A statewide debate over development is shaping up. One of Florida's biggest environmental groups, the Sierra Club, has come out in support of a proposed constitutional amendment. The hometown democracy petition drive would let voters have final say on land use amendments.
The Sierra Club says the proposed amendment is a good way to reduce urban sprawl. The idea? Giving voters more power over development deals. As Tallahassee and the rest of Florida keep growing, the Sierra Club is joining a statewide push to stop urban sprawl.
“This is about putting people in charge of the places where they live. We believe the local elected officials have failed in that regard and we are taking the power back,” says Ross Burnaman.
Doug Buck with the Florida Home Builders Association isn't sure voters want direct power over land use.
“I think most of the citizens will say no, that's why I elect, why I have growth management act, planning zoning folks, that's why I have city councilmen and county commissioners.”
Buck also says the planned amendment wouldn't necessarily end urban sprawl, that's up to us. Backers need half a million signatures to put the proposed amendment on the ballot.
This would mean that voters would not have to approve every development deal under this plan, but every proposed change or amendment to an area's comprehensive plan. In Tallahassee and Leon County, that could mean voters would have to consider up to 40 issues a year.