Four municipalities in Miami-Dade County want to expand their boundaries and the proposition comes with plenty of controversy.
The process is called annexation. It includes for example, a city expanding into unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County. Miami Springs is interested in annexing county land. So is Doral. The Village of Virginia Gardens is too as well as the Town of Medley. The four municipalities have been working on the plan for more than 15 years.
The mayor of Miami Springs said she is ready for her city to grow.
“We are in the center of Miami-Dade County, we are a small community,” said Mayor Maria Puente Mitchell. “Other communities, other municipalities, have been allowed to increase and diversify their land use and increase their commercial base. It only makes sense that we are allowed the same opportunity.”
But many people living and working in those unincorporated areas are highly opposed.
“It is a land grab pretty much, and it is all because of money,” said a Miami Springs real estate broker.
Longtime Springs business owner Melissa Uribe Gil is certain the property taxes on her industrial buildings will spike.
“We don’t know what we are going to be offered, we don’t know the benefits because we are going to pay this extra amount, so that is where the concern lies, where is the transparency here,” Uribe Gil said.
But elected officials in the four municipalities see it differently, saying annexation will expand their tax base, creating more access to their areas and offer more government services to businesses and residents.
County commissioners will have the final say on the matter. They got their first look at the plan at their meeting on Thursday, July 7th. More research will be done on the item. The commission is expected to make a final decision at a meeting in the near future.
View below the NBC6 South Florida news video ‘Several Cities In Miami-Dade Looking To Annex Unincorporated Areas. NBC 6’s Steve Litz speaks to local leaders and business owners about the possible change.