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Florida's Amendment 4

Old 10-21-2010, 08:43 AM
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Default Florida's Amendment 4

Can someone explain the pro's and cons of this amendment in laymans terms.
Watching the politicians and lawyers explain it is like watching a kung-fu movie with no subtitles!
Old 10-21-2010, 09:48 AM
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Sure. See here.

Comes down to this: If passed, towns/cities won't be permitted to make decisions about development without the vote of the populace.


Pick your own side.

Conservationists are for it.

The home builders and land speculators are against it.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:01 AM
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I am for it. We have enough empty strip malls and planned developments in Florida to last about 30 years now.
Old 10-21-2010, 10:36 AM
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The key is how changes are made to the long term development plans. The situation often cited is what happened in St. Pete. My understanding is that they passed a similar law. Some developer bought a run down 2 or 3 story hotel and wanted to get the property approved for a high rise. Because of the new law, the citizens got to vote on it, as opposed to the County or City Commission. It did not get approved and the property is still sitting there.

Personally, I'm tired of seeing pristine areas destroyed by "progress". The OP and I live very close to each other. I started mountain biking in Chuluota about 10 years ago off of Snow Hill Road. It's ridiculous what has been built out there. There are going to be downsides if it passes, because for the most part the average citizen is a moron. One of the arguments is why someone in one corner of the county should vote on a land use issue in another corner. This is a valid concern, but I feel the developers in FL have had their way for so many years that maybe it is time for a change.
Old 10-21-2010, 10:44 AM
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St. Pete was/is an unusual case. Forever known as "the city of park benches". or "wrinkle city" referring to the geriatric population, it has tried to reinvent itself and change its image. got some interesting aspects, but appears to be fighting urban blight.

I hardly think St. Pete is representative of anything realistic concerning the amendment 4 issue.
Old 10-21-2010, 10:47 AM
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I hate using amendments to the constitution for stuff like this. This could and should be handled by the legislature.
Old 10-21-2010, 12:20 PM
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"started mountain biking in Chuluota about 10 years ago off of Snow Hill Road."

Thats, a funny statement: Mountain biking in FL, almost an Oxymoron!!!
Old 10-21-2010, 12:26 PM
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The "St.Pete" that is being used as an example is not St.Petersburg but a seperate beach community, "St.Pete Beach" which has about 10,000 residents. Here is a link to a good explaination of what happened there and analysis of one of the ads against 4.

http://politifact.com/florida/statem...own-democracy/
Old 10-21-2010, 12:34 PM
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I am in a quandry here on which way to vote. While I am pro ''responsible'' growth and understand the postion on both sides, I am tired of trusting the politicians to make decisions like these.

I know that is why we have elections, but something always happens between election day and ''take office day''. Politicians always seem to forget what they ran on and when in office they tend to vote their pocketbooks.

I can see this will cost huge amounts of money to enact but maybe it is the only way to return power to the local population.
Old 10-21-2010, 01:10 PM
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Sounds like the stupidest thing ever.

What if (lets say) only the people in urban Miami/FtL/WPB support it? Then everyone in the rest of the state has to abide by it?

Development is not a "State" issue, it is a local issue. If residents of some *county* wanted to do this, fine I could see that. But maybe some counties want nothing of this and it will be forced upon them.
Old 10-21-2010, 01:17 PM
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Florida already has very strict comprehensive planning laws on the the books and they are enforced. Just as anyone trying to build anything in Monroe County. The Florida constitutional referedum system is a dog's breakfast. Remember that this is the same process that gave is the "pregnant pig" amendment and the smoking ban thqt a lot of businesses didn't want. Anything can "sound like a good idea" on a ballot, particularly when the people who are voting have no clue what the amendment actually means or what the impact will be. The only good news is that it now takes more than a simple majority to pass these things, but in cases like this, all people will see is that it negatively impacts those "evil developers". Tell me how you might feel if and when the environmentalists get enough signatures on one of the propositions that says that you effectively can't fish anymore.
Old 10-21-2010, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by signmansez View Post
I am in a quandry here on which way to vote. While I am pro ''responsible'' growth and understand the postion on both sides, I am tired of trusting the politicians to make decisions like these.

