a change.

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Exactly seminole. If you aren't progressing than your regressing. Tally is growing do to it's potential and DISPITE the horrendous city leadership. I don't see how new downtown deveopements could do anything but help add to the charm of the city.

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Is city leadership really horrendous? Surely they aren't perfect, but they're doing more for our local economy than any other branch of government we have. I agree with each of you on our potential, and I love the idea of corporate sponsorship to enhance our charm. I think it would be a positive thing for Tallahassee to see some corporate money flow through this community. Usually corporate funds generate creative projects, which often lend to a community's unique charm.

Instead of FSU being in charge at the Civic Center, I wish it were instead the MainLine Center or DataMaxx Dome. We've got some small players in the community that are poised to be large. I see Capital City bank as an entity that could really put Tallahassee on the map. Imagine all of the Capital Cities throughout the Southeast and the Country for that matter that would support this bank. It already has a national reputation, and its growth into the Georgia and North Central Florida market has been strong.

Along those same lines I think Florida Commerce has a name that could make it a strong state-wide player, but it's a credit union and I'm not sure how the rules govern its growth.

The point I'm trying to make is, Tallahassee has numerous seeds planted here ready to grow. I continue to think of Taxol and how it will have its break thru. Other Canadian companies are looking at Turbocor to be a success in its new Florida location, I believe it will.

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It's horrendous when compared to other cities I am familiar with, ie Tuscan, Austin, and Jacksonville. They refuse to work with FSU (like Tuscan does with UA and Austin does with UT) and this town will NEVER reach it's potential if it doesn't. Capital City Bank and DataMaxx? Those are very small fish when compared to FSU.

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I think there is a desire on behalf of most in city government to work with FSU, while on the other hand I don't see TK extending his cooperation. Same can be said for the leadership of Florida A&M. The city needs to partner with FSU to clean up College and Pensacola Street(all the way to Doak Campbell Stadium from the Civic Center). The city needs too partner with Florida A&M on a way to get more economic development along South Monroe and Orange Avenue. Between the two universities, there is tremendous potential.

Sure DataMaxx and Mainline are small fish. But they are examples of privates companies we have locally that are on the move. Relying on FSU, and FAMU is no better than relying on the state for everything. Afterall, where do they get their allowances from?

All the blame can't fall on the city, because it takes two to fight.

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I 100% disagree. Some bridges have been burned between the city and FSU in the past maybe, but I see no attempt on the city's behalf to work with FSU. Look at the issues with FSU's expansion plans.

They should stay far away from FAMU. Not sure if anyone here realizes it or not but FAMU is the laughing stock of the nation when it comes to universities. It is corrupt and has run itself into the ground. FAMU has very little potential.

When doing business with the local schools, not only does the city put FSU and FAMU on the same level but they also put TCC on the same level. Couple this with good-ol-boy politics and ametuer-ish actions (ie. 10+ years to get the very subpar Gaines St. project going) and you can't argue that they aren't lacking. Of course not everything is the city's fault, but when compared to other cities they are way below average when it comes to forsight, innovation and basic common sense. What did we get from all the tax-payer paid trips to places like Austin and the like a few years ago?

I'll just leave this thread alone now. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

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What did we get from all the tax-payer paid trips to places like Austin and the like a few years ago?

I'll just leave this thread alone now. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

We will indeed have to agree to disagree on the FAMU issue. As far as I'm concerned, that University is just as capable as any of picking itself up and getting its act together. But enough on that. ;)

The Tax-payer funded trips to Madison,WI, Austin, TX, Tennessee.

Well lets start with Austin, TX: There we learned a little about how that city was able to get the ball moving with regard to job creation in the high-tech semi conductor industry. We saw examples there of how the Universities helped to spin innovation into corporations. And from there Tallahassee leaders returned with the desire to assemble some land that would allow us to do something similar here in Tallahassee. To date, we've yet to produce anything that would allow a facility such as those found in Austin, TX to locate here, but the issue isn't necessarily dead. I think the city wants to see how the business parks at Southwood, Summit East, and Innovation Park play out. The success of those parks, IMO, is key to the city and or county's decision to jump on board and provide more resources for business park development and economic growth. Truly, I think the city is looking to the Universities for leadership on this issue. I remember the time when this was a hot topic, locally we were talking about FSU building its own research/business campus, but talks of that have silenced. It may not be at the top of the list of priorities, but its not a dead issue I'm sure.

