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growth management

‘Year of water’ failed along with environmental bills, but some did pass

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Another legislative session dubbed the “year of water” failed to deliver in 2015 as the House went home early over a healthcare spending dispute with the Senate. HB 7003, a water bill that was a legislative priority of House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, passed the House by a 106-9 vote on the second day of session. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and industry groups supported the bill, which would have set milestones and timetables for cleaning up springs and other waterways. The Senate…

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DEO files first challenge to a local government land-use change

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The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has filed what is the first challenge to a local comprehensive plan amendment since sweeping growth management law changes passed in 2011. Legal watchers on both sides of the growth management issue — development and environmental — say the DEO move against the City of Mascotte in Lake County is significant. Business groups and local governments in 2011 supported the growth law changes that sharply reduced state oversight of local development decisions. Environmental groups said…

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With environmental issues looming, Alan Hays won’t haggle over Amendment 1 spending

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With industry and environmental groups sparring over what qualifies for spending under Amendment 1, the chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees environmental spending says he won’t haggle over the issue. Amendment 1, the water and land conservation funding initiative approved by voters in November, will be a focus of the 2015 legislative session starting Tuesday. The initiative will provide an estimated $757 million toward eligible programs in fiscal year 2015-16. It’s just one issue in what is shaping up…

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Did TBARTA break the law in voting to oppose Hometown Democracy?

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From Creative Loafing: It’s not surprising that TBARTA (Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority) passed a resolution opposing Amendment 4, also known as Florida Hometown Democracy. After all, Amendment 4 is an expression of citizens’ dissatisfaction with the sort of politicians who sit on TBARTA’s board (along with one developers’ lawyer). As Carl Hiaasen says, Florida’s politicians & developers are “squirming like worms on a frying pan” at the idea of letting citizens have a real say in growth management,…

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Pinellas Realtors explain endorsements

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Is this going to be one of the new trends this election season, in which organizations explain their endorsements? Sierra Club explained why it endorsed Scott Wagman for St. Petersburg Mayor; now the Pinellas Realtors are explaining (albeit with several spelling errors I had to correct) the endorsement they made last week in the City Council races: District 2: James Kennedy – Kennedy earned the committee’s recommendation because of his commitment to growth management planning as well as his overall…

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Wayne Garcia: Charlie Crist from green to ‘gutless’?

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A must-read from Creative Loafing’s Wayne Garcia: It was zenith of his 2007 pledge to turn Florida green, lower emissions and grow a biofuel industry. Last year, he laid out a $200 million investment in his green vision. But today, as Crist is all but a lame duck governor running for the U.S. Senate, very few of those hopes and promises have come true. Blame the knuckle-draggers in the Legislature. Blame the recession. Or, if you are like some environmentalists…

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SPT’s Tim Nickens takes it to Charlie Crist

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Tim Nickens has written a column blasting Charlie Crist. Here’s an early preview: Gov. Charlie Crist’s political radar went haywire last week when he decided to become the governor who killed growth management in Florida… But the governor’s political instincts failed him last week when he signed into law a bill that guts growth management and sets this state back decades. Judging from letters to the editor and political blogs, it’s not just environmental groups and local governments that are…

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