Miami Springs, Medley and Virginia Gardens are moving fast to annex land.
Back in 2010, the Miami Dade County Planning Advisory Board voted unanimously against annexation proposals from each city.
The three cities have since regrouped and are ready to give it another shot. On Mar. 2, residents received a city mailer announcing an annexation “lift off.”
“The long-term push to annex the light industrial areas along with our western border is again on track, with a county commission vote anticipated for this spring,” the mailer says.
“This is an item that is moving pretty fast,” said Jose Fuentes, an attorney with Becker & Poliakoff who has been advising Miami Springs on the annexation process. “We are looking at an April date.”
Miami Springs City Manager Ron Gorland noted that Fuentes is of the city’s two key players involved in the process, the other is Mayor Zavier Garcia.
“We got support from some commissioners we weren’t expecting to get,” said Mayor Garcia, who thanked city employees for working tirelessly over the weekend to crunch numbers needed to get support. “Just know it was because of the staff.”
Miami Springs wants land that is part of the airport business district west to the Palmetto Expressway but city officials disclosed at the meeting that they no longer sought the Florida East Coast Railway property.
“There is no need for Miami Springs to entertain FEC property,” said City Attorney Jan Seiden, who added that the railroad planned to write a letter supporting annexation should they be excluded.
Miami Springs has successfully annexed land in the past, including areas that include George T. Baker Aviation and the Embassy Suites Hotel.
Virginia Gardens and Medley have been working closely with Miami Springs so that the four-city agreement, Doral included, continues to move forward.
“This goes back 12 years,” said Virginia Gardens Mayor Spencer Deno. “We were told by the county commission not to come back until all four cities agreed.”
Deno added that the cities finally agreed about three years ago.
“We need to meet two conditions: keep the borders the same and lower the millage rate while having the least impact on businesses,” said Deno.
Virginia Gardens is looking to annex an area across Northwest 36th Street that includes the airport business district west to the Palmetto Expressway, as well as some frontage road near Miami International Airport.
“This is ready to be approved by the county commission,” said Medley Town Attorney Michael Pizzi, at a Feb. 19 council meeting to discuss annexation. “It will provide a substantial increase in revenue to Medley and it may help lower the tax rate.”
Pizzi called the meeting a “special update” to keep leaders abreast of the town’s plans.
“You are not going to vote for another month,” Pizzi told the council.
Medley wants to annex several square miles of property in different pockets in unincorporated Miami-Dade that would also extend its boundaries.
Doral seeks to annex property at the south and west sides of the city. Doral had previously been interested in annexing the Dolphin Mall, but Sweetwater has since beat Doral to the punch, annexing the shopping center in 2010.