Florida Ammendment 4

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A constitutional amendment that will forever change the way development is approved; …A community vote on every comprehensive plan amendment approved by every unit of local government…

*This includes special purpose districts that have plans, too.

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  • When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail! Recognize this as a legitimate concern, with a poor solution. Many don’t really think Hometown democracy is a good idea, but they are frustrated and it is a hammer. The key to winning this debate for us is going to be accurately framing the issue as “Quality of Life” debate. This is not development versus the environment. It is not even the economy versus the environment. This is quality of life versus extreme special interests and extreme measures. Voters are genuinely concerned with school over-crowding, lack of water, congested roads, the high cost of housing, etc. Rather than dismissing the concerns, we need to acknowledge the problems and offer solutions for greater citizen involvement and better decision-making. Voters want smarter growth, not no growth at all and it’s important that we present them with alternatives to Hometown Democracy which we are doing and that’s something I’m going to mention a little bit later. The other concerns that we need to be aware of are that for the first time voters are very, very concerned about infrastructure and overcrowding in schools. There is an all time sensitivity over housing costs including taxes and insurance. These are at an all time high and as a result this is fueling frustration over the current system. Despite the fact that voters don’t really want Hometown Democracy, they don’t in and of itself think that it’s a good idea. It is a hammer and they may just use that hammer if it’s the only alternative that they have. The key to winning this debate for us is going to be accurately framing the issue. This is not development versus the environment. It is not even the economy versus the environment. This is quality of life versus extreme special interests. Now the people behind Hometown Democracy are in every sense of the word extreme special interests. They do not even have the support of mainstream environmental groups like the Florida Audubon Society, like A 1000 Friends in Florida. They have been deafening in their silence on this issue. So it’s important that the voters know that. This is not a mainstream environmental issue. In fact these folks really represent a very radical no growth agenda.
  • Florida Ammendment 4

