Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scott wants Department of Community Affairs dismantled

Six weeks after he took office, Florida’s new governor, Rick Scott, visited the state’s Department of Community Affairs. Scott told the employees gathered in the lobby that they were doing a great job. Then he told them to stop.

Scott wants to gut the DCA. He contends the agency in charge of managing Florida’s growth is a red-tape-crazy job-killer standing in the way of economic recovery. As an example, he cited a development in Collier County that needed “75 or 78 permits, just for the land.”

When Scott talked to the DCA employees, he told them he’s looking forward to all but abolishing their agency. He wants to cut the DCA’s 358 employees to 40, slash the budget from $779 million a year to just $110 million and combine it with the DEP.

Still, in the past four years the DCA approved local plan amendments covering 950,000 acres of land, enough for 600,000 new homes and 1.5 billion square feet of commercial projects, he said. That’s far more approved development than can possibly be built for years.

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