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Growth management advocates say they won't oppose Hometown Democracy

1000 Friends of Florida, the non-profit growth management watchdog group, has decided to shift its position from opposing to neutral on Amendment 4, which requires that local voters approve any amendments to their cities and counties comprehensive growth management plans.

Vicki Tschinkel, chairwoman of group, said that while they believe that Amendment 4 could serve as a catalyst for change to they cannot endorse the amendment because they worry it could result in piecemeal planning and "engender many media campaigns" that would have inordinate influence on the outcome. She said the result may be "planning gridlock" and "retaliation" from the Legislature in implementing the amendment if it were to pass and blames lawmakers for punishing the agency in charge of regulating growth management in Florida, the Department of Community Affairs.

Nathanial Reed, chairman emeritus of 1000 Friends of Florida, said that despite the flaws to the amendment, "we also recognize that the on-the-ground results of the existing growth management system are far from perfect and need major improvement." He added that "the torpedoes that have been sent against the Department of Community Affairs make me literally ill" and suggested "it is very frightening for the future of Florida."

Charles Pattison said that if Amendment 4 were to pass, however, 1000 Friends would work with local governments and citizens "to develop a fair, economical way to implement Amendment 4."

Comments

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Dan Lobeck

Wow -- This despite the fact that almost every member of their Board is a developer, developer consultant (including their chairwoman) or politician who receives developer contributions. Good for 1000 Friends to recognize that the Florida Legislature is dismantling what is left of growth management and that Amendment 4 may be a "catalyst" for "improvement". Check the pro and con web sites to see who is on which side. Amendment 4 is supported by numerous neighborhood, environmental and civic responsibility groups. It is opposed by a long list of development organizations and politicians and those who work with them (like some unions). The developers and politicians oppose Amendment 4 because today they have all the power to overbuild your community and make you pay for it. Tell them on November 2 that its time to share some of that power with you by giving voters a veto over changes to your comprehensive land use plan.

Michael E. Arth

As a home and urban designer, and builder, with 30 years of experience, and as a policy analyst, and founder of the urban design movement known as New Pedestrianism, I know how corrupt our planning and zoning system is.

If we had a representative democracy in this country, with leaders who were elected and governed on the basis of their wisdom, honesty, and concern for the common good, instead of the corrupt plutocracy we have, these trustworthy leaders would make informed decisions about land use and urban design on our behalf. Unfortunately we choose our leaders on the basis of how many yard signs and attack ads they can buy, and how many hours a day they spend "dialing for dollars," instead of their experience and knowledge. Because of this sad state of affairs we cannot trust our leaders to make decisions that are of, by and for the people. So, as cumbersome as direct democracy might seem, we should vote for Amendment 4.

Please, also check out my campaign for governor. You do not have to chose bad in order to avoid worse this year. http://www.michaelearth.org.

Tim

When you carefully consider all economic factors involved, I think Amendment will have the ADVERSE affect that the Sierra Club desires.

A4 will actually ENCOURAGE SUBURBAN SPRAWL, not minimize it.

Here's why:
Under A4, proposing land use changes will be more costly and risky for developers. In an A4 world, what developer would consider trying to change a run down urban factory into a museum or office building?

They won't.

A large percentage of City sites would require land use changes due to existing conditions. Developer will avoid the risks of having them rejected by the public.

Instead, they will seek land further away from cities, that do not have the existing conditions or land use conflicts.

So what you will be left with are an INCREASE in abandoned or undeveloped city lots, which leads to unsightliness, crime and reduction of property values.

Is this what the Sierra Club wants? I don't think so. Environmentalists always push for density to save green space. A4 simply will not produce this result.

Vote NO on 4 for LESS SPRAWL.

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