So, what actually happened downtown at the Commissioners meeting on January 23? Who were the winners and losers? Well that depends on what issue was being discussed.
First of all, notices that were sent out were described as items 4, 5, 6 and 7, but when the resolution ordinance sheet was distributed all items were grouped under #3 and #4, each divided with letters, some going up to F. One almost needed an interpreter to be able to follow these new codes. It was later admitted that some of the Commissioners were confused but explained that the number 4 meant First Reading while the number 7 appears before the Final Reading.
Generally, special interest groups wear an assigned, colored T-shirt, but at first it was difficult to tell which group people belonged to since it was cold and most donned jackets. Everyone who wanted to speak was given two minutes so once the first sentence was uttered spectators knew what color shirt lay concealed under the jackets.
First up was item three which was in six parts. Item 3-A regarding limitation to three-stories on 288th Street and 142nd Avenue passed 10-0.
Item 3-B struck public interest as it revolved around a proposed gas station on the corner of Krome Avenue and SW 136th street. That original application asked for unlimited use including sales of gas, a convenience store, a restaurant, a general store and more. It was about to be rejected until the proposal was adjusted to include only a gas station and convenience store. It will be addressed in its new form at a future Commissioners meeting.
The application by the Builders Association to develop 4,000 acres on West Kendall was blocked, yielding a victory to the Sierra Club, Audubon Society and other concerned citizens.
Now came the issues of South Dade surrounding two major points. First, defining and expanding the area known as the Redlands. Would this be the first step towards incorporation? This proposal was dropped leaving the definition as is. Secondly, word changing involving “Shall not be approved” vs “Shall not be considered” were discussed.
Results: the text would remain unchanged.
At day’s end both sides walked away semi-satisfied but not to say that these issues will not reappear in the future.
If there was any consolation, farmers hoped that the "Hold the Liners" don’t fear that the growers want to change zoning and turn farmland into a concrete jungle all for profit.
All sides must remember that true farmers” are in their fields before God turns on the light. Farming is in their blood and they want to ride out of this world on their John Deere tractors. But they must be able to make a profit from their labor of love to continue to exist.