By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, a longtime environmental advocate, is not happy with the decision by commissioners to expand the Urban Development Boundary (UDB) and turn hundreds of acres of farmland into an industrial park.

Miami-Dade commissioners on Thursday gave preliminary approval to let developers build warehouses on 800 acres of farmland off the Florida Turnpike.

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The UDB forms the outer edges of where companies can build housing developments, malls, and warehouses, and creates a development buffer designed to protect the Everglades and Miami-Dade’s declining footprint of farmland.

However, commissioners voted 9-3 to send the expansion application to state agencies for review.

Mayor Cava, who opposes the project, released a statement following the vote that read:

“We are a community with a history of preserving and protecting our environment and preventing encroachment into the Everglades. The area being proposed for development outside the UDB is at risk to hurricane storm surges and extremely vulnerable to sea level rise, and so the project poses a great risk to our local environment particularly Biscayne Bay.

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We should be charting a new, sustainable and climate resilient course for Miami-Dade – a path forward that strengthens our economy in a smart and sustainable way, not one that dismantles our history of important preservation. I proudly represented South Dade on the County Commission and now as Mayor, I stand ready to work with stakeholders, elected leaders and the community to ensure that smart economic development and job creation are at the forefront for the region.”

The 800-acre site is slated for warehouses, a hotel, and shopping center located north of SW 268 Street between 107th and 122nd Avenues. The northern boundary is the Turnpike extension that connects Homestead with the expressway.

A second vote will be needed after the state reviews the proposal.

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