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Floridians push back against regionalism, new urbanism and Seven50 Plan

Eleven mega regions in America. Click on the map for a larger view.

A growing movement consisting of Florida citizens is pushing back against an effort to regionalize Florida. This is part of new urbanism promoted across Florida as the Seven50 Plan. The Florida Seven50 Plan includes the counties of Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe. Indian River County has since dropped out of the Seven50 Plan. Florida Seven50 is one of eleven plans to create “mega regions” in America. The intent is to blur city and county boundaries and place control for land use and zoning decisions into the hands of unelected regional committees and their staffs.

A presentation was made to the Saint Lucie Board of County Commissioners explaining what Seven50 Plan means (watch the video at the end of this column). Florida Seven50 began in 2010 with a $4.2 million grant from HUD, in partnership with the DOT and EPA. On October 15th the American Coalition 4 Property Rights (AC4PR) came before the St. Lucie County (FL) Board Of County Commissioners. The presenters are Bret McCain (head of the SLC Liberty Caucus) and Judy Culpepper, former SLC County Commissioner. Peter and Jeri Bullock helped research the information provided in the powerpoint, including the embedded video. All are members of the AC4PR’s Stop Seven50 Task Force. The presentation refutes the claims of the Treasure Coast & South Florida Regional Planning Councils, the Seven50 Plan and HUD.

According to Leigh Lamson, “The Florida Seven50 plan is supported by Michael Busha and his wife who live in Stuart, FL. Stuart is the home of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC), one of the 2 sponsors of the Seven50 Regional Plan. Michael is the Executive Director of the TCRPC. Both are strong proponents of sustainable development, and one of them is even on the Martin County School Board. Seven50 is ALL based on the false science of global warming and rising sea levels. Their livelihood is based on advancing all of it. But guess what, the Busha’s live out on Sewell’s Point in a million dollar home on the water and drive expensive SUVs.”

Video below is of Andres Duany speaking to Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council meeting on May 17, 2013  about the “mega regions”:

On June 16th, 2009 the US Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new partnership to “coordinate federal housing, environmental protection and transportation planning and investment.”  The goal to “better align their national funding programs and to promote the creation of comprehensive investment plans to strengthen the economy and promote the environment of the Nations regions.”Funding was authorized by Congress in 2009 and was provided to the HUD Sustainable Communities Office. According to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and the HUD website:

The mission of the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities is to create strong, sustainable communities by connecting housing to jobs, fostering local innovation, and helping to build a clean energy economy.

In order to better connect housing to jobs, the office will work to coordinate federal housing and transportation investments with local land use decisions in order to reduce transportation costs for families, improve housing affordability, save energy, and increase access to housing and employment opportunities. By ensuring that housing is located near job centers and affordable, accessible transportation, we will nurture healthier, more inclusive communities which provide opportunities for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities to live, work, and learn together.

The below video of the presentation to the St. Lucie BOCC is provided in its entirety:

HUD is in full alignment with President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which he outlined during his Georgetown University speech that may be read here). Some critical elements of the plan that HUD will lead or support include:

  • a 20% increase in building efficiency by 2020 as part of the President’s Better Buildings Challenge
  • a 100 megawatt increase in renewable energy in federally subsidized housing by 2020
  • implementing a number of pilot projects that received funding under a $23 million HUD fund to enable research in cost-effective residential energy investment solutions
  • forming an FHA Single-Family Green Mortgage Roundtable

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