The Real Deal Miami

Petition could allow Miami Beach to annex two islands along the Venetian Causeway

County officials may consider the petition to move Biscayne Island and San Marco Island out of the jurisdiction of the city of Miami and into Miami Beach if 20% of the islands' residents sign it
September 22, 2018 10:15AM

San Marco Island (bottom left) and Biscayne Island (Credit: The Reznik Group)

Residents of two of the six artificial islands along the Venetian Causeway are circulating petition to allow Miami Beach to annex them.

The Miami-Dade County planning board and county commissioners would have to approve a proposed annexation of Biscayne and San Marco, the two westernmost islands along the Venetian Causeway between South Beach and downtown Miami.

The county code also would require residents of the two islands to vote on annexation into Miami Beach.

Diana Fontani, a resident of Biscayne Island, told the Miami Herald that 13 percent of the households of Biscayne and San Marco have signed a petition supporting annexation of the islands by Miami Beach.

Supporters would need signatures from 20 percent of the approximately 370 households on the two islands to file an annexation petition with Miami-Dade County.

One incentive is lower taxes. Home owners on Biscayne and San Marco pay higher property taxes to Miami than home owners on the other four artificial islands – Belle Isle, Di Lido, Rivo Alto and San Marino – pay to Miami Beach.

Other incentives include code enforcement. Biscayne Island resident Mario Reyes told the Miami Herald that that Miami’s city government has been unresponsive to complaints about blighted vacant lots on the island.

Families on Biscayne and San Marco islands also want access to after-school programs at a Miami Beach youth center for their children because similar programs in Miami are farther away.

The county planning board and Miami-Dade commissioners would have to approve a proposed annexation of Biscayne and San Marco, the two westernmost islands along the Venetian Causeway between South Beach and downtown Miami. The county code also would require residents of the two islands to vote on annexation. [Miami Herald]Mike Seemuth