Congratulations to Mayor Martell of the Town of Medley.  The town’s annexation application was approved at Tuesday’s Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioner’s meeting.  However, it was only approved after the Town agreed to four years of mitigation payments back to the County.  The vote was 10-2 in favor of the Medley annexation application.

The Medley and VG annexation applications were approved last year by the prior Commission.  However, Miami-Dade Mayor Levine-Cava vetoed the annexation because she wanted mitigation payments.  Tuesday’s vote gave the County Mayor what she wanted from the Town of Medley.

What about Virginia Gardens?

Well, the Virginia Gardens annexation application was deferred by newly elected County Commissioner, Kevin Marino Cabrera.  Commissioner Cabrera was elected to represent District 6 which includes Miami Springs, Virginia Gardens, parts of Hialeah, and parts of Coral Gables.

Kevin Marino Cabrera

Cabrera surprised the Village of Virginia Gardens when he made a motion to survey the business owners in the areas the Village of Virginia Gardens wants to annex.  Cabrera expressed his desire to give the property owners a voice in the matter even though they can’t vote.  As you know, only residents can vote in elections.

The survey itself will be non-binding.  Nevertheless, the results of the survey will likely show a majority of business owners will not want to be annexed.  Duh.  Unless annexation was going to lower the taxes for the businesses, and then they would all be in favor of it.  The areas being annexed will benefit from better city services including streets, flood control, policing, etc.  But let’s be honest, most of these businesses would rather stick to the status quo.

So what will the County Commission do after the survey comes back?  Who knows.  But the survey will likely make it harder to get annexation approved.

Virginia Gardens was ready to accept the 4 years of mitigation payments just as the Town of Medley did.  Let’s be clear.  The Town of Medley’s application was approved because newly elected County Commissioner JC Bermudez (who represents Medley) pushed it forward and received 10 votes in favor of it.  In the case of Virginia Gardens, Kevin Marino Cabrera (who represents VG & Miami Springs) chose not to move it forward as JC Bermudez did.  As stated above, Cabrera decided to push for the survey of the areas being annexed instead of just pushing to approve the VG application with the mitigation fees.  The Village of Virginia Gardens was ready to accept the annexation with the 4 years of mitigation fees.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kevin Marino Cabrera
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kevin Marino Cabrera

NOTE:  Surveys were never part of any prior annexations.  Whether it was Sweetwater annexing a huge area that includes the areas west of the Turnpike (near the Dolphin Mall) that includes the new Home Depot and Telemundo Studios or the recently approved annexation of Medley.  Furthermore, Sweetwater wasn’t required to pay mitigation payments.  That was something Commissioner Bermudez highlighted when arguing against the mitigation fees the County Mayor wanted.

Ray of Hope or Buyer’s Remorse?

After 20 years of attempting to annex the area to our west, Virginia Gardens had their application approved only to have the application vetoed by the County Mayor because she wanted mitigation fees. Then, the item was on the agenda to be approved with four years of mitigation fees only to be pulled back by our representative Commissioner, Kevin Marino Cabrera.

There’s no sugar coating this for Virginia Gardens.  Cabrera had an opportunity to have the VG annexation move forward this week.  The Board of County Commissioners had already voted in favor of annexation.  The board would have likely voted in favor of VG’s annexation again with the additional mitigation fees the County Mayor wanted.  But instead, VG’s annexation application has been held indefinitely pending the survey.

Here’s why I say there’s a ray of hope…maybe?  Commissioner Cabrera wants a survey conducted for areas VG wants to annex AND the areas Miami Springs wants to annex.  In other words, the County Commissioner has added Miami Springs back to the annexation conversation.

However, Cabrera’s vote begs the following question.  Is this survey being used to help Miami Springs and Virginia Gardens ultimately move forward with their respective annexation applications?  Or is the survey being used to kill the annexation applications by both municipalities?  Only time will tell.

Stay tuned as the twenty year annexation saga continues…




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here