The Miami-Dade County Planning Advisory Board denied plans for West Miami to annex a portion of nearby land.
At a meeting on Sept. 3, the advisory board ruled to deny the city’s application to annex an area west from Southwest 67th Avenue to 71st Avenue (on the east side of Southwest 71st Avenue) and Southwest Eighth Street to Southwest 12th Street (on the north side of the street).
The decision doesn’t completely shut down the effort, City Manager Yolanda Aguilar said.
“The matter is not dead,” she said. “We would have liked to have seen a favorable recommendation.”
The application can still be submitted for review by Miami-Dade County Commissioners.
“Our application is still alive, and the process continues,” she wrote in an email directed to commissioners.
The area contains both residential and industrial areas. Currently, there are 5,878 residents in West Miami. In the new area, there are 176 registered voters.
If the county were to grant the land to West Miami, it would save the county money, Aguilar said.
“They are taking a financial loss from servicing this area,” she said. “If they were to relinquish it, it would save them $200,000,” she said.
Planning board member Carla Ascencio-Savola said she thinks annexing is a premature move.
“They are grabbing a land full of industrial properties,” she said in a phone interview. “They would take fewer than 250 residents, so there would be no vote. These people didn’t ask to be annexed.”
According to a county rule, a city can take over without a vote if there are fewer than 250 registered voters, Savola said.
Linda Springer manages property in the proposed annex area, and she opposes joining West Miami.
“It’s going to increase our taxes tremendously. We don’t need them. We are happy with Miami-Dade County,” she said in a phone interview. “It’s going to be detrimental to the residents because their taxes will go up.”
Springer said that people who own property and live in the area are working on a petition. She also added that she would like to be able to vote on the annex.
“The tenants are struggling to pay the rent,” Springer said. “It could affect everyone.”
However, Century Plumbing, located in the proposed annex area at 901 SW 69th Ave., supports the annexation.
“We the undersigned business owner of Century Properties Inc. fall in the city of West Miami annexation area and fully support and favor the annexation efforts and plans,” Carlos Pino, president of the company, wrote in a letter. “Our business will benefit from all the services that are going to be provided by the city of West Miami.”
If West Miami were to add the portion of land, it would take in about $337,000, based on the current tax rate of $6.88 for every $1,000 of assessed value, Aguilar said.
The number doesn’t include additional revenues coming from sales taxes, zoning certificates and occupational licenses.
The process started back in June.
“The process will continue,” she said.
If approved, she said the annexation could be a reality by early next year.