Community News - Latest

North Miami-Dade

North Dade zoning board to consider proposal for new church


If you go

What: North Central Community Council meeting

When: 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 30

Where: Henry Reeves Elementary School, 2005 NW 111 St.

For more information: To see all the application paperwork, go to

Miami Herald Writer

A Miami-Dade board will consider plans for a new church near the Golden Glades interchange on Thursday.

The Uleta Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses wants to build the 15,000-square-foot church and a three-unit apartment building on 23/4 acres at 14521 Memorial Hwy. in unincorporated North Miami-Dade.

The site is zoned for single-family homes. In such areas, churches are allowed with a special permit, but apartments require a “use variance.” To get the variance, the owner would have to show that without it, the property is useless.

As a result, the county’s professional planning staff is recommending that the North Central Community Council approve the church but reject the apartments. The elected council will consider the matter at a meeting 7 p.m. on Thursday at Henry Reeves Elementary School, 2005 NW 111 St.

Randy Tobie, a spokesman for the church, says the congregation still wants approval for the apartments, which would house church personnel.

He said the new church will replace two facilities in North Miami that were sold.

Tobie said members of the congregation have spoken to some neighbors and they’re supportive. No complaints or petitions have been filed against the requests.

“We are willing to sit down with whomever may have a concern … if that happens,” he said.

The church campus would include three buildings, each with an auditorium that seats 244 people and seven wheelchair spaces, lobbies, meeting rooms and offices. Tobie said the auditoriums will be for services in different languages — English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.

The apartment building, he said, would house traveling and elderly overseers or missionaries who also serve as caretakers.

“They attend to the needs of the congregation,” Tobie said. “It’s a provision for the missionaries.”

County planners also recommended that the Community Council approve several non-use variances to allow the church buildings to be constructed a little closer to the property line than is normally allowed.

Read more Community News - Latest stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK