Miami-Dade mayor vetoes controversial Urban Development Boundary expansion

MIAMI – As expected, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava vetoed a controversial expansion of the county’s Urban Development Boundary Thursday.

After a protracted process featuring multiple deferrals, last week’s 8-4 county commission vote cleared the way for developers to convert farmland in south Miami-Dade into a new warehouse and commercial complex near Homestead.

Levine Cava has been strongly against the application from the get go. She had enough support from commissioners to block it, up until last week, when Commissioner Raquel Regalado flipped her “no” vote to a “yes.”

Following the vote, Regalado explained her decision on “This Week in South Florida.”

Levine Cava issued a statement explaining her veto:

“The future of our community depends on smart, sustainable development that strengthens our economy and protects our precious natural resources. Moving the Urban Development Boundary without the need to do so will have a detrimental impact on residents countywide for generations to come.

“This decision threatens our efforts to build a world-class, better connected, and more resilient community – undermining investments we are already making to expand transit and fortify neighborhoods against flooding and sea level rise. It jeopardizes our efforts to restore the Everglades and Biscayne Bay and protect our clean drinking water supply.

“It encourages development in areas at risk of storm surge, putting more properties at risk in the future, especially concerning in light of the devastation we just witnessed following Hurricane Ian. We clearly see in northern Biscayne Bay the impact that poorly-planned historic development has had on our ecosystem – threatening our vital tourism economy – as we clean up our third fish kill in as many years.

“This application prioritizes short-term financial gain – with no guarantee of job creation – at the expense of our shared economic prosperity and our precious natural environment. That’s why the proposal drew clear, bipartisan opposition from the residents and commissioner of district 8, county planning experts, advocates, and federal, state, local, and tribal leaders, including Senator Rubio and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and many others.

“Instead of looking beyond the UDB, we should be investing in smart development to build density along vibrant, growing corridors like the South Dade Transitway. Miami-Dade is ready for smart planning that looks into the future. I must veto this legislation so that we can continue building a strong, resilient foundation for future economic growth.”

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava

The commission could override the veto with another two-thirds vote.

The issue is expected to come back to commissioners on Tuesday.

Representatives for Regalado, considered to be the swing vote on the issue, didn’t indicate whether she would change her vote, saying that the public would find out Tuesday.

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About the Authors:

Cody Weddle joined Local 10 News as a full-time reporter in South Florida in August of 2022. Before that, Cody worked regularly with Local 10 since January of 2017 as a foreign correspondent in Venezuela and Colombia.

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.