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Growth Bill Shrinks In Committee

Florida House of Representatives

A controversial growth management bill is growing less so. Environmentalists and local governments persuaded the sponsor, Republican Representative Mike La Rosa of St. Cloud, to back off a hot-button issue.

La Rosa wants to cut red tape for large-scale developers by letting them sidestep regional planning councils. That’s still in the bill, but he dropped a proposal that would make it easier to turn farms into housing projects.

It’s a partial victory, but it’s a bad idea to cut the regional planning councils out of the permitting process, says Sierra Club lobbyist David Cullen.

“The regional and statewide approach should continue to be represented. It’s a resource that we really need.”

The bill has one more committee stop before reaching the House floor.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.