“We need to educate ourselves on incorporation itself to determine where new municipalities would work best,” said Michael Rosenberg, newly elected KFHA president.
A preliminary study meeting was scheduled for Mar. 29 with members of “Let’s Incorporate Now” (or “LINC”).
LINC describes itself as an organization formed in February 1997 for the sole purpose of fostering the creation of new municipalities in the county, originally organized with six communities seeking incorporation: Country Club Lakes, Destiny, Doral, East Kendall, Miami Lakes, and Palmetto Bay.
Actively involved in the incorporation movements of Miami Lakes, Palmetto Bay, Miami Gardens, Doral, and Cutler Bay, the organization currently is headed by Beverly Gerald, president. McHenry “Hank” Hamilton, a Dadeland CPA, has served the organization as liaison for Kendall incorporation efforts in recent years.
The question of where or how to incorporate any section of Kendall still is a matter for speculation unless Miami-Dade County commissioners remove a moratorium that halted all incorporation movements in their tracks five years ago.
An amendment sponsored by Commissioners Sally A. Heyman, Esteban L. Bovo Jr. and Jean Monestine passed the Infrastructure and Land Use Committee on Mar. 14 and was forwarded to the full 13- member county commission for action at its Apr. 3 meeting, according to Jorge Fernandez, a coordinator for Miami-Dade budgets.
For several years, East Kendall and West Kendall Municipal Advisory Committees (MACs) met to determine validity of incorporating either area but both committees eventually disbanded without initiating a specific incorporation action.
An East Kendall MAC began a study in 2002 after county commissioners imposed a three-year moratorium in 1997 due to newly created cities emptying the county’s tax base, three years after a 1994 study began by a group known as the “East Kendall Alliance.”
“Ex-commissioners Jimmy Morales and Katy Sorenson took a ‘phony’ poll to show that no one was interested in the incorporation move, well before the East Kendall MAC had finished its job,” Hamilton contends today.
Morales and Sorenson defended their action to the MAC on the basis that it was fruitless to continue the study due to a lack of interest that resulted from an informal polling of 30,000 residents who volunteered responses. East Kendall study boundaries originally stretched from SW 56th Street south to SW 156th St. between S. Dixie Highway (US1) and 107th Avenue.
Incorporation of a different East Kendall area was underway before the moratorium took effect, bordered by the Snapper Creek Expressway to SW 112th Street (Killian Drive) between SW 97th Avenue and S. Dixie, an area comprising about 25,000 residents including the Cherry Grove community.
A West Kendall MAC disbanded in 2003, largely due to a lack of interest shown by failure of the public to attend meetings and participate in discussions.
Boundaries for West Kendall at that time included SW 40th Street (Bird Road) on the north, SW 184th Street on the south, Florida’s Turnpike on the east, and Krome Avenue on the west.
“We were working with boundaries that were too large,” said Miles E. Moss, a West Kendall MAC member who also headed the KFHA for more than a decade before 2010.
“Now, the county requirement for 25 percent of registered voters to sign an incorporation petition study has effectively blocked any move to create a new Kendall municipality, in addition to the moratorium,” he said. That action was taken by county commissioners on July 7, 2005.
One other application that could affect any new Kendall incorporation proposal includes a pending action of a citizen’s group from The Falls after their rejection of potential annexation by the Village of Pinecrest.
“Both the The Falls and a pending Westchester incorporation are ‘grandfathered,’” Hamilton explained. “Both had gone through the requirements imposed by the county prior to the moratorium. Neither would need the 25 percent voter signatures to continue the legal process when the moratorium was adopted.”