Community News - Latest

North Dade zoning board postpones action on new church

A Miami-Dade zoning board postponed deciding whether to approve plans for a new church in the Golden Glades area, after at least a dozen people came to the board’s meeting Thursday night in opposition to the project.

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, but residents were lined up, ready to speak out.

At the start of the meeting, about a dozen people had asked to speak against the church.

Church spokesman Randy Tobie asked the county’s North Central Community Council to postpone the hearing so that he and members of the church could address residents’ concerns.

“We got here early and noted there were quite a few with the homeowners’ association,” he said.

Elizabeth Jude, a Biscayne Gardens Civic Association board member, was one of the people opposed to the church. She’s lived in the area about 20 years.

“We don’t have problems with churches,” Jude said. “But it’s too big. You have two acres? I have 1.2 and I live there. How can this be compatible?”

Co-president of the civic association Anne Cates invited Tobie to the association’s meeting on Thursday.

June Ellis, who moved into the community 12 years ago, says her neighborhood is becoming “church row.” The church would be directly behind her backyard.

“They are decreasing the property value,” Ellis said. “They can buy my house.”

Ellis and Jude were also concerned about the increased traffic on Memorial Highway — which they said is poorly lit and has dangerous curves.

“They really and truly don’t understand Memorial Highway. It’s very dark and very dangerous,” Jude said.

Before the meeting, the county’s professional planning staff recommended that the Community Council approve the church but reject the three-unit apartment building.

The elected council deferred action on the church, and they will meet again to address the church at 7 p.m. on July 31 at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, 2525 NW 62nd St.

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