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Counties, Environmentalists Call for Veto

May 18th, 2009 by flanews

County commissioners and environmental groups are asking the governor to veto legislation aimed at speeding up development. The bill would lower cost and eliminate state government oversight on large scale building projects. As Whitney Ray tells us, opponents of the bill say the legislation would cause more traffic jams.

Before builders can begin the cutting and hammering, they first have to pay for water, sewer and roads. Lawmakers say the upfront cost is impeding growth. Developers building big projects in Florida cities often have to fix and widen roads.

The legislature passed a bill eliminating the road fees to speed up the process. The Florida Home Builders Association said lowering the cost will attract more businesses to the state.

Sometimes companies choose other states because you dont have that high impact fee. That cost of doing business up front and so while growth should certainly pay for growth it needs to be fair, said David Hart with the Florida Home Builders Association.

But The Florida Association of Counties says eliminating the fee is anything but fair. Theyre asking the governor to veto the plan.

A development now is proposed to come into an area that is already heavily congested, the transportation infrastructure that needs to be in place to support that development doesnt have to be in place, said Eric Poole with the Florida Association of Counties.

Which means more traffic jams, but the bill would do more than increase your drive time, it would also eliminate state oversight on large scale developments.

It takes away the ability of the governor and the people who work for the governor to say, no, thats the wrong place to have a new development and were not going to let you do that, said Eric Draper with Audubon of Florida.

The governor is expected to receive the legislation this week. Hell have 15 days to make a decision.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Environment, Highways, State News, Transportation | No Comments »

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