Anti-Growth Ballot Initiative

Many chapters face anti-growth initiatives at the state and local level. This section provides an overview of Florida Amendment 4 and its defeat in 2010.

The
Issue

Florida voters rejected on November 2, 2010 the proposed amendment to the Florida constitution, known as Amendment 4 (previously known as the "Florida Hometown Democracy Amendment"), that would have required voter approval on all proposed amendments to local comprehensive plans, rather than having such amendments approved or rejected by city or county commissions. This measure was defeated by 67 percent of the voters.

While many of its supporters claim that Amendment 4 would have given residents the power to determine land-use changes, the practical impact would have halted almost all development in the state of Florida. Calling this a "Vote on Everything" initiative, many were concerned that the amendment would jeopardize Florida's economic future and the quality of life for its residents. If the amendment were adopted, Florida voters would have had to make hundreds - and possibly thousands - of decisions regarding complex land-use planning issues while elected officials and local planners, who have the training and knowledge needed to make such decisions, would have been stripped of their authority.

NAIOP and NAIOP of Florida were part of the Citizens for Lower Taxes and a Strong Economy, Inc., a coalition of Florida business and community organizations that led the fight in educating Floridians on the detrimental impact of Amendment 4 adoption on the state's economy and economic growth. Through a coordinated and unified statewide campaign that involved the private sector and labor unions joining together in support of a unified strategy that utilized each coalition member's resources, Amendment 4, was successfully defeated.

Position

Because similar Amendment 4-type initiatives continue to surface in other states and localities, NAIOP will remain strongly opposed to these anti-growth initiatives, which will essentially halt economic development and job creation, and would have removed growth management decisions from local officials and other officials trained to make informed assessments and decisions.

Talking
Points

  • These initiatives would effectively halt all growth and development within a state or community.
  • If adopted, state and local residents would have to vote on hundreds, if not thousands, of local comprehensive land plan changes each year.
  • If adopted, cities and counties would be forced to spend taxpayer dollars on additional elections, or be forced to wait until the next election to list out all of the changes proposed to a comprehensive plan.
  • These proposals undermine the authority of elected representatives, who were chosen to lead the community, and other officials trained to make informed assessments and decisions.

Contact

Toby Burke
Senior Director for State and Local Affairs
703-904-7100, ext. 116