In case you don't already know, there's an Urban Develepment Boder issue in Miami Dade county. Get up to speed here.
As a quick and slightly drunken rundown...
Miami-Dade County has a border that officially marks where urban development ends, and farmland + nature begins. This border has been disputed lately, largely because developers are trying to develop right outside the already determined line. The largest and most impactful development in the works is a community called Parkland, a 7,000 home suburb which would be erected during a time when unemployment is high and more houses than ever are sitting empty accross the nation.
It is painfully clear that there is no need to expand the UDB.
Miami-Dade is already a ridiculous sprawl as it is; it takes half an hour or more to get anywhere. Miami needs to build up, not out. County planners agree that Miami has plenty of land within the UDB that is ripe for usage before we need to even think about expanding. With proper usage of free land within the UDB, as well as using urban development as a tool to improve currently deteriorating communities, the people of Miami might actually find their city accessible and easy to get around in, for once.
Furthermore, farmland doesn't just pop up anywhere. If it already exists where it does, it is a precious resource that should not be stripped barren and pummelled like a porn-star's lady bits.
The same could be said for precious wetlands. For me, the question is, "What mysterious quality is there to farmland and wildlife preserves that Miami-Dade proper doesn't have, that's got developers licking their bottom-line-loving-lips?"
Oh yeah, it's cheaper to buy...no mystery there! Manatees be damned, cutting costs is priority number one!
Speaking of manatees being damned, this brings me to my previously mentioned "beef with commissioners." Lets start with Natacha Sieja of District 13, who amongst sucking in general, votes in favor of expanding the UDB. There is so much to say about Natacha Sieja, that by now, any dirt I could dig up on her is old news. This being the case, I'll just point out one particular instance of lameness. She has openly voiced that she dislikes Manatees, an animal that can eat 10-15% of its body weight daily. For no particular reason I find this mildly ironic.
Now for commissioner of District 12. At first, It appears plausible that Jose "Pepe" Diaz's inspiration for wanting to expand the UDB is simple; a little good ol' fashioned bribery. Mr. Diaz is under federal investigation for allegedly recieving gifts from developers whose plans he's voted for, but I think that's too simple. I've got a theory, suggesting that the root of this issue runs deeper than mere corruption.
I think the man has adequacey issues. I mean, I almost feel sorry for him; check out his district map. He's got maybe 10 square miles of developed Miami-Dade sprawl to look after, tops. The rest is all farms n' glades. Who wants to be commissioner of that? So heck, why be a guardian of Florida's great wildlife preserves and precious wetlands, when you could stand tall with your swollen district map penetrating sturdily into the moist, wild, and delicate gateway to the Everglades?
Luckily for Florida, a judge ruled it unlawful to expand the UDB to accomodate for a new Lowe's store that was in the works last month. This might be a good sign and a turn for the better, but to be realistic, if the people of the county don't do anything, nothing will be done. I strongly urge you to read up on the issue, and do what you can to help out. There is so much information out there, and I hope that in the end, Miami-Dade's commissioners will do the right thing. Unfortunately, I don't have much faith in that happening. If this is the case, it might just be up to us to make the difference..