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Venice affordable housing project fails

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The announcement came at the end of Tuesday's City Council meeting. Mayor John Holic told council members developer Edward Pinto had backed out.

"I asked him why and he said when he originally approached the city he said there were certain things that had to be done," said Holic.

But some of those things could not be done. For example, Pinto wanted city permit and utilities fees waived.

"We can not waive the utilities connections fees. We can not waive the permit fees," said Holic.

Mayor Holic wanted the project to go though but, ultimately, if the fees were waived the taxpayers would have ended up with the bill.

New developers are also required to pay a tax called an impact fee. Pinto had requested the impact fee be waived as well. But, that did not have the support of local homeowners. John Moeckel is President of the Venetian Walk and River Club.

"We are against waiving the impact fee. There's about $7.6 million for this one project that could have been waived," said John Moeckel, President of the Venetian Golf and River Club.

Homeowners were concerned taxpayers would lose out on the $7.6 million while the developer profits off the housing complex.

Local homeowners wanted to make very clear they support affordable housing, and they believe it's desperately needed. What they don't want is a loss of city revenue.

"We are not opposed to affordable housing from the community association prospective," said Moeckel.