    1. 1. Hometown Democracy… <ul><li>BAD FOR YOUR HOMETOWN </li></ul><ul><li>WORSE FOR OUR DEMOCRACY ! </li></ul>
    2. 2. Presentation Credits … <ul><li>This Slideshow is a compilation from presentations by: </li></ul><ul><li>J.N. “Jack” Breed, Keith and Schnars, P.A. for the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society </li></ul><ul><li>Floridians For Smarter Growth </li></ul><ul><li>Augie Fragala, Powell Fragala and Associates </li></ul><ul><li>Florida Chamber of Commerce </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Is it… </li></ul><ul><li>a) CITIZEN APPROVAL OF ALL PLAN CHANGES? </li></ul><ul><li>b) THE END OF RATIONAL PLANNING? </li></ul><ul><li>c) THE BEGINNING OF COMMUNITY CHAOS? </li></ul><ul><li>d) ALL OF THE ABOVE? </li></ul>Hometown Democracy…
    4. 4. <ul><li>Is it… </li></ul><ul><li>a) CITIZEN APPROVAL OF ALL PLAN CHANGES? </li></ul><ul><li>b) THE END OF RATIONAL PLANNING? </li></ul><ul><li>c) THE BEGINNING OF COMMUNITY CHAOS? </li></ul><ul><li>d ) ALL OF THE ABOVE? </li></ul>Hometown Democracy…
    5. 5. What Exactly is Hometown Democracy? A constitutional amendment that will forever change the way development is approved … A community vote on every comprehensive plan amendment approved by every unit of local government… * This includes special purpose districts that have plans, too.
    6. 6. Hometown Democracy… Mandates the local electorate within a community must approve each plan amendment prior to any development occurring resulting from the amendment.
    7. 7. <ul><li>A citizen’s initiative – a good thing – but… </li></ul><ul><li>Forcing voters to decide every change to a local government’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan </li></ul><ul><li>DOES THIS BELONG IN OUR CONSTITUTION? </li></ul>Hometown Democracy…
    8. 8. <ul><li>A very naïve view of land use planning in Florida </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehensive Plans are not static </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Land-owners rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Existing land-uses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Existing Zoning Districts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Municipal infrastructure availability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Are the voters going to make informed decisions? </li></ul>Hometown Democracy…
    9. 9. What Is the Status of the HTD Initiative? <ul><li>611,009 signatures to be on the ballot </li></ul><ul><li>Reported 433,000 certified signatures on 12/10/07 </li></ul>Signatures certified by January 31, 2008 to be placed on the ballot in November
    10. 10. Who Is Behind the Initiative? <ul><li>Is it ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alliance of disgruntled citizens? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ No Growth” advocates? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sierra Club? </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Who Is Behind the Initiative? <ul><li>Lesley Blackner – an anti-growth zealot </li></ul><ul><li>Ross Stanford Burnaman – a NIMBY Tallahassee attorney </li></ul><ul><li>Joe Redner - !!! </li></ul>More importantly, WHO will support it?
    12. 12. How Will It Work and What Will It Cost? <ul><li>Vote on every City Comp Plan Change </li></ul><ul><li>Vote on every County Comp Plan Change </li></ul><ul><li>Special elections not required – How will it work? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Polk County alone had 23 changes in the last 6 months! In our medium sized County, you could be faced with 80+ issues in a single election!! </li></ul></ul></ul>
    13. 13. What to Do? <ul><li>Voters want “ smarter growth ,” not “ no growth ” </li></ul><ul><li>Top concerns include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overcrowding in schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Density and housing costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taxes and insurance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This is “ quality of life ” versus “ extreme special interests ” </li></ul>
    14. 14. The HARD facts…. <ul><li>What is Florida’s economy? </li></ul><ul><li>What happens in YOUR community if this is passed? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The economy of a community funds your: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Schools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Churches </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Community Associations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Municipal infrastructure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Is NO GROWTH the answer? </li></ul>
    15. 15. Hometown Democracy… <ul><li>Will not prevent sprawl </li></ul><ul><li>Will not allow efficient government services </li></ul><ul><li>Will not protect natural resources </li></ul>Comp Plans are meant to change!
    16. 16. Hometown Democracy = Good Growth / <ul><li>“ Big Picture” will be lost </li></ul><ul><li>Power of $ greater </li></ul><ul><li>Less accountability in decision-making </li></ul>
    17. 17. Hometown Democracy = Good Growth / <ul><li>No natural resource protection </li></ul><ul><li>Neighborhood vs. Neighborhood </li></ul><ul><li>Essential services will suffer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No one will EVER approve a jail, a landfill, a sewer plant, etc… The big picture will be lost forever </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Economic Consequences… <ul><li>Cost of referendums </li></ul><ul><li>Court challenges/judgments </li></ul><ul><li>Local planning efforts/public hearings </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure delays (Comp Plans include your Community’s Five Year CIP) </li></ul><ul><li>Community disruption </li></ul>
    19. 19. Hometown Democracy… The Florida Chapter of APA OPPOSES Hometown Democracy <ul><li>Encourages shortsighted decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces accountability of local officials </li></ul><ul><li>Does not protect Florida’s natural areas </li></ul><ul><li>Dismantles public participation in the planning process </li></ul>
    20. 20. Hometown Democracy… Audubon of Florida has elected not to join in support of Hometown Democracy because… <ul><li>… of too many unanswered questions about the workability of the proposal… </li></ul><ul><li>… if adopted, it is not clear it will achieve the intended result… </li></ul><ul><li>… since Florida’s constitution contains NO requirements for local government land use planning, does it make sense to place a requirement for public voting on such plans and amendments in the constitution? </li></ul>
    21. 21. Hometown Democracy… 1,000 Friends of Florida Board of Directors cannot support Hometown Democracy because… <ul><li>NIMBYISM – much needed but often controversial amendments will be difficult to find approval with voters (i.e., affordable housing proposals, landfills, water & sewer plants, and the CSX Intermodal Logistics Center) </li></ul><ul><li>Piecemeal Planning – no longer will planning be comprehensive, but instead a series of disjointed voter approved amendments </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Gridlock – legal challenges to the amendment, if approved, will likely be necessary to clarify the vague and murky language of the amendment, possibly resulting in years of court proceedings </li></ul>
    22. 22. Tom Pelham, Secretary, Florida DCA, -opposes the HTD amendment Samuel Staley Director, Urban Futures Program, -opposes the HTD amendment
    23. 23. What's the Plan?
    24. 24. Priority Counties Breaking the state into “Tiers” according to vote share
    25. 25. Our Responsibility <ul><li>Learn the issue </li></ul><ul><li>Take it, and its supporters, seriously </li></ul><ul><li>Promote greater public participation </li></ul>
    26. 26. What Can You Do? <ul><li>Support the State Chamber of Commerce </li></ul><ul><li>Support Floridians for Smarter Growth and join your local leadership team </li></ul><ul><li>Report paid signature gatherers </li></ul><ul><li>Write letters to the editor </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage your associations to oppose this measure </li></ul><ul><li>Talk it down at neighborhood gatherings </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage others to become informed </li></ul><ul><li>Speak out when you hear misinformation </li></ul><ul><li>Tell them who is opposed to this and who is backing it! </li></ul>
    27. 27. <ul><li>Visit the Floridians for Smarter Growth website at www.flsmartergrowth.org </li></ul><ul><li>Organize your community… </li></ul><ul><li>call Ryan Houck at (407) 442-0832 </li></ul><ul><li>Send a contribution to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Floridians for Smarter Growth Post Office Box 532018 Orlando, Florida 33853 </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. HOMETOWN DEMOCRACY It's NOT about your Hometown, and It's NOT about Democracy!

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