As Miami Springs, Virginia Gardens, Medley, and Doral move forward with their annexation applications there’s a lot of talk about the businesses in the area complaining that they don’t want to be annexed. They say it’s taxation without representation.
Most of the owners of the properties in the unincorporated area to our west are themselves Miami-Dade County residents and have had plenty of time to bring the issue up with the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners. This thing has been going on for over 20 years. Let’s look back at how we got here.
COUNTY NO LONGER WANTS ENCLAVES
About twenty years ago, Miami-Dade County made it clear that it did not want unincorporated enclaves. What’s an unincorporated enclave? Here’s the definition from Miami-Dade County:
An unincorporated enclave area is defined as an area that would be 1) surrounded on more than eighty (80) percent of its boundary by one (1) or more municipalities and 2) of a size that could not be serviced efficiently or effectively
For decades, everything to our west was unincorporated. However, once the City of Doral incorporated on January 28, 2003, it created an enclave. An unincorporated area surrounded on more than 80 percent of its boundary by one or more municipalities. In this case, Doral, Medley, Miami Springs, and Virginia Gardens.
There were initial disagreements on which cities should incorporate what. The 4 cities quickly came to a 4 city agreement. The City of Miami Springs had two elections where the residents voted in favor of the annexation.
In other words, the four municipalities have worked in good faith with their residents, with each other, and with Miami-Dade County to eliminate the unincorporated donut hole. Meanwhile, Miami-Dade County has dragged its feet on this annexation for nearly twenty years.
Enough is enough, each municipality has done its part in good faith to fulfill the request from Miami-Dade County to eliminate these unincorporated enclaves or donut holes. The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners should not punt this to the next Commission and should approve the annexation applications once and for all.
I can’t stress this enough. The County wanted to eliminate donut holes or enclaves. That was not a Miami Springs initiative. That was a County initiative. It’s time to get it done.