Hundreds of Cutler Bay residents received good news Thursday when Cutler Properties withdrew its application for a pending land-use change and rezoning of property on Old Cutler Road and Southwest 184th Street.
Cutler Properties pulled the application after the town’s planning consultants concluded that the “proposed land use amendment would be incompatible with the character of the existing surrounding neighborhood and should not be approved by the Town Council,” according to a letter from lobbyist Juan Mayol of law firm Holland & Knight.
Related ordinances were to be voted by the town council at a March 16 meeting.
“I had concerns similar to those expressed by staff,” Mayor Peggy Bell said. “I would have considered all information provided at the hearing, had there been one, as legally required.”
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“I always encourage residents to attend hearings, become fully informed, and provide their input to the council,” Bell said.
Cutler Properties will now pursue the “as of right” development of the property, which allows 30 to 40 single-family homes. The applicant’s design team will prepare a new site plan, developing a single-family subdivision on the property, before approaching town council at a later date.
“The property is still owned by a private owner who has recently rescinded his application and will be submitting something to build as of right,” Town Manager Ralph Casals said. “The March 16 meeting will be our normal council meeting. If and when this property owner would like to submit a revised site plan to build single-family homes, we will go through the noticing process.”
Planning and Zoning Director Kathryn Lyon and consultants Calvin, Giordano & Associates made the conclusions about the land, preventing “Old Cutler Village.”
Residents had rallied, signed petitions, and frequently contacted town staff and council members with concerns about the project. Stefano Fanfani, president of Old Cutler Glen Homeowners Association, said that residents still would like to see a park on the 9.5-acre property.
“We will push for the city to do something along those lines,” Fanfani said. “They have the right to build a subdivision, that is what the land is zoned for. … There is the outside chance that the economics don’t work and maybe if the city has a will to go ahead and try to buy the property from them. They can turn it into the park that we desire.
Old Cutler Village, at 18551 Old Cutler Rd, was set to include 21,000 square feet of office space, a 4,000 square-foot gym, a 5,000 square-foot market, 10,000 square feet of general retail space, a 4,000 square-foot restaurant, 70 residential units and a small hotel. Cutler Properties purchased the land in 2003 for $2.4 million.
“It shows that when there is a whole community against an idea, at some point even developers have to abide by it,” Fanfani said. “We are happy that the actions that everybody has done their part and we got what we wanted.”