The new mayor of Miami Dade County will be more important than ever when it comes to holding the line on construction and development outside the Urban Development Boundary, following state changes recently approved by Governor Rick Scott, the Miami Herald reported.
For more than 30 years, the boundary which keeps growth from moving west and south into fragile farm lands, has been a major pin in expanding large-scale development. Changes by the Republican-controlled Legislature signed by Scott have severely limited state control of planning decisions, such as moving the UBD.
“The legislation takes the power from Tallahassee and puts it more in the hands of local officials,” said T. Spencer Crowley, a Miami land-use attorney. “It doesn’t mean the UDB will automatically be moved, but it will be easier because of the state’s limited involvement in objecting to changes.”
As a result, whoever is elected new county mayor — former Hialeah mayor Julio Robaina and former county commissioner Carlos Gimenez will compete in a June 28 runoff — will be placed in an even more decisive role in the ongoing debate over the UDB.