Saving Special Places • Building Better Communities

March 19, 2020


Please join us and urge the Governor to veto one of the worst bills passed during this year’s session, Senate Bill 410. Among other damaging impacts, it would undermine the authority of many county governments to protect rural areas from development, even if voters approved that protection.

You can reach Governor DeSantis at 850-717-9337 or Urge him to VETO SB 410 to protect designated rural areas from development. As always, calls are best.


As noted in our March 18 veto letter to the Governor, SB 410 initially sought to alter Florida’s growth management statutes by requiring all local governments to include an element in their comprehensive plans regarding private property rights. This is a costly and unnecessary mandate for local governments, given the existing, strong protections for private property rights in our federal and state constitutions and state law.

But during the last days of the session amendments on the Senate floor were added that would significantly worsen the bill. With those amendments, SB 410 would curtail the authority of most county governments to manage growth within their borders, making residents more vulnerable to negative impacts to their environment, quality of life, property values and tax bills. The amended bill would allow county controls to be superseded by municipalities. It could clear the way for high-density development in designated rural areas, such as the rural area approved by Seminole County voters in 2004.

To make matters worse, SB 410 is unconstitutional, because the Florida Constitution requires charters, not state law, to specify which ordinances prevail in the event of a conflict between a county and municipality. And finally, overriding county limits on development will subject local waterways and other critical resources to more damage.

As we argued in our veto letter, voters in charter counties have already decided that the best way to protect their natural resources and promote sustainable communities is through land use policies that are implemented thoughtfully by their county leaders rather than dictated by someone else. SB 410 jeopardizes the will of voters in charter counties and in counties that seek to adopt a charter that contains land use policies. Thwarting the will of voters will invite litigation, and citizens will get stuck with the bill.

For all these reasons, please join us in urging Governor DeSantis to veto SB 410!

We appreciate your support on this and so many other critical issues facing Florida.