Sunday, June 7, 2009

More sprawl feared in Legislature's bid to boost Florida economy

Good assessment of SB 360's impact to the State of Florida, this time from a Jacksonville perspective. This is a key point from the article:
...because older areas are often years behind on infrastructure upgrades and because downtown streets in particular are difficult to widen, the law effectively discouraged developers from building in urban areas or undertaking downtown redevelopment.

The new law would strip away those rules for most cities with more than 1,000 people per square mile, all counties with that population density and any counties with more than 1 million people.

Mosteller said that simply exacerbates the existing problem. Land still costs less in the rural areas of urban counties, she points out, but the transportation break is countywide.

"This bill has said sprawl is even cheaper," Mosteller said.

For Jacksonville, city leaders may need to come up with new incentives to encourage in-filling in urban areas and combat sprawl.

The moral of the story: In-fill redevelopment in cities like Lake Worth is a good thing environment-wise compared to the alternative sprawl pattern this bill encourages. It is selfish in terms of land use not to act on this principle.