Senator to State: My Bad for Urban SprawlA Central Florida senator apologizes and then vows to make things worse for smart growth, critics say
By TODD WRIGHT
Updated 9:39 AM EDT, Fri, Apr 3, 2009
Related Topics:Mike Bennett
Sprawl everywhere and Miami finally knows who to blame: a senator from Bradenton
It’s not often a politician will admit being dead wrong so when it happens, start popping the champagne like you’ve won a championship ring.
Mike Bennett, a Republican senator from Bradenton, apologized to basically the entire state for opening the floodgates to urban sprawl in 2005. Bennett pushed for a growth management bill that was supposed to encourage infill in counties like Miami-Dade, but instead had the opposite impact.
"We actually encouraged sprawl," Bennett told the Senate on Thursday. "For that I apologize."
So to fix his first error, Bennett is pushing another bill that some say only adds to the problem.
The new measure would not require developers to pay as much to improve existing roads or build new ones if their proposed development was big enough. The bill also eliminates a lot of the red tape builders have to go through for approvals.
The financial incentive is supposed to funnel new construction into undeveloped areas within cities, which developers shy away from because of the high cost to improve roads in a city.
The economy would get a boost from loosening the restrictions on new projects, which could bring more jobs to Florida’s slumping economy, Bennett said.
But critics say the state would be making another big mistake. Read more at http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Senator-To-State-My-Bad-For-Urban-Sprawl.html