I moved to the Redland Agricultural Area after the rural Miami-Dade land where I grew up was erased by development.
That was when I learned agriculture is Dade’s #2 industry, and under constant assault by developers and county planners. That was when I learned about the UDB — the Miami-Dade Urban Development Boundary line that has been tortured for decades into a jagged, zig zag, cutting through our rural community.
A line that has become an exhausting tug of war, between those of us who live, breathe and grow things there and developers, who want to pave it over for profits.
I have been involved in many of those battles. I have emailed county commissioners, pleading for support in protecting agriculture, the UDB, and the aquifer we rely on for fresh drinking water. Because we do not have central access to our governing officials in this county, I must take a car, then a bus, then Metrorail to come before the commission to speak. Developers count on this fact to discourage attendance of anyone who opposes their plans. And it works!
They know that even when our Council 14 has the good sense to deny their plans to cut ag-land into little “estates,” they can simply go before the county commission with their lawyers to appeal our council’s vote, even when the council votes unanimously to deny. And when some of us do manage to travel across the county to oppose an appeal, I see a majority of the board vote in favor of the developer. What voice do we have when only two commissioners represent our agricultural area and the rest vote in favor of developers?
County planning officials who propose moving the UDB are brazenly rejecting the findings of their own task force study, which according to public record, “unquestionably rejected attempts to expand the present UDB line.”
We need county officials who will vote to Hold the Line to protect agriculture.