From the Sierra Club: The fight to stop M-CORES continues unabated

Florida DOT begins another round of webinars this week.  The Sierra Club is not encouraging participation.

Originally published The Sierra Club on June 19th, 2020

FDOT begins another round of webinars next week.  We are not encouraging participation.  FDOT continues to forge ahead when true public participation is impossible in their virtual setting.  Inclined to attend anyway? has the details.  

If you attend, here are some suggestions for comments:

1. FDOT is wasting our tax dollars.  The $90 million in funding for M-CORES from the 2020-2021 budget should be eliminated by Governor DeSantis so that funding can be redirected to help the unemployed, small businesses, agricultural producers and workers, and other Floridians hit hard by COVID-19 and its repercussions.  Task Force members have a responsibility to the public they serve.  You should immediately make your position against this waste of money known to the public.

2.  The Avoidance Area maps provided by FDOT are shockingly lacking in important conservation lands, including but not limited to:

  • Critical Linkages as identified in the Florida Ecological Greenways Network
  • Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program areas
  • County lands purchased for conservation
  • SFWMD lands purchased for conservation
  • Conservation easements and mitigation banks
  • Primary Zone Panther Habitat, Dispersal Zone habitat and other lands needed for the recovery and survival of the Florida Panther
  • State Forests and Wildlife Management Areas
  • Florida Forever Project Boundaries

3. The M-CORES Task Force process is designed to be a rubber stamp of Senate President Bill Galvano’s bad idea and a real public dialogue and vetting is the last thing FDOT is giving us. Listen to the public’s overwhelming demand for a NO BUILD decision.  

1000 Friends of Florida Encourages Action on a Bill that Supports M-CORES Goals

[1000 Friends of Florida wants] to extend our sincere thanks to those of you who have reached out to Governor DeSantis requesting the veto of SB 410, which would be so damaging to rural lands in many parts of Florida. It has not yet been transmitted to the Governor for his action, but we anticipate he will receive it soon.

Momentum is building to defeat SB 410, and we need to keep up the pressure, with more emails, calls, and petition signing.

We want to bring your attention to one provision of SB 410 that will further facilitate development in communities in the M-CORES corridors. The bill directs DEO, when selecting applications for Community Planning Technical Assistance Grants, to give preference to certain small counties and municipalities located near a proposed multi-use corridor interchange. Such grants may be used to assist those local governments in amending or developing its comprehensive plan to implement appropriate land uses around a proposed multi-use corridor interchange.

Let’s remind Governor DeSantis that this is an opportunity for him to show his commitment to protecting Florida’s rural lands from inappropriate development!

Let Governor DeSantis know that SB 410 will:

  • Undermine the authority of many county governments to protect rural areas from development, even if voters approved that protection
  • Promote M-CORES by prioritizing comprehensive planning technical assistance funding for multi-use corridor interchanges in smaller counties
  • Require every local government in Florida to include an unnecessary property rights element in its comprehensive plan which will be costly to prepare and unnecessarily duplicates already-existing state and federal laws
  • Allow previously approved (and built-out) developments of regional impact to be modified so that developers can exchange approved land uses outside of the DRI, undermining the initial DRI process
  • Allow a party to a development agreement and a local government to amend or cancel that agreement without securing the consent of the other parcel owners whose property was subject to the agreement, in effect undermining property rights

You can find more information on SB 410 here, including veto requests from 1000 Friends and other organizations.

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