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Showdown with state looms at St. Petersburg prepares to approve growth map

ST. PETERSBURG — A City Council vote today could prompt a showdown with the state.

More than two weeks ago, the Department of Community Affairs objected to the city's plan to simplify its growth map to limit the number of land use changes that would require voter approval. It's a pre-emptive move by the city in anticipation of Florida Hometown Democracy's Amendment 4, a Nov. 2 ballot measure that gives the responsibility of approving changes to long-term growth plans to voters.

In an Aug. 26 report, the department said the city had no legal basis to establish the map. When the city merged categories, to reduce the number of land use changes that would need voter approval, the categories became too vague, it said.

City officials said they would resolve the conflict by making some changes and clarifications. They sent a 10-page response last week to ease the agency's concerns. They were hoping to hear back before today's vote, but they won't get an answer in time, said Department of Community Affairs spokesman Jim Miller.

Michael Van Sickler can be reached at (727) 893-8037 or mvansickler@sptimes.com.

Showdown with state looms at St. Petersburg prepares to approve growth map 09/16/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 12:03am]
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