Homestead residents could see much larger building projects in the future because of the recently passed Senate Bill 102 also known as the Live Local Act.

This essentially means that a developer can build up to the maximum density allowed on a piece of land and there is little that a municipality’s leadership can do about it. This is especially true if the land is located near a major transit way.

Members of the Homestead Council and a growing number of city leaders are becoming concerned about what this will mean for the City and future development. Many longtime residents don’t want large and densely populated developments in the City. They want the city to retain some of its rural heritage.

During the May 9th Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting, members of the Council expressed some concern about this new reality especially as it affects mixed use and larger developments.

There is also worry about how the downtown area will be developed.

“We asked staff to determine where some of our biggest issues could be. We want to protect the downtown area and we don’t want to see big high rises there. We are concerned that the downtown area is near some of these big transit areas and there could be more density than we envision for our downtown,” said Councilwoman Jenifer Bailey.

Councilwoman Erica Avila said she is concerned about how Senate Bill 102 will affect the future development of Homestead.

During the COW meeting, there was discussion about the design for the new bathroom and concession stand at the Sports Complex phase one. The Council gave direction to City staff to merge two potential designs.

One design features a theme of past, present and future and another includes a trellis appearance that provides protection from the elements.

“We agreed to merge two of the renderings that were provided,” said Bailey.

Also during the COW meeting, the Council approved placing on the upcoming agenda approval for the CareerSource South Florida Youth Employment for the summer. Homestead reimburses CareerSource which helps high school age young people find work for the summer.

Bailey believes this is a good program and said that she was able to find a hardworking young person whom she later hired on a permanent basis for her nursery school.

During the CRA meeting, Council agreed to leave in its present form a program that provides grant money to help with closing fees and other costs associated with purchasing homes for working families.

An important goal is to help families in Homestead, many of whom are responsible and very hardworking but need help coming up with all the money needed to purchase a home.

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