Annexation: 210 businesses, no people
Written by Samantha Joseph on September 11, 2013
Opa-locka’s leaders want to extend the city’s boundaries.
They’re hoping to add about 822 acres of industrial and commercial land, known as areas A and B, to increase the city’s tax base, add jobs and improve services to businesses now in these unincorporated parts of Miami-Dade. The area has no residents but hundreds of businesses.
The move would add a net gain of about $1.91 million to the city’s tax roll, according to annexation documents. City officials calculate it would cost about $721,000 to provide services – including utilities, code enforcement and police – to the “new” corporate citizens, who would generate estimated property tax revenue of $2.63 million, based on this year’s rate.
They also say the 210 businesses in the annexation area would improve job prospects in a city with a population of about 15,200 and an unemployment rate of 18% to 21%, according to Howard Brown Jr., Opa-locka’s community development director.
“Most of our businesses procure employees locally,” he said.
By extending its boundary to include hundreds of businesses, Opa-locka is also positioning itself to qualify for federal support to develop its industrial zone as part of its long-term strategy, said David Chiverton, assistant city manager and public information officer.
“We’re looking at the opportunities,” he said.
The annexation area is to the south of the city. The first proposed parcel, Area A, lies between Northwest 47th Avenue to the east, Northwest 135th Street to the north and the Gratigny Expressway to the southwest. It would add 22 businesses, according to annexation documents.
Area B is bound by Northwest 127th Street to the north, Northwest 107th Street to the south, Northwest 27th Avenue to the east and Northwest 37th Avenue to the west. It includes 188 businesses.
“We’re excited about the annexation request,” Mr. Brown said. “It’s the first one ever in the city’s history.… There’ve been three discussions on it, but this is the first time the city manager has been directed to make those requests to the county.”
City commissioners unanimously approved the measure. County commissioners accepted a report on the request Sept. 4 but did not act on it. The county’s Planning Advisory Board must also review the proposal.