I know that is why we have elections, but something always happens between election day and ''take office day''. Politicians always seem to forget what they ran on and when in office they tend to vote their pocketbooks.

I can see this will cost huge amounts of money to enact but maybe it is the only way to return power to the local population.
Well, if you are tired of the politicians, then vote yes, but understand that in many places, the voters will ALWAYS vote no, so calculate zero growth in Florida beyond what has already been approved even when the market comes back. Of course, this might help out some of the smaller, poorer counties because the wouldn't mind the money, but there is a reason that nothing has been built in those places.
Old 10-21-2010, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jdm61 View Post
Florida already has very strict comprehensive planning laws on the the books and they are enforced. Just as anyone trying to build anything in Monroe County. The Florida constitutional referedum system is a dog's breakfast. Remember that this is the same process that gave is the "pregnant pig" amendment and the smoking ban thqt a lot of businesses didn't want. Anything can "sound like a good idea" on a ballot, particularly when the people who are voting have no clue what the amendment actually means or what the impact will be. The only good news is that it now takes more than a simple majority to pass these things, but in cases like this, all people will see is that it negatively impacts those "evil developers". Tell me how you might feel if and when the environmentalists get enough signatures on one of the propositions that says that you effectively can't fish anymore.
Thanks to the last Presidential election and the appointment of Lubenchenko to head up NOAA, I pretty much can't fish anymore!

I see your point, but I was also in favor of the smoking ban and the net ban. I think both of those have worked out pretty well.
Old 10-21-2010, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by signmansez View Post
Thanks to the last Presidential election and the appointment of Lubenchenko to head up NOAA, I pretty much can't fish anymore!

I see your point, but I was also in favor of the smoking ban and the net ban. I think both of those have worked out pretty well.
In reality, how has the smoking ban worked out? People just got used to it after losing a lot of money? Try and tell that to the folks who used to own all fo those "fern bar" type eateries that relied on the smokey happy hour crowd for a fair portion of their income. I can name a bunch of them if you would like. as for the net ban, yeah, it worked out okay, but how many people actually knew what they were voting for?
Old 10-21-2010, 01:30 PM
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"Establishes that before a local government may adopt a new comprehensive land use plan, or amend a comprehensive land use plan, the proposed plan or amendment shall be subject to vote of the electors of the local government by referendum, following preparation by the local planning agency, consideration by the governing body and notice. Provides definitions"

If you vote YES, you are expanding BIG government....very simple.
Old 10-21-2010, 01:39 PM
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One other point. The Florida Department Of Community Affairs has had the power to take over a county's comprehensive plan if the county is not running it properly since the original laws were passed. That is exactly what it did on at least one occasion under Tom Pelham, who was the first Secretary and is currently back in that post. The agency took over Monroe County's plan whihc apparently was VERY comprehensive, but in now way reflected what was actually happening on the ground.. The idea that open corruption and malfeasance can go on unfettered is much BS.
Old 10-21-2010, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Cmann View Post
"Establishes that before a local government may adopt a new comprehensive land use plan, or amend a comprehensive land use plan, the proposed plan or amendment shall be subject to vote of the electors of the local government by referendum, following preparation by the local planning agency, consideration by the governing body and notice. Provides definitions"

If you vote YES, you are expanding BIG government....very simple.
If I vote yes to the amendment, I am voting for a referendum everytime there is change proposed to a land use plan, no matter how large or small the developement?
Old 10-21-2010, 02:29 PM
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Signman - as I understand it you are correct. If a community needs to make any change to it's existing comp plan, it must go to a vote of the people.
Old 10-21-2010, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mahi231 View Post
Signman - as I understand it you are correct. If a community needs to make any change to it's existing comp plan, it must go to a vote of the people.
Excuse my ignorance but how does this equate to bigger govt. as mentioned by Cmann?
Old 10-21-2010, 05:40 PM
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Many communities are proposing/passing sweeping comp plan amendments that don't fall under DCA review. Martin county is pretty conservative, and Prop. 4 has alot of supporters here. I don't fully understand the threshold under which DCA has no review authority, though, even though I'm pretty familiar with our comp plan.

It is interesting that the Prop. 4 opponents have misrepresented the "St. Pete" issue..sounds like they're really grasping for straws.........

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