Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Urban Development Boundary in Miami-Dade County: again, and again, and again ... by gimleteye

Mayor Carlos Gimenez is like a hungry dog on a bone with his plan to extend SR 836 into the last remaining farmland in Southwest Miami-Dade.

This holy grail of developer insiders at County Hall -- many of whom have fallow investments for a decade, since the financial crash -- is being sold as a "cure" for traffic congestion that should have been fixed generations ago on the county commission. Like for instance, when Gimenez was a county commissioner.

In the late 1990's, money from a transportation bond was frittered away plugging budget holes elsewhere. Developers -- mainly interested in keeping infrastructure costs low -- and county hall insiders opposed every measure where transit planning could pre-empt cookie-cutter subdivisions in low-cost wetlands or farmland.

This week, the Planning Advisory Board recommended to transmit to the full county commission the highway expansion project which will, naturally, lead to more pressure to transform lands beyond the UDB to suburban sprawl. Because that is who we are. Because that is what we do.

No journalism entity in Miami has written and published as much on the Urban Development Boundary, transit and environmental issues as Eye On Miami. (Click this link, for an archive.)

Our interest in the UDB is on several levels, but in general this artificial line -- created by politicians -- separates the areas that receive urban services (fire, police, water and sewer) subsidized by taxpayers from those that don't. The UDB, moreover, is a point of conflict. And points of conflict always highlight the values of a society. To me, that is what holds my interest in the UDB. It tells the story of South Florida better than any other.

Jim Morin's most recent UDB cartoon 
That explains, too, the interest of Miami Herald, award-winning political cartoonist Jim Morin. We've collected a number of Morin cartoons on the UDB over the years. Many years. He is our fellow chronicler and, after all we've published on the UDB, a picture is still worth a thousand words.









3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this timely article. The Mayor's Urban Expansion Area Task force has been in session for some time now. Every ten years this happens to explore the possibility of moving the UDB. The task force is made up of stake holders from across the county. The developers want the line moved out to Krome Avenue and all the way south to 168th street which would eat up vast areas of farmland. There are people who sit on that committee who,supposedly, represent agriculture, but in reality want to eliminate the UDB and bring in more expressways. This is because they represent land owners who cry "property rights" and want to be allowed to sell out to the developers in spite of zoning calling for one house per 5 acres outside the UDB. Farmers who lease that land want to be able to continue growing crops. Please call your commissioners and tell them to not allow this to happen as we desperately need to protect farmland, (food supply) open space, water recharge areas and to provide a buffer between sprawl and the Everglades.

Milly from Hialeah said...

I recall joining a large group of citizens back in 2005, and then again in 2010, trying to hold the line. We can call our elected officials all we want, write to them, and even meet with them, but they are all hypocrites who do not give a darn about what you or I or any sensible citizens thinks. Once you become a thorn on their side, they will ignore you. All we can do is hope that more citizens will get to the pools and vote them out of office - vote them out of the political arena completely.

Barbara Falsey said...

I think I may still have a couple of hold the line t-shirts around. A fight that never goes away. I also recall the Mayor committing to holding the line and being congratulated by environmentalists for doing so. Oh what a tangled web - may be caught in it.