Florida Voters Reject Sweeping Land Use Amendment

On Tuesday, balloters issued a resounding 'no' on Amendment 4, which would have required voter consent to change comprehensive land use plans at the city, county and state levels.
November 5, 2010, 8am PDT | Lynn Vande Stouwe
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67 percent of Floridians rejected the measure, which was first proposed in 2004 by a non-profit called Florida Hometown Democracy. Proponents believed Amendment 4 would free land use decisions from political interests and a process that has led to unchecked sprawl throughout the state, according to Polyana da Costa. Opponents, including both local and national real estate developers, spent $12 million to fight the measure, arguing it would lead to protracted legal battles over land use decisions and higher taxes to support frequent referendums.

Voters may have dismissed the amendment in part because of its ambiguity, writes da Costa:

"It was unclear how many comprehensive plan amendments Floridians would have been asked to vote on each year; how often the votes would have taken place; and at what cost and how the implementation process would have worked."

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Published on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 in Daily Business Review
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