When the Florida Legislature considered repealing burdensome septic system regulations, the Coalition for Property Rights joined the Florida Realtor’s Association and the Florida Home Builder Association and others in educating lawmakers on the merits of a more affordable and reasonable set of requirements. The bill is now law and will save Floridians billions of dollars.
CPR was founded in 2001 as a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to bring greater public awareness to the importance of property rights. “We have a three-pronged action plan,” said Dan Peterson, CPR’s executive director. “First, we educate. That is, we inform citizens, elected officials and others of the importance of private property rights and the threats they face today.”
The coalition reaches out through events, such as FFVA’s recent June board meeting, where Peterson updated board members of CPR’s progress and relevance. It also communicates its message via issues forums with lawmakers, its website, publications, social media and more.
“The second part of the action plan is to advocate,” Peterson said. “We get involved at the city, county and state level.” The North Port training session is a recent example. CPR provides public testimony, letters of support for property owners, strategic counsel and leadership to manage property rights campaigns.
“And finally, we activate. That is, [we] empower property rights advocates so that they can effectively get the message out to the community and get others involved,” Peterson said. CPR offers a resource library on its website as well as its CPR Leadership Seminar, “The Effective Advocate.” Key issues the organization focuses on include zoning changes and eminent domain. Peterson said CPR teams are being formed throughout the state to research activity related to those issues. It is also improving its website so residents can post information and bring attention to local threats to private property rights. An example of the CPR in action took place last month in Pasco County. In an unincorporated part of the county, a small church offered itself as a “cold night shelter” for the homeless. Through that experience, church members decided to start a full-time homeless shelter ministry.
At a recent Pasco County Commission hearing, the church’s attorney gave a 30-minute presentation emphasizing the county’s need for such a shelter. Residents were given their opportunity to voice their opposition, citing safety concerns of their neighborhood. They described how their neighborhood had quickly changed and offered testimony of drug and alcohol use by the homeless being brought to the shelter. Some residents said they had found people from the shelter wandering the neighborhood and sleeping on private property. Still others spoke of their fear of increased crime. They documented the criminal records of some of those using the church as a shelter.
CPR weighed in by testifying on the residents’ behalf, citing the incompatibility of the church’s request and the safety concerns for the neighborhood, especially since an elementary school entrance was 900 feet from the church.
CPR applauded the church for its mission but opposed its location and encouraged the commission to work with the church to solve the difficult problem. The commissioners voted to deny the request of the church, siding with the residents.
“This case highlights the impact citizen-residents can make when they speak up to protect their property rights and neighborhood,” said Peterson. “CPR will continue to work with residents in the community and will conduct a training seminar, ‘The Effective Advocate,’ for them.”
To learn more about the Coalition for Property Rights organization and leadership, explore proprights.com or click on any of these links: