Is $500,000 for land enough?

An advisory board will meet in April to discuss ways to preserve environmentally sensitive and recreational land in St. Johns County. Preserving some natural open spaces while allowing “smart” development is essential as Florida continues to grow, said Wayne Flowers, vice chair of the Land Acquisition and Management Program Conservation Board. “The crush of people … Read more

Lawmakers water down Safe Waterways Act

The Florida Legislature’s 60-day session was scheduled to end today, leaving the Safe Waterways Act stuck in a Senate committee. Jen Lomberk supports the act because it would require the state to test all fresh, brackish and saltwater bodies for nasty things like fecal matter. “We were trying to get the state to do testing … Read more

Stinky times: Poop debate drags on

Putnam County officials next month plan to discuss banning or at least putting a hold on future sewage sludge sites. Residents opposed to a proposed sludge operation swarmed a county Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting on Feb. 16 and spent five hours railing against it. Larry Downes of American Bioclean had proposed operating a sludge … Read more

Make way for the gondolas

An aerial tram, micro transporters and low-speed bicycle boulevards are envisioned under a new plan in the historic city of St. Augustine, founded in 1565. On Feb. 14, city commissioners gave initial approval to fees for new construction that would pay for a mobility plan that would promote “the continued transition from a transportation system … Read more

Miami manatees in peril

It’s every man – make that manatee – for himself. Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved a plan allowing hundreds of boats to cruise through sensitive manatee habitat in Biscayne Bay during the 2022 Miami Boat Show, which runs through Feb. 20. They OK’ed the plan even though their own environmental experts recommended against it. Nearly 10,000 … Read more

State land use laws favor developers

Florida once had “one of the most comprehensive and progressive land use planning programs,” as one expert put it, but those days are long gone. Changes in the state’s land use planning program have chipped away at local government’s authority, tipping the scales in favor of developers. Efforts to manage growth in Florida began in … Read more