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Editor, The Beacon:

A recent opinion by Mark Barker attributes control of growth to cities. This is not true, as Florida legislators continue to pre-empt cities on home rule.

By law, developers are able to build, provided they follow the zoning rules. Cities have little control over growth.

Currently, there are new pre-emptive bills being considered by legislators in Tallahassee, threatening cities with expensive costs that are unfunded by the state. House Bill 403 and Senate Bill 280 propose drawing up an economic impact for all local ordinances passed by a city.

This will add more costs to a city for researching many potential impacts to its businesses and citizens.

It might sound like a good idea at first, but cities just don’t work that way. Where will the money come from to fund an economist to provide this service?

While home rule is in the Florida Constitution, in recent years, cities have seen many bills pre-empting home rule, and some are unfunded mandates.

The money and power are upstairs in Florida’s attic, not down here where the rubber hits the road.

Cities should have more control over growth, but how do we do that?

Martin Harper

Orange City

— Harper is a member of the Orange City Council

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