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Editorial for the Miami Herald:
GROWTH LAWS GET A BREAK
In a rare mood of candor, legislative leaders have admitted that they're forgoing their usual assaults on Florida's growth management laws this session because it's an election year. They're worried that voters will retaliate against how they've managed growth (badly).
Yet knowing that the majority of Florida's residents hate sprawl and support sound growth management principles never stops them from weakening these laws in off-election years.
Consider 2009: The Legislature approved a bill that lets developers off the hook for paying for roads for new subdivisions. Lawmakers used the recession as an excuse, arguing that it would jump-start construction.
It was a false premise then, and it still is. Construction is at a standstill. In the midst of the foreclosure crisis the state has more vacant housing stock than ever.
Lawmakers are also worried about a 2010 ballot question -- called Hometown Democracy -- that would let voters decide land-use decisions. They're being careful not to bad-mouth it, fearing voter backlash.
Remember this cynical double-dealing come November. Legislators deserve a reckoning for their reckless pursuit of paving over more and more of Florida.
The Miami Herald
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