The Sarasota Herald Tribune provides a good summary of the Legislature’s changes to Florida’s growth management laws that includes opinions from both sides of the hotly contested issue.
It was the ultimate 11th-hour surprise.
With just minutes to go in the 2009 session, state legislators revived and passed one of the biggest changes to Florida’s growth laws in decades.
The sweeping bill, which Gov. Charlie Crist is soon expected to sign into law, will:
• Automatically allow developers in seven of Florida’s 67 counties [including Duval County] and nearly half of its 410 municipalities to add more residents and traffic without expanding or adding roads. They will instead pay a fee, which the state has yet to decide how to calculate.
• Enable other counties and municipalities to designate urban areas where they, too, can overlook new developments’ impact on roads, if they choose.
• Eliminate reviews by state and regional regulators of major urban developments that could impact roads and services in nearby cities and counties.
Builders and lawmakers see the bill as an incentive to build in urban areas because builders would still have to pay for new roads and other impact fees associated with rural areas. They also say it will make it faster to develop property, boosting the economy.
But watchdog groups decry it as a blatant sellout to developers, the kind of profit-driven policy that has created problems in Florida for decades.
Read the entire article here.