Senator Martin Praises City for Reducing Red Tape Post Storm

by SC Reporter Wendy McMullen

Councilman Dr. Scott Crater, left, Vice Mayor Mike Miller, Senator Jonathan Martin, Mayor Richard Johnson, State Rep. Adam Botana, Lobbyist Angela Dempsey, and council members Holly Smith and John Henshaw

Florida Senator Jonathan Martin congratulated the City of Sanibel on getting rid of permitting costs and streamlining the permitting process at Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting.

“Getting rid of or reducing permitting costs, reducing some of the red tape was great and it was something that I could use to explain to other cities that were doing the exact opposite, making it more difficult for citizens to rebuild,” the Florida state senator for District 80 told city council.

He also explained how Senate Bill 250 helped people by stopping cities from banning travel trailers.

“If your house was destroyed, and you want to be a part of the rebuilding process, you don’t want to stay in some faraway hotel,” he said. “You could have a travel trailer, put it on your property and live on your property to keep an eye on it. “

“That does a couple of things,” he continued. “One, it cuts down on looting because you’re there watching your property. The second is that it actually holds your contractors or subcontractors accountable because you’re there watching.”

The other part of Senate Bill 250, which Martin described as “common sense,” is to prevent cities within 50 miles of a hurricane’s landfall from passing legislation that made rebuilding more difficult. Under this legislation, cities within that window can’t make development, remodeling or zoning changes more onerous than they were the date of the hurricane.

“A lot of our residents are retirees. They don’t want to spend the next five years of their life, their golden years trying to rehab a house, they want to sell it and move on and enjoy their retirement,” he stated. “It’s hard to sell to an investor tor or to some to a young family, anybody that wants to move down here, if they don’t know if they’re allowed to fix their house up.”

Mayor Richard Johnson thanked Martin for bringing common sense to government and City Manager Dana Souza specifically thanked him for introducing an amendment to the tax package that provided refunds to residents who were displaced from their homes. The amendment replaced the $35 million in revenue the city would have lost with state funding.

Republican Jonathan Martin was elected just after Hurricane Ian hit District 80. He is on the Appropriations Committee and the Select Committee on Resiliency.

Comments (1)

  1. Jeffrey Scuteri

    As to Senate bill 250. Common sense would dictate building back better to withstand a hurricane, so you won’t need to rebuild after the next one. That is common sense.

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