Thursday, November 10, 2011

Destruction of Responsible Growth Management Not Over

Bruce Richie, a writer for theCurrent , an online news publisher, reported that a group of growth management law panelists who met in Tallahassee yesterday (11.9.11)  are saying the destruction by the legislature of Florida’s growth management laws isn’t over.
It wasn’t enough that some five months ago legislators passed a law our CEO-governor Scott signed which, according to Tom Pelham, former department of community affairs secretary, “… included changing the definition and test in state rules for urban sprawl, eliminating need as a requirement for new development and making transportation concurrency optional for local governments under strict guidelines.”
This is the same legislation that the state’s benevolent CEO who, when he signed the bill into law, labeled DCA (Department of Community Affairs) a “job killer.”
This panel, chaired by Tom Pelham, was asked what happens next with land-use management in Florida?  The prognosis is not good.  Here are selected quotes from the article:
David Theriaque, a Tallahassee lawyer who represents cities and residents challenging growth decisions, said the poor economy was a "ruse" used to push through growth law changes that favor developers.
If local governments interfere with development interests, "how many people will bet that we will have a bill in the next session that also mandates how local governments handle those issues?" Theriaque said.
But developers eventually may want changes in how sector plans, developments of regional impact, transportation concurrency and impact fees are dealt with by local governments. She (Nancy Lennan, a Tallahassee lawyer who represents developers and cities) said there is disagreement among large developers and home-builders on how to approach issues.
Pelham said the growth bill passed this past session represents a Legislature that is "vehemently anti-government, anti-regulation, anti-planning," he said. 
"They don't like it [planning] when it is done by anybody," Pelham said. "They want to tell local governments how to do it."
"So I agree with David Theriaque about the ruse that it is all about local control. This legislation itself places handcuffs on local government in numerous ways.
"I agree with Nancy they will be back. And they will be back to keep tying the hands of local government."
He (Charles Pattison, executive director, 1000 Friends of Florida) also said resident involvement should be improved, especially in light of a 1st District Court of Appeal ruling that order(ed) his group must pay attorney fees for Martin County and a developer. And he said the important regional state resources that require state protection have yet to be defined along with the "adverse impacts" that the state must work to prevent.
"We will continue to work with the new law," Pattison said. "But I think it will be difficult to motivate the public to mount challenges in particular with the expectation they could be successful in the end and avoid [paying] attorneys fees."
(Find the entire article HERE.)
There’s a growing number of folks who have always believed that the destruction and weakening of many of the much needed laws instituted over the last 40 years to guide the growth of this state in a responsible manner is being accomplished using a weakened economy as the excuse, a ruse. 
The inmates are taking over the crazy house.  Terra Nova’s front gate is down and it’s getting dark.  The rats are in the seed bin. The special interests and their cadre of lobbyists and “transition team” plants have infiltrated the palace guard and the house is in danger.  Sound the alarm!
BUT … Maybe there’s hope if we can survive the next three years.  theCurrent  also reported this morning that:
Despite a concentrated push to rebrand his image, Gov. Rick Scott's attempt to change his low approval ratings may have stalled, according to a new poll.
Fifty percent of Florida voters disapprove of the way Scott is doing his job as governor, a poll released by Quinnipiac University shows.

Just 36 percent of the people responding to the poll said they approved of Scott’s performance and 14 percent said they didn’t know.
This is virtually unchanged from a previous Quinnipiac poll released back in September. Back then Scott had a 37 percent favorable rating.
(Find the entire article HERE)
Will someone please start talking to Adam Putnam about a run in 2014?
We need help real bad.

If know a Marine, you can wish him or her a Happy Birthday today, November 10.  The United States Marine Corps is 236 years old.

Semper Fidelis

No comments:

Post a Comment