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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Slow growth? Fire the growth regulators



Growth regulators in Hillsborough County beware. Hillsborough County commissioners are using the slowdown in construction to argue for a dramatic paring of the people who issue building permits.

Construction During a budget workshop Thursday, Commissioner Jim Norman said regulatory agencies should see much deeper cuts than the average 7 percent of most county departments. His targets: the planning commission, Environmental Protection Commission and Planning and Growth Management Department.

That should go over well with the environmental activists, who already depict the commission as a pro-growth board averse to regulation in the best of times.

Norman argues that construction has fallen by more than 80 percent. So, he argues, staffing levels at those agencies should fall comparably. It can ramp up again if the market improves, he said.

"We need to match what the market is to what we're doing as a board," Norman said.

-- Bill Varian, Times Staff Writer

[Chris Zuppa, Times files]

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:28am]


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