Commissioners postpone vote on real estate proposal facing state, fed opposition

Commissioners postponed a controversial vote on Miami-Dade County’s Urban Development Boundary, a limit on construction projects near the western border with the Florida Everglades wetlands preserve.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Commissioners postponed a controversial vote on Miami-Dade County’s Urban Development Boundary, a limit on construction projects near nature reserves.

Aligned Real Estate Holdings asked commissioners to expand the boundary. The Brickell-based company wants to use about 800 acres of agricultural land to build the South Dade Logistics and Technology District.

The land extends west of Southwest 107th Avenue from Southwest 268th to 256th streets. It is west of the Mangrove Preserve and northeast of the Homestead Air Reserve.

“The urban development boundary is not set in stone,” said Commissioner Joe A. Martinez, who represents District 11.

Aligned Real Estate Holdings' proposal (.)

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried opposes the UDB expansion as “unnecessary” and said the project would further destabilize water management in the area.

“Approving this plan would be a big mistake of massive consequence,” Fried said in a statement on Thursday.

County staff and The U.S. Department of the Interior also opposed the proposal. Adam Gelber said approving the proposal is a mistake. He is the director of the Office of Everglades Restoration at the U.S. Department of Interior.

“It has taken 22 years for restoration to come to Miami Dade County,” Gelber said during the meeting Thursday.

If the proposal gets approved, the real estate company estimates the project will create over 17,000 jobs. Critics said there are other properties within the boundary where the project can happen.

Commissioners deferred the vote to June 1.

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Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.