Thursday, March 26, 2009

Will the Florida Legislature pave paradise?

Ed. Note: Please see the letter below from Progress Florida and take action to protect Florida’s vital growth management agency, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).

"I don't know whether they're corrupt, stupid or simply so embedded in the Culture of Concrete they can't think outside that tiny box. The pressure to pave permeates the Florida Capitol like skunk stink." - Mike Thomas, Orlando Sentinel

They're at it again in Tallahassee. As if Florida isn't getting paved over fast enough already, now Florida legislators in the pockets of big developers are trying to get rid of the agency that reviews development plans - the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The DCA's job is to make sure we don't let unchecked development swallow up what's left of Florida's open spaces, wildlife habitat and unique character.

Please sign on to Progress Florida's letter to the Florida legislature - let them know we won't sit idly by while what's left of our state gets paved over for profit.

Florida has about 300,000 homes sitting vacant today but incredibly a new bill flying through the legislature says we need to build faster. In fact, Port St. Lucie Mayor Patricia Christensen says if Senate Bill 730 passes, "You're going to see development like you've never seen before."

Environmental advocates from The Nature Conservancy to Audubon Society to the Sierra Club have said this bill "will cripple effective growth management in Florida." City planners and local elected officials have warned it would lead to more vacant homes, more traffic and more economic woes. "Growth management didn't cause the recession. That's just not true," said Michael Busha, executive director of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. "If anything, growth caused the recession."

"Dismantling the state's land planning agency sends the wrong signal to the citizens of this state," said DCA Secretary Thomas Pelham. "It suggests that it is not an important function, that Florida doesn't need to be concerned anymore about planning and growth management."

Let your legislators know this couldn't be further from the truth. Sign on to our letter today.


The Progress Florida Team

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