Abbie Schwaderer-Raurell, Section Head
The Annexation, Incorporation, Environmental Policy and Resilience Section is divided into two practice areas: (1) Annexation and Incorporation; and (2) Environmental Policy and Resilience. The Annexation and Incorporation component of the section is a highly specialized and uniquely local practice that deals with municipal boundary changes, the creation of new municipalities, and, on at least one occasion, the dissolution of a then-existing municipality. Within the boundaries of Miami-Dade County, annexations and incorporations are governed by the processes and procedures in the Miami-Dade County Home Rule Charter and the Code of Miami-Dade County. Because of the complex nature of annexations and incorporations, this practice area intersects with numerous other sections, including bond finance, taxation, land use, as well as other areas of city, county, and local government law. In this practice, we provide legal advice to the Board of County Commissioners and the County administration as to annexation and incorporation matters; draft proposed County legislation, including, but not limited to, ordinances to effectuate municipal boundary changes, to create or dissolve municipal advisory committees, and to amend the County's applicable annexation and incorporation procedures. We also handle litigation that arises in this area.
The Environmental Policy and Resilience area encompasses legal issues and matters related to a wide range of environmental topics, including, but not limited to, septic tanks, connections to public water and public sanitary sewer systems, Biscayne Bay, environmentally endangered lands, trees and tree protections, beach renourishment, County environmental permitting, pollution, groundwater protection, wellfield protection areas, flood protection, stormwater, endangered species, sea level rise, and environmentally-related County trust funds. This practice area often intersects with and complements the land use practice area, including issues related to zoning, planning, and other aspects of the land development process. As part of this practice, we advise the Board of County Commissioners and the County administration; draft proposed legislation, including, for example, ordinances revising environmental regulations or requirements; advise County environmental and land use professionals as to legal issues or questions that may arise in their divisions and departments; and provide legal advice to County boards including the Miami-Dade County Biscayne Bay Watershed Management Advisory Board. We also handle appeals arising from the County Commission's decisions on certain environmental permit applications, as well as other litigation related to environmental policy and regulations.
The following are attorneys who specialize in this practice area: