"Hometown Democracy" Amendment Pending, Florida Cities Scramble

A controversial ballot measure in November could put all Florida general plan changes to a public vote. The St. Petersburg City Council is attempting some sleight-of-hand with their land use map to avoid facing the voters.
September 17, 2010, 1pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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The City Council is trying to approve a simplified land use map which they'll call the "Comprehensive Land Use Plan" before the November amendment gets approved:

"The map compresses the city's 22 land use categories into five broad ones. The clear intention is to limit referendums only to changes to those broad categories. Residents would lose the right to veto changes to the far more detailed comprehensive plan that truly guides development."

This editorial scolds the St. Petersburg City Council for being deceptive:

"A court may have to determine whether St. Petersburg has the legal authority to adopt a decoy map, call it a comprehensive plan and allow it to be passed off as the guiding document for future growth."

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Published on Thursday, September 16, 2010 in The St. Petersburg Times
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