LONGWOOD, FL- The state of Florida should sunset the Department of Community Affairs according to James A. Hattaway, an attorney whose practice is focused on land use, eminent domain and commercial litigation. Hattaway is a past member of the Sanford Planning and Zoning Commission and the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council.

Hattaway wants growth management, the current domain of the department, given back to local and regional planning councils. “Florida’s Department of Community Affairs has grown into a large bureaucracy that is largely insulated from local issues and local concerns,” Hattaway said in a prepared statement.

“The Department of Community Affairs bases too much of its oversight responsibility on maps and tables and statewide averages. When you talk to local home owners and community leaders, their complaints are immediate and visible. There are too many problems the Department of Community Affairs can not or will not address, and the most logical approach is to let local government address those issues,” he said.

The state took control from regional planning councils back in the 1970s when lawmakers felt there was a shortage of local experts on the subject. According to Hattaway, most people today have a working knowledge of growth management and many more people have a stake in the outcomes of such planning. Hattaway believes if the department were to be dissolved, it would save the state millions of dollars.

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