Sen. Doriot has introduced SB 132 which is similar to SB 90 that he introduced last year. The bill would prohibit local government from requiring people developing real estate to dedicate rights-of-way as part of the development process. Instead, local government would have to use the more cumbersome and expensive eminent domain process. Last year, I had this to say:
Sen. Doriot has introduced SB 90 which would limit the development planning powers of local government. In particular, it dictates that a unit of local government cannot require the donation of right-of-way to the unit as a condition of permitting subdivision of a parcel. Instead, if the unit wants the right of way, under this legislation, it needs to buy the right of way from the developer. Unless I’m missing something, this is a bad idea. Large parcels of agricultural land don’t make the same kind of demands on public infrastructure as land that is subdivided for (usually) residential purposes. So, it’s entirely appropriate for a local unit of government to regulate the subdivision process to require that the developer make certain concessions that will offset the demands and reduce the costs to the public.
In this case, the proposed legislation would likely encourage the development of subdivisions that open up onto narrow county roads that were adequate for agricultural uses but were never intended to serve more intensive uses. Alternately, the taxpayers of the unit of government would have to pay to acquire additional right-of-way in order to serve the development that the landowner probably just made a bundle off of carving up into residential lots.
I stand by that position. More than once, I’ve driven through heavily populated areas full of subdivisions that open up on to narrow roads sided by open drainage ditches and no shoulder, let alone a sidewalk or a bike lane. You’re taking your life into your own hands if you want to walk or bike. Traffic is invariably congested. It’s just poor land development planning. Tying the hands of local government in this fashion will just increase these kinds of areas.