Miami Mayor Is Now the Power Player in Land Development Outside Urban Development Boundary in Miami-Dade County: Will He Move the Line?

by Rosa Eckstein Schechter
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With the new Community Planning Act, the State of Florida is no longer regulating and overseeing land development in Florida, and that includes decisions on where the Urban Development Boundary will be, and what gets built outside of the UDB. Now, the local government will be responsible for those decisions -- and that means it's now part of the job for the new mayor of Miami-Dade County.

Who is the new mayor? We won't know until the runoff later this month.

On June 28, 2011, Julio Robaina and Carlos Gimenez will face a runoff election for Mayor of Miami-Dade County. Robiana is a former city mayor (Hialeah, Florida) and Gimenez is a former county commissioner (Miami-Dade) so either man, if elected, will not be new to the business of local government.

The key for real estate investors and land developers is what the future of real estate development in the Miami metroplex. What will happen to the Urban Development Boundary once the new mayor is elected?

This week, the Miami Herald reported on a meeting held between these two candidates and several groups concerned about the Florida environment, particularly the Miami area, where the environmental interests outlined their concerns to the two candidates in the hopes that the new local government will not lessen the growth management regulations that had been in place under the old state law.

Not too long ago, conservationists had a friend in the Governor's office. In 2009, Governor Crist forbid by executive order Miami Dade County Commissioners' attempt to move the Urban Development Boundary so that it overlapped into the Everglades National Park and its wetlands so developers could build a Lowe's shopping plaza. With Florida's current governor, Rick Scott, times have changed. The Florida lawmakers are concerned with fighting the Great Recession and in passing the Community Planning Act, this type of state intervention is a thing of the past.

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Rosa Eckstein Schechter
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