House plan to merge DCA and Dept. of State
So what exactly do the management of state libraries, elections and cultural events have to do with the management of growth and development in Florida? Can you see Kurt Browning replacing Tom Pelham? That's apparently what leaders of the Florida House had in mind when it released its latest merger plan under a proposed committee bill that popped out on Friday.
The plan would transfer DCA's Division of Housing and Community Development and Division of Community Planning (it's growth management arm) to the Department of State. Local governments could bypass DCA on amendments to their growth management plans, transportation projects wouldn't have to meet growth requirements and cities and counties that qualify as "dense urban areas" would be exempt from DRIs. Finally, the Division of Emergency Management would go to the Governor's office. Read the proposed bill here.
Update: 1000 Friends of Florida has sent out this warning regarding the bill. "This PBC reflects a line of thought that growth and environmental controls have somehow hindered economic development and recovery, a false premise that should be a cause for alarm for all Floridians,'' the growth management watchdog association wrote in an email to supporters.
"This is a critical issue that directly affects our daily quality of life. Clearly the question has already been asked and answered regarding the benefits of any relaxation of growth controls. Anyone with doubts should consult those of us who are stuck in daily traffic jams, have children in overcrowded schools, or are residents of sprawling developments."