The Cutler Bay council staved off development of one of the last open spaces along Old Cutler Road, a former pine rockland adjacent to wetlands set aside for Everglades and Biscayne Bay restoration. At least for now.
The council unanimously voted down a developer’s controversial proposal to build 30 homes on the eight-acre site. Developer Edgardo DeFortuna had retained the parcel eight years ago after selling the adjacent 124 acres of wetlands to the state for restoration.
The sticking point for the council was DeFortuna’s request that the town cede him a piece of public land on the northern boundary of his property for construction of a required second entrance to the project.
But the council, which considered the application Feb. 21, waived a restriction that would not have allowed the developer to re-apply for approval for a year, meaning he could come back with a modified proposal at any time. Residents and environmentalists want the parcel to become a park that would provide access to the abutting nature preserve, which extends all the way to Biscayne Bay.