A high-end version of life on the farm could be the next trend in suburban real estate outside Miami if a developer can loosen limits for construction on agricultural land near the Everglades.
Opponents of a commercial project in South Miami-Dade are hoping to overturn county approval of the venture in a legal challenge filed this week that would reverse a narrowly approved expansion of the Urban Development Boundary.
Overturning the veto clears the way for warehouses on coastal land targeted for Everglades restoration. South Florida water managers have been asked to intervene.
Standing against the majority of the Board of County Commissioners, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced her veto of a more than 370 acre expansion of the Urban Development Boundary (UDB) on Thursday, Nov. 10.
A confidential offering memorandum distributed to potential investors last year, shows that the developers of the South Dade Logistics and Technology District — the complex of warehouses they want to build across the Urban Development Boundary — were counting on the “relationships” they had to make it happen.
Developers are trying to pressure Miami-Dade commissioners to expand the urban development boundary, which would help build a new industrial park in a flood and sea rise prone area. But what is the urban development boundary?
County commissioners last week decided, for the first time in nine years, to allow development past the boundary line that separates Miami-Dade County’s suburbs from agricultural land and the Everglades.
Developers wanting to expand the Urban Development Boundary for the first time since 2013 fell short on support with the Miami-Dade County Commission on Thursday, securing a last-minute delay on a vote to turn 800 acres of farmland into a warehouse complex in an area environmental groups want protected.
A recent poll commissioned by the Hold the Line coalition showed that 54% oppose moving the line. When presented with arguments for and against it, 60% of survey participants opposed expanding the UDB, preferring to protect the environment and drinking water supply. In comparison, 29% supported it to build more affordable single-family homes
Miami now ranks as the least affordable region in the country, with the typical tenant paying a staggering 59.5% of monthly household income to pay rent. As Realtor.com notes, the federal housing department considers affordable rent to cost 30% of household income, and anything more to be unaffordable.
The Urban Development Boundary is a legal divide on Miami-Dade’s land-planning maps that governs how much construction can occur on a piece of land.
The UDB encourages development closer to existing houses and businesses, where roads, transit lines, schools and other government services already exist and also serves as a buffer between development and environmentally sensitive lands around the Everglades.
The fate of Biscayne Bay is once again before the Miami-Dade County Commission, who must now decide whether to extend the county’s boundary to allow a massive industrial complex on what is now farmland in South Dade.
It’s a nearly 800-acre parcel of land environmentalists say is vital to restoring the Everglades and the health of Biscayne Bay.
Developers plan to remedy storm surge issues by raising the elevation of the proposed project by up to 9 feet. But that has neighbors worried.
“So if you let them raise that land all that water is going to be pushed to us. I’m totally against it."
Friends of The Everglades Clean Water Conservations:
Homestead Is At A Tipping Point