GOVERNOR PERRY SUPPORTS LOCAL CONTROL OF “LAND USE AND PLANNING”

On June 19, 2009, Governor Rick Perry vetoed S.B. 1269, a bill that would have established a “smart growth policy work group” made up largely of representatives of state agencies. The work group would have been tasked with developing a “comprehensive smart growth plan for the state to prepare for the projected population growth in the state.” The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 31-0 and was approved by a large margin (99-48) in the House.

The governor’s veto message follows:

Senate Bill No. 2169 would create a new governmental body that would centralize the decision-making process in Austin for the planning of communities through an interagency work group on “smart growth” policy. Decisions about the growth of communities should be made by local governments closest to the people living and working in these areas. Local governments can already adopt “smart growth” policies based on the desires of the community without a state-led effort that endorses such planning. This legislation would promote a one-size-fits-all approach to land use and planning that would not work across a state as large and diverse as Texas. (Emphasis added.)

Regardless of one’s opinion of “smart growth” planning, it is nice to know that the governor stands with the vast majority of city officials in opposing legislation that would erode the authority of local governments to make decisions about the growth of their communities.

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