Area developers are seeking to build many new housing projects in a tempestuous real estate market.
The development drive has pushed beyond US 1 and the busway’s transportation corridor into Redland and west of Old Dixie Highway where single-family homes make up the majority of the community.
The objection to rezoning requests is to the density of proposed new housing.
Concerned Citizens of South Dade (CCOSD) was formed in 2019 to respond to development inconsistent with single-family residential districts. The group’s mission statement is “advocating for quality of life issues and for preservation and protection of our neighborhoods from incompatible development.”
CCOSD’s President Efren Nunez is a city planner by training. He said the organization represents about 300 homes in an area from 288th Street to 272nd Street and west to Krome Avenue.
The group’s website at www.cco-sd.com says it is “defending our neighborhoods from the onslaught of inconsistent development and rezoning requests that will adversely impact the character and quality of life of several established single-family neighborhoods.”
To attend upcoming virtual community meetings of the group, send a link request to email@example.com
CCOSD had some success when it intervened in a second hearing for an Ambar 3, LLC project at the southwest corner of the intersection of SW 272nd Street and Old Dixie Highway. Originally slated for ten-story buildings with 125 units per acre, the developer agreed to a four-story cap in addition to a series of public benefits in covenants.
“They agreed to new crosswalks, connections to the busway, to provide enhanced landscaping, improve security, additional maintenance, dedication for roadway improvements, plus technical improvements to lighting so there would be no spillover effect,” said Nunez.
The hearing for a bigger project at 28240 Old Dixie Highway by South Dixie 29 LLC is scheduled for March 17. The plan is to build up to 1320 units in 12-story buildings on fifteen acres. The request is to change current zoning from EU-M (estate residential) and AU (agriculture) to Mixed-Use Corridor (MC).
A third hearing for a mixed-use rezoning was for the CFF Development Group LLC’s project at SW 162nd Avenue and Old Dixie Highway. That rezoning would allow 125 units per acre in six-story buildings.
The Board of County Commissioners deferred the hearing for sixty days due to multiple resident requests for the developer to meet with them.
Public comments are now due by April 9, 2021.
At the hearing, District 8 County Commissioner Danielle Cohen-Higgins said, ““I’m concerned that this project was represented to this Board as property that does not abut residential properties. In the memo from our Department - to the north multi-family low-density residential, to the south single family residences, to the west, low-density residential. This project intends to build six stories where there is nothing like it anywhere around it.”
“I strongly encourage someone to meet with the residents in the District because what they want is an indication of what will be built there,” the Commissioner said.
A fourth zoning request is for a Lennar Homes LLC project at 29180 SW 162nd Avenue. The plan is for 562 townhomes on 40.5 acres, with plans to build-over endangered 3.5 acre slash pine upland. The hearing for that project has not been held.
A member of CCOSD said of the four rezoning requests for projects, “I feel we are under attack!”
He said the potential of the combined projects was another 2000 units and multi-family buildings of up to 12 stories looming over single-story homes with zero transition in density and height.
A problem with the hearings is that they are all scheduled at the Commission Board in downtown Miami.
In an interview February 4, County Mayor Daniella Levin Cava said, “Anything that requires an official vote … has to be in person. It’s up to the County Commission Chair to set any (remote) locations for public participation.”
Comments regarding rezoning applications can be submitted to ZONINGmeetings@miamidade.gov
The South Florida Real Estate News says “the multifamily market in Homestead has taken off recently”.
Closer to Homestead, Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved a February 2021 rezoning to mixed-use development for a project at 15960 SW 296th Street east of U.S. 1. “Kevlar Gardens” on 11.4 acres would consist of six three-story buildings for 321 units of multi-family townhouses. The rezoning developer is South Miami-Dade Farmers LLC.
On March 2nd, it was announced Fort Lauderdale-based developer Stellar Communities purchased 29.8 acres from the John L. Alger Trust at the southwest corner of 328th Street and SE 6th Avenue for aproposed 359 townhouses with four acres of commercial development in Florida City.
Recent Homestead requests for development approvals to fill-in vacant land have been the topics for City Council and the Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z).
DR Horton had a hearing March 10 on a 42 acre parcel to develop 280 townhomes and 97 single-family units north of Mowry Drive and west of Farm Life School Road. DR Horton also wants to combine two eleven-acre sites south of Mowry and west of Farm Life School Road for 114 single family homes, requesting six variances for the project.
Homestead P&Z unanimously opposed a request to rezone the 16.2 acres south of Harris Field to neighborhood mixed use (NMU) for 160 garden apartments and 50,000 square feet of retail space.
All three projects require City Council approval.
City Council approved moving planned units to the old Keys Gate golf course sector for a future development of at least 1193 dwelling units. The applicants’ attorney said lots sizes could be a quarter-acre by doing the math. Speculation was the number of dwelling units could be combined with Sector 8 yielding more units for this community. However no site plan for this prospective Lennar project has been filed.
Homestead Mayor Steve Losner said at that January Council meeting, “We’re finally seeing the ultimate buildout with this final project in front of us at the unit cap.
It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of this level of density.”
For residents of the Redland community, gold yard signs proclaiming “Save our Neighborhood” and “Save South Dade” have been sprouting on front lawns this winter. The signs are available from the CCOSD website. They cost $7.