Miami-Dade commissioners override mayor’s veto of Urban Development Boundary expansion

MIAMI – Miami-Dade County commissioners overrode Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s veto of a controversial plan to expand the county’s Urban Development Boundary, allowing it to go through Tuesday.

After a protracted process featuring multiple deferrals, commissioners voted earlier this month to clear the way for developers to convert farmland in south Miami-Dade into a new warehouse and commercial complex near Homestead.

“I am very disappointed that the county commission chose the short-term financial gain of a few over the long-term health and wellbeing of our environment and economy,” Levine Cava said in a statement following the vote. “Moving the (UDB) without a proven need to do so threatens all the work we have already done to build a world-class, better connected, more resilient Miami-Dade.”

Levine Cava went on to say that federal and state officials have shown the development “will undermine the millions of dollars and years we have already invested to restore Biscayne Bay and the Everglades. At the same time, the project brings no guarantee of jobs for South Dade residents – while setting a dangerous precedent to allow irresponsible development in the areas most at risk for flooding and sea level rise.”

Their original eight-to-four vote was veto-proof and no commissioners changed their votes Tuesday, including Commissioner Raquel Regalado, who had been considered the swing vote.

The decades-old Urban Development Boundary is designed to protect sensitive land in the county’s rural and agricultural areas, particularly in the Everglades.

“Instead of moving the UDB, we should be encouraging development and redevelopment within our urban area to create more jobs and housing that people can afford,” Levine Cava said. “This is not the end of smart planning or sustainable development in our county. My administration will continue to do everything in our power to invest in planning and policies that look to the future, as we work to create more vibrant, connected neighborhoods, strengthen our economy, and protect our precious natural resources.”

While the move garnered support from some registered Republicans and Democrats on the commission, it’s also garnered bipartisan opposition.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, a reliable supporter of business, has said he’s opposed to the expansion, saying that it would set back efforts to restore and protect Biscayne Bay and the Everglades.

The vocal “Hold the Line” group says it’s weighing the possibility of appealing the decision.

“Today, they played politics and did not vote with the public in mind,” organizer Claudia Sebastiani said.

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

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