Crist lukewarm on growth management billby Dara Kam | May 21st, 2009
Gov. Charlie Crist defended a growth management bill that critics object would promote urban sprawl, saying it’s not as bad as some other proposals lawmakers were pushing.
The measure (SB 360) would do away with the state’s growth management laws requiring concurrency (that adequate roads be in place before construction is allowed) and requiring that large projects on mega land parcels undergo a rigorous review called a “development of regional impact.”
Crist said he doesn’t believe the developer-friendly measure will cause urban sprawl but acknowledged environmentalists’ complaints about the bill.
“I think there are some who are concerned about the impacts it may have and there are others who are very concerned about the economy and how it might help it,” Crist said.
Relaxing the growth management laws “might make it easier for the permitting process to be a little more efficient,” Crist said.
Department of Community Affairs Secretary Tom Pelham, who opposed an earlier version of the bill, met with Crist yesterday on the issue.
“I don’t think he thinks it’s perfect. I think that’s safe to say. But I think that he believes it’s a lot better than some of the other measures that were moving toward our desk and fortunately the legislature took care of things before the end of session,” Crist said.
Crist’s press office sent out a release saying the governor would sign the bill today with others dealing with economic incentives.
But the bill was later removed from the list of bill signings. His press office said it was mistakenly included.