In an op-ed published in Lakeland’s The Ledger, Charles Pattison of the nonprofit growth watchdog 1000 Friends of Florida writes that a spate of policy changes by Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature, from a rewrite of the state’s growth management laws to a veto of funds for Regional Planning Councils, has created tons of potential new jobs — for citizens concerned about growth decisions:
In this new job, pay particular attention to who pays the costs associated with new development. It used to be that the developer had to pay for new roads, sewers, schools, and other infrastructure and services associated with the new development. Now local government can decide that the taxpayer should pick up some or all of these costs instead.
In other words, growth management may not be dead, but it could use your help. The policy changes were reinforced yesterday as Scott signed a government reorganization bill that consolidates much of the state’s erstwhile planning agency, the Department of Community Affairs, into a new Department of Economic Opportunity.