Action Alert: Ask Governor DeSantis to VETO SB 540

May 4, 2023

Protect citizens’ planning rights and the Everglades

SB 540 would:

  • Deal a devastating and permanent blow to effective citizen engagement in the planning process by threatening ordinary Floridians with paying the attorney fees and costs of local governments and wealthy developers.
  • Prevent enforcement of local growth plans which are created with citizen input and adopted by their elected representatives.
  • Pave the way for fiscally and environmentally irresponsible sprawl by preventing citizens from challenging legally flawed local government planning decisions, including decisions that could negatively impact the Everglades and the multibillion-dollar taxpayer investment for Everglades Restoration.

Why does this matter?

If your local government approves a plan amendment that violates your local comprehensive plan and you challenge that decision, you could be ordered to pay the legal costs of deep-pocketed developers and local governments if they prevail in the challenge. This makes it too financially risky for average citizens or even non-profits to challenge flawed amendments, effectively shutting down this way for citizens to engage in their community’s planning process.

Good community planning requires citizen engagement in all steps of the process, from the visioning and plan-making phase to the application and enforcement of those comprehensive plans. The timing couldn’t be worse for a bill that would stifle citizen engagement in planning for the future of their communities, when Florida is adding at least 1,000 residents a day and sea level rise, flooding and stronger storms demand more thoughtful planning.

Please defend your right to participate in your community planning process and prevent irreparable damage to the Everglades and other precious natural resources such as the Florida Wildlife Corridor by standing with us against SB 540.