Residents of San Marco and Biscayne Islands are circulating a petition to move the islands outside of the jurisdiction of the city of Miami and into Miami Beach. The two artificial islands are located on the westernmost side along the Venetian Causeway, between South Beach and Downtown.
The Miami-Dade County planning board and county commissioners would consider the petition if 20 percent of residents signed it, but county code would also require a residents vote on annexation.
According to Diana Fontani, a resident of Biscayne Island, 13 percent of the 370 households have signed the petition. One benefit of annexation would be lower property taxes, which residents of Belle Isle, Di Lido, Rivo Alto and San Marino islands enjoy. Parking fees are also lower on the Miami Beach side of the Venetian.
Another incentive is the desire for better policing, code enforcement and city services. Residents have complained that the city of Miami’s government has been unresponsive to complaints of neglected lots on the island. Lastly, families on the islands want access to after-school programs in Miami Beach that are much further away in Miami.
Despite local support, modifying city boundaries is a long and complicated process. The city of Miami is unlikely to want to part with these high-value homes, just as Miami Beach would welcome the higher tax base. City commissioners have referred the idea to the finance committee for a preliminary study of the financial impacts.
Article by: Katya Demina