The St. Petersburg Times reports on Florida’s plan to stimulate the state’s economy. Basically they plan to deregulate the construction industry to make it cheaper and easier to build sprawl.
State legislators are pushing to dismantle the agency in charge of managing growth, arguing that it’s standing in the way of reviving Florida’s economy.
The move is one of a host of measures proposed by lawmakers to stimulate the state’s economy by loosening the rules on construction permitting. Other proposals include eliminating impact fees designed to make developers pay for roads, sewers and schools needed for growth, and cutting in half the time allowed for reviewing permits for wiping out wetlands.
Now as many of the commenters point out, it was speculative and unmitigated growth in the state that has resulted in thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of empty homes and condos that are now littered across the state. And correct me if I’m wrong, but real estate speculation is a wicked major humungous reason why we are in the economic mess we are in. The comments on the newspaper’s site are almost unanimous (I haven’t read them all, but it is pretty close) in condemning these proposals to loosen regulations and attempt to build their way out of the economic crisis.
Alex from Tampa
Real estate prices are in the dumps because there are more houses than people who want them. Why on earth would we want to build even more? It would only drive prices further down.
Don from St. Pete Beach
This is precisely the type of thinking that got is into our present economic mess. Clearly the development lobby is behind this. It is time the residents had a lobby of their own.
My favorite comment:
Vikki from Palm Harbor
Attention Floridians! Stop watching Dancing with the Stars and contact your state legislators to stop this madness! Act now, before the wing-nuts in Tallahassee destroy our beautiful state forever.
Why is it that citizens get it, but the legislatures don’t? One commenter from Oregon pointed out that they have strict growth regulation, and are far less effected than the rest of the country by the foreclosure crisis (I don’t have any figures at hand to prove that though). Another commenter said he was planning to retire to Oregon. I never really considered where people who live in Florida retire to.
In Florida they’re trying to build their way out of a crisis they built their way into. Here in Rhode Island we’re looking at what, slot machines to get us out of the crisis? There must be a better way. And whatever we do to end the crisis needs to not set us up for future crises.