Amendment 4: Disaster Awaits
As the 2010 mid-term election approaches, there are many important decisions to be made by all voters. One of the most important decisions for voters in the State of Florida is whether or not to vote in favor of Amendment 4. Regardless of party affiliation, all voters should vote "No" on this amendment.
Amendment 4 is entitled "Referenda Required For Adoption And Amendment Of Local Government Comprehensive Land Use Plans." In short, Amendment 4 would require that all changes to existing local comprehensive land use plans and adoption of new comprehensive land use plans would have to be voted on, by way of general election, before being enacted. What does this mean for our communities, in a practical sense? Well, it is estimated approximately 200-300 plan changes would have to be approved each year. This would greatly increase the cost of local government, place expensive and unreasonable burdens on property and business owners and limit the adaptability of our communities.
A version of Amendment 4 was adopted locally in St. Pete Beach several years ago. Its results: an unmitigated disaster. The St. Petersburg Times, in an editorial, said "[a]s a three-year experiment in St. Pete Beach shows, land planning via referendum is a messy, unpredictable business that leads to higher government costs due to litigation and a stalemate when it comes to development."
It makes little sense, given our State’s current economic circumstance, that we make construction and development more difficult, more costly and more cumbersome. It remains vitally important that Florida grow in an intelligent and sustainable way and Amendment 4 will do nothing to further that cause and will prove, as it did in St. Pete Beach, to do more harm than good. Vote "No" on Amendment 4.