Florida’s government proves itself incapable of managing growth without citizen oversight
Even after ruining our economy with a drunken spree of speculative over-building, Florida’s political leaders cannot stop digging us further into the hole, irresponsibly dishing out way too many development approvals to their developer-cronies.
From 2007 through 2009, local governments approved 1,856 changes to their land-use maps. 600,000 new houses were approved, which is more than three times the amount needed to accommodate the state’s actual three-year population growth, stupidly adding to the glut of empty housing which was already dragging property values down, spoiling our environment and ruining our neighborhoods. That’s “An awful lot of development,” says The Tampa Tribune.
In addition to the excessive approvals of new housing, local governments approved more than 1.3 billion square feet of new commercial development — an amount equal to about 13,000 Walmarts.
Throughout Florida, as in the Tampa Bay area, local government continues to prove itself incapable of responsibly managing growth. The Tribune’s answer is to continue begging Florida’s politicians, notoriously in the pockets of development interests for decades, to change their overdeveloping ways. Like that could happen.
Realistically, what alternative do we have, other than adding some citizen oversight to the process with Amendment 4, Florida Hometown Democracy?
Originally published in Creative Loafing’s Daily Loaf.