Saturday, May 23, 2009

Defining "urban" becomes controverial in Florida

A story in the New York Times a few days ago reports on a proposed Florida law that would redefine "urban" for purposes of land use and development regulations. Because under the relevant law, "rural" is the remainder/remnant/left-over after "urban" is defined, this story necessary implicates rurality. Here's an excerpt from Damien Cave's report about a law that would loosen restrictions on development in all except "urban areas":
Opposition focuses mainly on one formula: 1,000 people per square mile. This is the bill’s definition of urban.

In communities that fit that description, developers would no longer have to pay if local roads could not handle the impact of their projects. The law would also let individual municipalities or counties designate areas for large-scale development — an outlet mall, a sprawling subdivision — without being subject to regional planning boards that currently analyze how such plans would affect communities nearby.
Drawing the line between rural and urban at 1,000 persons/square mile--about one person per acre--means that this definition of urban will exclude from regulations and additional requirements (such as enhancing roads to accommodate increased traffic) many single-family home developments. Opponents of the bill argue that it will lead to greater sprawl and diminish revenue for roads and transportation in places most in need of them.


UrbanWorkbench said...

I've always wondered how a politician would define "Urban"?

Anonymous said...

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