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UPDATED Miami-Dade mayor to Florida lawmakers: Don't make it easier to move urban development boundary

UPDATE: The Florida Senate's rules committee decided Monday morning that Bogdanoff's amendment is out of order because it is not germane to the narrow subject of the legislation, HB 4003. The amendment, said Sen. John Thrasher, a St. Augustine Republican and the chamber's rules chairman, "introduces a new, unrelated subject that is not natural and logical."

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On the heels of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s declaration last week that he will push to strengthen the urban development boundary, a countermove has sprung up in the Florida Legislature that would weaken the county’s protection against urban sprawl on its western and southern fringes.

State Sen. Ellyn Bodganoff, a Fort Lauderdale Republican, put forth an amendment to a House bill on Friday that would make it easier to shift the UDB by requiring a simple majority of the commission to approve any change to the county’s comprehensive plan, which guides development.

But Gimenez protested, calling the move an attempt to undermine the county’s unique local powers.

On Tuesday, at his first state-of-the-county address, the mayor said he would work to bolster the UDB by pushing to incorporate into the county charter a requirement that an extraordinary supermajority — three-fourths, or 10 of 13 commissioners — sign off on any changes to the invisible boundary that limits development bordering the Everglades.

The county currently requires a two-thirds majority — nine of 13 commissioners — to approve any change to the UDB.

Gimenez sent a letter Friday to each member of the Miami-Dade legislative delegation — along with Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, and House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park — blasting the legislative move as an interference with Miami-Dade’s Home Rule Charter. He said it “potentially threatens precious wetlands.” More here.

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