At the July 10th meeting of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, a
resolution approving a combined Fire and Police Station was unanimously passed by all 12 attending County Commissioners. The departments
occupying the facility were referred to as the Eureka Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department and Miami-Dade Police Department.
Controversy revolved around the fact that the property is located outside the existing Urban Development Boundary (UDB). The physical location is on a 10 acre site zoned agricultural. The parcel is south of 184th Street and
approximately SW 154th Avenue.
The concerns of disgruntled citizens centered around the fall of additional farmland to development, though this time it is for the benefit of the existing comm-unity and not geared towards additional housing and congestion.
Arguments included, “this should not be allowed to go forward because the planning process had not fully considered other locations that were not located on ag land outside the UDB.”
It was further pointed out that, “this purchase price was well over the two appraisals.”
Others questioned, “was this setting a precedent of building outside the UDB? Are
developers able to use this as a tool to change the UDB?”
Once public comment was finished, the commissioners began to address each concern as they questioned the spokesmen for the Fire and Police Departments as well as a member from the Department of Environment Resource Management (DERM). Since the property is within District 8, Commissioner Daniella Levine Cave expressed her concern for loss of agricultural land seeking reassurance that this parcel was the absolute best location for the facility to serve the community. Once that point was confirmed, Commissioner Levine Cava repeated several times that the Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) can allow this type of public service/public safety operation outside the UDB with the guarantee that this cannot be used to compromise the existing line for development. In addition, Commissioner Cava requested and was given approval to prepare a covenant where the county would offer development rights on a county-owned 10-acre parcel of land as compensation for the loss of ag land. This too was approved by all Commissioners in attendance.
A final point was made by former Police Lieutenant, Commissioner Joe Martinez, as he commented that the Police Department does not have the estimated $20 million to build their part of this much needed station. Martinez asked Mayor Carlos Gimenez, a retired Fire Chief, to consider adding the cost of that specific Police Station to the upcoming budget plan. The Mayor acknowledged the request with a smile and a nod of his head.