Miami Shores approved moving forward in its annexation of commercial property on Northeast 108th Street, despite two business owners plea against the action.
The area, home to Kmart, a Chase bank and the Busy Bee Car Wash, sits west of Biscayne Boulevard and east of Northeast 12th Avenue between 105th and 108th streets.
At a special council meeting Tuesday night, Jim Mulholland, owner of the car wash, and a lawyer representing Sears Holding, the owner of Kmart, voiced their objections against the village’s high tax rate and potential property development rights that would accompany the annexation.
“I’m concerned about the level of service that I’m going to be required to have to pay for rather than enjoying through Dade County,” Mulholland said. “It doesn’t feel right at this point.”
Miami Shores’ tax rate is the third-highest in the county. The village charges $8.64 per $1,000 in taxable home value. The equivalent taxes for municipal services from Miami-Dade County come to about $2.21 per $1,000 in taxable home value.
Residents who attended the meeting, however, nearly rejoiced at the decision.
“The opportunity for the residents in that area to have that K-mart property become part of Miami Shores would be extremely valuable to our piece of mind in terms of what happens to that property if K-mart is not there in two to six months,” said Jenna Rinehart Rassi, who lives west of the property. “And allowing the Shores to have some say over what happens with that property is extremely important to the people who are in that isolated section.”
The council unanimously voted in favor of the addition, which would include a grocery store that is currently being built on a small section of the property. Once approved, the three business would provide additional tax revenue and assist keeping tax rates the same.
“No one is trying to change anything that going on over there. What we’re trying to do is just bring that corner into the community so that the residents who are set up behind it aren’t on their own,” said Davis. “It’s the right thing to do to move forward.”
The next step for the village will be to complete the county’s annexation application, but staff said there’s no rush in the process. Before any decision is made, three public hearings will be held the address the annexation that will round out part of the Shores’ north and east borders.
“This is a corner that would make Miami Shores complete,” Mayor Herta Holly said.
The final decision on the annexation will be left up to the county commission.
“I’m hoping that through the process this becomes a win-win for everybody involved,” Councilman Jim McCoy said.
Current Miami Shores code does not authorize a car wash within the village, but the council mentioned perhaps grandfathering in Busy Bee or updating the town’s zoning code to include the car wash.
The next Village Council meeting will be held 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at 10050 NE Second Ave.