The Madison, WI trip was all about looking at a vibrant downtown in a capital city with university influence like Tallahassee. I think the inspiration we gathered from that trip led to the passage of the Tallahassee Cultural Resource Committee action plan, which is the source of the Performing Arts Center idea.

The Tennessee trip gave us more lessons on downtowns and how active amenities such as parks, green spaces, trails, and interactive features help to draw people into urban cores. Chatanooga, I believe, was the city we visited, where we saw the future of Cascades park, the city has the ball rolling on that project with the clean up underway as we sit.

I know I always come out on the side of the city. This is primarily because I've seen the way it works from the inside at the highest levels of our government. City leaders are a hard working, professional group of people with Tallahassee's best interest at heart. We're in a situation where we have unlimited desires and limited resources. I think the city is doing a very good job in balancing of our resources.

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"I think the city wants to see how the business parks at Southwood, Summit East, and Innovation Park play out."

Those parks don't really have the potential to rival anything like Austin or Raliegh. Not enough density, land, etc.

"Truly, I think the city is looking to the Universities for leadership on this issue."

No, they aren't looking for leadership from the universities. If they were, wouldn't they have worked with them on this issue and had FAMU/FSU go to those towns instead of the politicians?

" I remember the time when this was a hot topic, locally we were talking about FSU building its own research/business campus, but talks of that have silenced. It may not be at the top of the list of priorities, but its not a dead issue I'm sure."

The property you speak of was called "University Park". FSU proposed it after it paid $100K for a study by the Urban Instittue. The COT would not give FSU the land if FSU controlled the park. FSU didn't want to spend $200 Million on a park if it didn't control the park. The park is now dead, that is for sure.

On a side note, FSU originally gave the COT the land for Innovation Park back in the day. It has sense realized this was a bad decision. But it does show how FSU has in the past made sacrifices it felt was right for the are.

Now the experts show that FSU needs a large (say 500 acres plus) for a true research park.

"The Madison, WI trip was all about looking at a vibrant downtown in a capital city with university influence like Tallahassee. I think the inspiration we gathered from that trip led to the passage of the Tallahassee Cultural Resource Committee action plan, which is the source of the Performing Arts Center idea. "

The Madison trip was more about the Univ. of Wisconsin that brings in almost $1 Billion a year in research awards. The real lesson was if you want big money, you need to foster your universities to try and attain such goals.

"The Tennessee trip gave us more lessons on downtowns and how active amenities such as parks, green spaces, trails, and interactive features help to draw people into urban cores. Chatanooga, I believe, was the city we visited, where we saw the future of Cascades park, the city has the ball rolling on that project with the clean up underway as we sit. "

Actually, the third trip was to Raliegh Durham. The focus there was "NC State Centennial Campus"

http://centennial.ncsu.edu/

Which FSU's Univeristy Park was hoping to somewhat emulate.

"I know I always come out on the side of the city. This is primarily because I've seen the way it works from the inside at the highest levels of our government. City leaders are a hard working, professional group of people with Tallahassee's best interest at heart. We're in a situation where we have unlimited desires and limited resources. I think the city is doing a very good job in balancing of our resources."

Wish I could agree with you here.

"I think there is a desire on behalf of most in city government to work with FSU, while on the other hand I don't see TK extending his cooperation. "

The COT has had a bad relationship long before TK. They basically do little to help FSU and often make life difficult. I would hate to think what salaries would be in this town without FSU and it's faculty pay and research dollars.

The COT went to Austin (Univ. of Texas), Raleigh (NC State, UNC, & Duke), and Madison (univ of wisc) on tax payer dime. They learned it was best to foster higher ed and push a MAJOR research park run by higher ed....not start 3-4 tiny privately run parks (FYI, Tally doesn't really have any 'research parks' but Innovation Park and that is a failure by FSU's standards).

When the politicians came back, did they practice what they learned? No, they blew off University Park and played antagonist to FSU.

"All the blame can't fall on the city, because it takes two to fight."

