Articles & Studies

We are creating a library of data, studies and articles to help taxpayers understand the costs of over-development. is now going multi-media with the addition of videos.

Costs of Development

Six Fairy Tales About Growth

Thanks to George Sibley for this video that summarizes 6 myths about growth & development in Florida.  It changes your expectations about decisionmaking by elected officials about development in Florida.

A Tale of 2 Counties  A Video by George Sibley

Here are examples of 2 Virginia counties, one chose the fast growth route, the other adopted a slow growth policy.  See how it plays out.  Where would you prefer to live?

Phantom Future

This George Sibley video features local Florida experts who describe t the impacts of over-development on our dwindling water supply, aquatic life, and costs to you the taxpayer.  It shows how in many cases, the very public officials we depend on to protect our quality of life actually contribute to the problem by approving over allocation of water and approval of more development than is sustainable.

Town at the Crossroads

Learn how comprehensive plans help balance the interests of all stakeholders in a community—and how citizens must be vigilant and persistent to keep the process from being hijacked by private commercial interests. This Gale Force video focuses on New Smyrna Beach to make the point for all Florida communities.

Changing Lanes

This video describes how roads fragment critical wildlife habitat and facilitate yet more development.  When new residential property taxes don’t cover costs of infrastructure, they issue bonds which all taxpayers pay for, not just residents of new developments.

Villages Of Amazon South Sees Sidewalk Fiasco – The Bradenton Times

Here’s an example of how people need to crunch the numbers on developer requirements to provide infrastructure. Neal proposes an alternate plan that sounds great on the surface, but will short change the nearby residents in Bradenton.

Plum Creek workshop attracts opinionated crowd |

These citizens formed a group to collectively oppose a large development in Gainesville and built their own website to house their documentation. This development would cost all Gainesville citizens for infrastructure for the new community.


From Smart Growth America, it makes the case for “smart growth” which is intown growth that builds on the existing municipal infrastructure instead of sprawl. It details the savings in infrastructure costs vs tax revenues from development. It includes a smart growth example in Sarasota, Florida.

Letter: An Open Letter to Manatee BOCC on Impact Fee |

County taxpayers should only be responsible to sustain the present level of services, to maintenance of present infrastructure, and to replace or update old or inefficient infrastructure.

Scott Maxwell:  Tax Breaks for Developers Mean Higher Costs for You

If they let a developer get away with not paying for a road that their new business needs, then someone else has to pay for that road. And that someone may be you.

What went wrong? How did we get in this pickle? |

At buildout, St Johns County will have a 182% increase in population. We must make this new development pay for itself–taxpayers can’t afford it. Where will the water come from?

Our view: County catch-up projects needed but won’t tap tax dollars |

Over-development in St Johns county has depleted funds for parks and essential services.

County reduces commercial impact fees substantially |

St Johns cannot afford to lower impact fees, but does it anyway.

Land and Water

Whether you use a complex computer program, or just crunch the numbers–the result is the same–residential development without sustainable jobs does not pay for itself. We cannot afford more of the same.

School Expansion is Tied to Growth

Best article on tie in between residential development and costs of growth. Ocala is one of the many areas experiencing extreme growth.

County OK’s Doubling of Water, Sewer Impact Fees

Impact fees are required to keep taxpayers from paying for costs of infrastructure for new residential development.

Impact Fee Reductions Do Not Stimulate Development

Study done in 2010 by Dr. James Nicholas, a respected impact fee consultant from the University of Florida.

Water Supply

Cedar Key water issue a lesson for all |

Here’s what happens when a community runs out of water.  This is the salt water intrusion scenario which occurs when the flow of fresh water is reduced enough for saltwater from the ocean to enter fresh water supplies.

Cedar Key News: A North Florida Water War

A definitive overview of the water supply problem in Florida and the key players.

Tampa Bay area’s water supply is in ‘severe’ shortage – St. Petersburg Times

This is what happens when the water supply is “empty”—Tampa Bay style. Desalination is a costly option.

Florida unprepared for looming water crisis

The lack of urgency to address these problems is striking.

West Palm Beach’s Water Supply Could Dry Up By Spring

When the water supply runs out, the alternatives are complex, expensive and often don’t work well.

Use Less Water or Suffer, Review Warns

Northeast Florida drinking water supply is running low.

Florida Water Worries Clash with Cost Concerns

Central Florida has a water supply problem and a lot of development.

Florida’s springs face crisis from pollution, declining flows – Orlando Sentinel

Good description of Florida’ situation with springs.