Protect our Property Rights by Eliminating Regional Planning Councils
By John Hallman
Regional Planning Councils were created by Florida law to coordinate transportation planning activities of municipalities and counties. Florida’s 67 counties areas are divided into 11 regions. Regional Planning Councils original purpose was to apply for and distribute federal funds to help with building roads and bridges, not dictate growth management to local governments.
Unfortunately, the 11 Florida Regional Planning Councils have become a de facto agency of the federal government to promote “Smart Growth” and “Sustainable Living” schemes at the expense of local control of land use decisions and private property rights.
Regional Planning Councils receive funding from the federal government to bypass our local and state representatives to implement “Smart growth” schemes (such as 7/50 in south Florida) that strip away our property rights, by pushing us into higher density urban centers, forcing us to give up our cars, use bikes, transit or walk to work and shop. As someone said “You will be forced to live in a 1200 sq. ft. condo above a donut shop by a transit stop”.
Regional Planning Councils receive most of their funding through HUD and the Obama administration’s “Sustainable Communities Initiative” where federal money is funneled to Regional Planning Councils to promote “Smart growth” schemes and in order to access that money municipalities and counties must embrace the goals to regulate virtually every aspect of our lives… including housing, water, natural resources, transportation, land use, economic development, energy, cultural and historic resources, public health, education, environmental planning, energy and “climate change”.
Also, this funding creates incentives for corruptive “pay to play” behavior by creating Associations with the private sector (called stakeholders) where businesses will sign on to promote regional plans for the cash. This is simply using our tax dollars to buy support from the business community.
The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is an inter-agency of HUD, DOT and the EPA to provide funding to Regional Planning Councils. From their web site you will see their stated goals:
Partnership Grants, Assistance & Programs
The Partnership agencies periodically offer funding opportunities. When these grants are offered, they will be announced here and on www.grants.gov. In addition, each agency maintains websites to track their own grant announcements. The grants announced on these sites will also be on www.grants.gov.
HUD offers funding opportunities to help communities realize their own visions for building more livable, walkable, and environmentally sustainable regions.
DOT offers funding opportunities to support more livable walkable communities.
EPA offers grants to support activities that improve the quality of development and protect human health and the environment.