By Scott Powers
July 1. 2020
Some said SB 410 would reopen door to controversial River Cross project
SB 410, sponsored by Republican Sen. Keith Perry of Gainesville, began as an attempt to restrict his home county of Alachua’s abilities to control growth into rural areas. But it got amended in the closing days of the Legislative Session to extend the effect to up to 13 counties, including charter counties such as Seminole.
From the perspective of some Seminole County Commissioners, notably Lee Constantine, the amendment meant the controversial, twice-defeated River Cross land development pushed by former Rep Chris Dorworth in eastern Seminole could find new life.
Once the bill got approved, 23-16 in the Senate and 71-43 in the House Constantine and others in Seminole and in statewide groups, including the Florida Association of Counties, lobbied hard to get DeSantis to veto it.
On Sunday Constantine published an op-ed piece in the Orlando Sentinel declaring, “This week you have a rare opportunity. With a swipe of your veto pen, you can send a resounding message of ‘not on my watch’ to those who wish to undermine our state Constitution for personal gain and save millions of taxpayer dollars. … It would open the door to special interests wanting to destroy our rural boundary.”
“I believe the Governor understood the constitutional implications and did the right and ethical thing,” Constantine said. “This is a good day, another good day, for protection of the rural boundary in Seminole County.”
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