Checks Are Sought, But Florida Continues Growth

Efforts to improve oversight to keep the state's growth in check in Florida are being lauded, but development continues across the state and shows little sign of a slowdown.

"Balancing the forces for and against growth in Florida is an enormously complex task. While residents list rapid growth among their greatest concerns, and drought reveals the delicate nature of water supplies, the development pressure that transformed Florida from 20th-most-populous state in 1950 to fourth-largest today remains."

"Developers are shrugging off the real-estate slowdown and proposing new cities and towns across 1 million acres. There's a plan to turn 41,000 acres near Yeehaw Junction into the new town of Destiny, with 30,000 to 40,000 homes. The scions of the Ben Hill Griffin citrus and cattle fortune are using their political power - two family members are in the Legislature - to gain private rights to build an unnecessary toll road that would drive development of 200,000 rural acres."

"Where Gov. Bush looked for ways to relieve the state of its watchdog role, Mr. Pelham understands the need for state oversight to keep local politicians from giving developers anything they want. Fed-up residents are circulating the Florida Hometown Democracy petition to require public votes on every change to city and county comprehensive plans. Last year, there were 12,000 changes, which Mr. Pelham agrees is far too many. But planning by popular vote, he argued, is not the solution."

Full Story: Can state grow better, or just grow?

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00