MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County commissioners have opted to postpone a final vote on a proposal that would turn 800 acres of farmland in South Miami-Dade into an industrial park.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava expressed her disapproval of the proposed expansion of the Urban Development Boundary, or UDB, during a news conference held Thursday night.
“I’m going to work hard and pray that the application does not pass,” she said.
Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins addressed the decision to table a vote.
“Nobody made the motion to approve this application today because they know they don’t have the nine [votes], at least as we stand here today,” she said.
During Thursday’s hours-long meeting, commissioners discussed the controversial proposal.
They listened to hundreds of people who had an opportunity to express their views in support and in opposition of expanding the development zone.
“We need opportunities to feed our families,” said a supporter.
“I’m here to ask you to deny this proposal,” said an opponent.
“This could be a transformational project for the South Miami-Dade County area,” said another supporter.
Cohen Higgins compared the proposed expansion to another part of the county.
“Key Biscayne is 798 acres, just four acres larger than the land that is in question here,” she said.
Back in 2021, commissioners gave preliminary approval for the industrial park, called the South Dade Logistics and Technology District, which would have warehouses, a hotel, and a shopping center. It promises over 11,000 jobs in the area south of the Florida Turnpike.
Opponents of the proposal have objected to the location of the industrial park: between Southwest 107th and 122nd avenues and north of Southwest 268th Street.”
“I understand the need for jobs, but this is the wrong location,” said an opponent.
Commissioner Joe Martinez pointed out the discussion on this matter has been ongoing.
“We’ve been here so many times about the UDB,” he said.
The UDB is the line that was put in place in 1983 to limit where developers can build. It is designed to protect the Everglades and the county’s dwindling farmland.
Opponents made sure to voice their concerns on the impact that the industrial park would have on the environment.
“These 800 acres are outside the UDB for a reason, and an industrial complex will decimate any chance of restoring this area,” said an opponent.
Levine Cava also weighed in on the proposal.
“By denying this application, we are guaranteeing the necessary land to continue with the critical Everglades restoration,” she said.
But supporters indicated the complex would bring in jobs.
“I want us to have clean water, fresh air, so I’m on both sides,” said attendee Linda Roberts. “You got to put food on the table, you know? You got to go to work, you got to have transportation to get to work.”
Levine Cava, meanwhile, said development cannot come at the cost of the environment.
“Sustainable economic development for South Dade and for our entire county must be built on a foundation of protecting our environment,” she said.
Ultimately, commissioners decided to table their final vote. It is now scheduled for June 1.
“I can’t imagine what would change between today and June 1st, but we will see. It’s entirely up to the board to make those decisions,” said Cohen Higgins. “They need nine votes.”
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