Miami-Dade County commissioners vote on urban development boundary

Miami-Dade County commissioners are to take a vote on a plan that could affect the Everglades.

A zoning board meeting is set to take place on Thursday where officials would have to decide where to move the Urban Development Boundary (UDB) line; a change that has not been touched since 2013.

The UDB is a border that was put in place in 1983 to limit where developers can build as it is designed to protect the Everglades and the county’s dwindling farmland.

Environmental activists argued that expanding the boundary would create more urban sprawl or rather, the rapid expansion of the geographic extent of cities and towns, at the expense of the Everglades.

Developers needed nine votes to approve the expansion of the UDB, but on May 19, they were only able to secure seven votes at a commissioner meeting.

Five commissioners voted against the project to extend the boundary line.

A new vote will be required to move the borderline as former Miami-Dade commissioner Joe Martinez was suspended on Tuesday.

According to The Home Rule Amendment and Charter of Miami-Dade, “…any decision to include any additional land within the Urban Development Boundary of the County’s Comprehensive Development Master Plan shall require a two-thirds vote of the Board of County Commissioners then in office.”

County lawyers calculated that this move now needs eight votes instead of nine.

If Gov. Ron DeSantis appoints a new commissioner before 9:30 a.m., Thursday, then that newly appointed person will be able to vote.