Growth Management

Future of state growth management in question under new department

The head of the new department that will house Florida’s growth management division says he’ll have to decide future growth management decisions on a case-by-case basis. SB 2156, signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott on June 14, abolishes the Florida Department of Community Affairs and transfers its planning division to a new Department of

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Florida growth agency “boogeyman” disappearing without debate

An employee enters the Department of Community Affairs headquarters where more than 20 workers were told last week they’re being laid off. With some state planners being handed their pink slips this week, the question arises over what really happened to the debate over the fate of Florida’s growth management agency — the Department of

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Session could have been worse but it was still bad, environmentalists say

The Florida legislative session went off track early Saturday, taking several bills with it that were supported by business and industry groups and opposed by environmentalists. But environmentalists were not in a celebratory mood as the Legislature passed bills gutting state growth management and placing the burden of proof on those who file legal challenges

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Final day of session: Energy dead but growth overhaul, septic bills very much alive

Growth management, fertilizer and septic tanks are some of the environmental issues awaiting action by the Legislature on Friday, its final scheduled day of the regular session. Renewable energy, permitting and growth management were the big three issues heading into the session. There also was an outcry from some rural residents against last year’s requirement

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Florida environmentalists uneasy as legislative session enters second half

With the Legislative session more than half over, some environmentalists are saying the session already has been bad enough. But at least one veteran environmental lobbyist says the worst could be yet to come. The Legislature is showing little interest in providing new money for the Florida Forever land-buying program while at the same time

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Developers would determine “need” under proposed growth law rewrite

During a recent Cabinet meeting, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater summed up an important debate over growth management policy by relating it to the rapidly expanding Five Guys hamburger chain. Some Bay County residents had asked the Cabinet to deny a request for a proposed 174-slip commercial marina on Callaway Bayou. The residents said the

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Walton County bill raises statewide concerns for sea turtles

Some environmentalists are asking the Legislature to take a closer look at a local bill for Walton County that could allow sea walls to remain in place without state permits. Following extensive beach erosion caused by Hurricane Dennis in 2005, Walton County authorized the construction of between 250 and 275 sea walls along 26 miles

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Environmental groups digging in for tough legislative session

Environmental groups, which have become accustomed to playing defense in the Legislature for many years, are digging in for what could be an even tougher fight this year. The legislative session starts on Tuesday, March 8. There are bills filed to streamline environmental permitting, repeal a statewide septic tank inspection requirement and prohibit local governments

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