Ironically, you regularly put all the blame on FSU. Granted I have done the same re: the city. I think the truth lies somewhere in between. I think FSU has made many mistakes, but I believe if you look at the facts and the effort, or lack thereof, from some of the players, you will see that the FSU has done the most to foster high tech in this area. When the COT tried something, they made bad decisions which result in lame duck projects or ones that really can't compete with top 50-100 high tech areas. But I presume the ultimate goal is to be more than just superior to Perry or Niceville. We are looking to be a Raleigh, Austin, Madison. Right?

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Ironically, you regularly put all the blame on FSU. Granted I have done the same re: the city. I think the truth lies somewhere in between.

Dude you don't know how happy I am to read this statement from you. Now if we could just teach you to use the "reply to" button to show past post in blue, your rebuttals would be a lot easier to read. :) I totally agree the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I also think we can go round and round about bashing both FSU and COT but that really solves nothing. The real question here is how do we solve this problem even as meager citizens and get these parties to start working together again. Yeah I know that's an uphill battle, but one that I think we can all agree on needs to be fixed. One way I know to do this is to only vote people into office that will make this relationship a top priority. All candidates for public office in Leon County should be asked this question and should give a detailed answer on how they would go about repairing this relationship. That's one way to start the ball rolling and of course it will take time. Any ideas on other ways to accomplish this?

SJ if we bring in big research parks and etc., would that be changing the roots of Tally? I still don't know what you mean by that statement above and would love an explanation of it.

BHCav I don't think FAMU is as awful as you portrait it. Yeah it does have tons of problems, but I'm sure it's not the laughing stock of the nation or has no potential. As a Tallahassean I am all for FAMU and want them to be the best university they can be. Hopefully they will find their way soon and soar to new heights. The way you are gloating, you seem sorta happy/glad they are on tough times. A true lover of Tally would never feel that way IMO.

Bottom line: we can keep screaming, ranting and beotching about what's wrong and who's fault it is. What I want to know is...how do we fix it?

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Often I'd like to say its tough to conversate on here when we disagree because the attacks seem to go away from the issue and toward the person. I'm going to try to avoid that in this situation by pointing out only one thing I found in your argument that I can't stomach well, and that is, the City of Tallahassee doesn't own the land at Innovation Park, Leon County controls the park.

I'm finished with looking backwards. As Poonther suggested we should be looking toward the future. And it wouldn't be a bad idea to show up at one of these debates the candidates will have and ask a few tough questions to see who in the race will work toward building stronger relationships with the major players in this communitiy. In addition, who has the creative ideas to help Tallahassee step up to the next level. As I stated before, the next best thing to consolidation is having a county board that looks more like the city. And in going with something else Poonther said, we can't sit here and do nothing while FAMU works through its struggles. It shouldn't be excluded from participating in Tallahassee's future simply because it has hit hard times. I love Tallahassee as I'm sure most the rest of us do and I wish only the best for anything associated with her.

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"Bottom line: we can keep screaming, ranting and beotching about what's wrong and who's fault it is. What I want to know is...how do we fix it?"

What are we specificially talking about fixing?

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TJ,

It is too bad you consider my post as attacking you. It wasn't. I think you are a great guy as I have said repeatedly in the past.

I have taken exception multiple times in the past regarding your post and others on here regarding FSU and what I have seen has just incorrect statements. Often times in the past, but not so much recently, much of what was posted was definitely offensive and just attacking FSU...typically with incorrect facts as the basis for the attacks. I have stepped in multiple times challenging these opinions and correct facts. You take offense to this, you shouldn't. That is the nature of opinions being put out there.

I love FSU and Tally. I am convinced Tally will never achieve economic greatness unless one of, or both of, it's universities achieve AAU level status. Every AAU university out there has ackomplished this through the support of it's local area (city, county, geographic region). We can agree to disagree and I won't respond to your post since you get offended. But I will defend FSU when I see post on it.

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How tall exactly are each of the buildings in the downtown area? Supposedly the Highpoint is 50 meters tall, but that doesn't seem correct. By the way, I think building heights in terms of meters, but whatever height you know is fine, especially new projects like Gameday, Tennyson, Plaza Tower, and random others like the Doubletree, and the John Hancock and Suntrust Bank Buildings.

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The Capitol is 98 Meters Tall

All other buildings are shorter than that! lol!

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