A developer has decided to drop his plans for a shopping center in Horse Country, after hundreds of residents of the West Miami-Dade neighborhood came out against the proposal.
The neighborhood is now an island of horse pastures, nurseries and large-lot homes in the midst of suburban West Kendall.
Pan-American Inc. had applied to change Miami-Dade County’s land-use plan from agricultural to business for the corner of Miller Drive and Southwest 127th Avenue. But the company now says it is withdrawing the application.
The decision comes after the West Kendall Community Council voted 4-2 on Sept. 27 to recommend that the County Commission reject the change. More than 300 people turned out for the council meeting.
The company had argued that the shopping center would offer needed services close to homes.
“Good planning includes the recognition that basic services should be within or very close to a neighborhood to avoid overtaxing the infrastructure of other nearby neighborhoods, and this is what attracted us to this property in the first place,” wrote Carlos Lopez-Cantera Sr., owner of Pan-American, in an email to The Miami Herald. “However, the local residents expressed their opposition to the project, and it was clear to us that they did not want to have the convenience of these services within their area.”
The company also said it was prepared to make the project fit in with Horse Country.
“In this particular case, we felt, and still feel, that our proposal would have filled a need of basic services in this neighborhood while still recognizing the essence of the surrounding neighborhoods that would have been reflected in the ultimate design and layout of the project upon completion,” wrote Carlos-Lopez, who is the father of Miami-Dade Property Appraiser-elect Carlos Lopez-Cantera.
An attorney for Pan-American told the Community Council that horse trails and hitching posts could be included around the center. But residents and most council members felt strongly that a shopping center didn’t fit with the neighborhood’s unique character.
The application was scheduled to go before the Planning and Zoning board on Tuesday, but that will no longer be necessary.