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Posted on Mon, May. 23, 2005
The Miami Herald
Letters to the Editor
Urban Development Boundary

The subject of your article ''(Peerless landfill stirs a heap of controversy, May 9 Business Monday'') was discussed at [the May 10] town of Miami Lakes Council meeting.

Not only was Miami Lakes essentially the first municipality to pass a resolution in opposition to the expansion of the Urban Development Line, Miami Lakes will step forward to lead this countywide fight.

'We encourage all municipalities to join us in the fight to protect every resident's right from Miami Lakes to Florida City, to a future with 'livable communities' . . . our children's future with air they can breathe and water they can drink . . . a future with unpolluted natural resources, farms and wildlife . . . a future with schools not so overcrowded to be able to learn and roads not so congested to be able to get to the schools.

``If we all do not take this step, together, in holding the Urban Development Line, to preserve the already-teetering balance between nature and sustainable communities, then surely we will, individually, suffer the loss of quality of life for all our children to come.''

Wayne Slaton, Miami Lakes Mayor


Having lived or worked in many countries gives me a larger perspective for assessing the problems of urban growth in Miami-Dade and many things strike me. A few, principal ones are:

a) Although members of the County Commission, when asked, refer to a "master development plan" for the County, it is clear that no such plan has been implemented. Whether political coming-and-going, lobbyism and/or plain cold cash has pushed the Master Plan aside is less relevant than the fact that urban sprawl has become as uncontrolled as a cancer.

b) Developers in this County build subdivisions with limited or no consideration for recreational areas, schools, infra structure, etc. In other words, they build the slums of the future with cookie-cutter houses with no space in between them. That these developments are unattractive is reflected in the simple fact that developers never reside in the subdivisions they build. If these subdivisions or high-rises were as great as the developers claim and as they look in the colorful ads, wouldn't they want to live there? They could afford it, something most of the people who need decent living conditions cannot, which only illustrates the absurdity of our unplanned urban growth.

c) What developers - and the politicians who uncritically accept their plans- call a success, ends up being a headache for the County. Obviously, since they don't live there it is somebody else's problem. The increase in population in the County far exceeds the increase in the road system.
Without effective public mass transportation, a community like West Kendall, which is an example of an already congested area, will be a total gridlock if new developments along Krome Avenue are approved.

d) As zero-growth is a pie-in-the-sky policy in South Florida (despite its unquestionable merits), there needs to be a process in which new developments are measured against the impact on all aspects of the lives of people in the community, both quantitatively and qualitative, before a new project is undertaken. That requires a new way of thinking, including engaging County residents, but the alternative is not even an option.

Kindest regards,
Torben Riise
The Crossings
West Kendall/Miami


I'm tired of self serving developers dictating how we should grow. We have county planners who are experts and our elected officials instead listen to developers. Since our elected officials won't do what is right for the citizens, it is only fair that we the people decide how we should grow.

I live in Aventura and I am always in traffic. I would prefer to be able to take a train to downtown -- that would take my car off the road for others and there are more people just like me. However, there is no train to downtown that people like me can choose to use. We need transportation first.

All these giant cities they are proposing on the edge of the Everglades burdens us in the denser areas. We are subsidizing their sprawl infrastructure. They pay at the same rate at us but their actual cost of services is ten fold ours.

And where will these people work? Yes, they will drive through all our Eastern Cities to get to their jobs.
Frankly, I have had it! It is time to be fair -- for all of us to decide how we grow. I say NO to moving the Urban Development Boundary. We need to get our act together within the boundary first.

Nancy Lee


I hope Miami Dade doesn't move the UDB line because I care about the Everglades. I was just there last week.

I used to live in Miami at SW 137 Avenue (near Miller).

It was a nightmare getting around that is why I left. It was traffic, traffic and more traffic. I can't comprehend what it would be like with lots more people West of where I lived. I guess there will be even more traffic. I am so glad I moved. Being in that rush hour was torture.

Jacalyn Giraud
Coral Springs


So let's get this straight. They say the UDB needs to be moved because there's no room to put more people in places like Kendall, right?
Dadeland's built out, right? That's Dadeland, where 18,000 new residential units are in the pipeline. Dadeland's parking lots are being turned into dense city blocks. Turns out we've got a lot of parking lots in Miami-Dade, parking lots that are simply too pricey to
stay the way they are.

Oh, that's right, they say poor people need affordable housing, and that's why we must build out at the edge of the Everglades. Because poor people need single family homes, way beyond the reach of public transit, where the cost of getting everywhere by car effectively doubles housing costs. God save us from developers with such good

Albert Harum-Alvarez