The annexation question on this year's ballot is being grossly misinterpreted. Many believe a YES vote means they are in favor of annexation and that should that question pass, we’ve instantly annexed the area in question. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Here is how to understand it:
- The area being discussed is a 62-acre commercial-use zone with zero residential homes. It is bounded by the Busway on the west, US-1 on the east, Southwest 160th Street on the north, and Southwest 184th Street on the south.
- The long-term intent of the proposed area is to support a transportation hub that would help get Palmetto Bay people to Downtown Miami and alleviate traffic. A secondary use of the area is to continue a logical geographic area for our "downtown Palmetto Bay" zone.
- Under current zoning of both Palmetto Bay and the potential annexed area, the annexation would bring building density down and have the structures comply to a much more aesthetically-pleasing standard controlled by Palmetto Bay.
- A vote YES on annexation will NOT annex the area. It just allows Palmetto Bay to officially analyze and study the area. If Palmetto Bay ultimately would benefit, the Council would then have a lengthy process thereafter, which would need to be handed to the County to ultimately yield annexation after a six-step legal process.
- A vote NO on annexation would be a vote that you do not even want Palmetto Bay to analyze and research the pros and cons of an annexation.
So, in my mind, a YES vote is more akin to responding to someone who says “I believe the world is round” by saying “OK, Let’s explore and test that theory.” There is certainly no harm in that.
The Palmetto Bay Partnership, of which I am a member, has heard many points of view over the past year on this subject and as an official Palmetto Bay advisory committee cannot endorse a vote either way. However, its individuals are overwhelmingly voting YES, so that proper research and analysis can take place.