South-Dade residents won a tentative victory against development when the Redland area community council voted unanimously to deny a land-use change allowing 185 units of multi-family housing on five acres of now-vacant land.
The parcel’s current land-use designation only allows for 2.5 to 6 housing units per acre. The proposed land-use would have seen density jump up to 25 to 60 units per acre – with a covenant capping density on the site to 185 units.
“High rise development does not belong in that location,” said nearby Lazarus Pines Estates resident Susan Blake, one of a handful of residents who came to speak against the application at the Wednesday night meeting. “You would destroy the neighborhoods to the north and south, and they’ve been there for 50 years.”
The project site, located on the north side of Southwest 152nd Street about 300 feet west of Southwest 97 Avenue, sits between single-family neighborhoods to the north and south, but its neighborhoods to the east and west, along SW 152nd Street, are more urbanized. To the west are Coral Reef High School, a medical park and church. Jackson South Hospital is to the east.
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Blake mostly took issue with the proposed development’s potential impact on traffic, which she says is already “horrible.”
“The ambulances – I’ve seen them myself – often need to jump into the westbound lane on 152nd Street to go east to Jackson,” she said.
Despite a staff analysis recommending approval of the application – one that calculated no overall change in level of service on Southwest 152 Street, U.S. 1, and Southwest 107 Avenue during evening rush hour – the council members agreed with her and other frustrated residents, citing traffic as their primary reason for denial.
This won’t be the last word on the matter: The application, filed by the Village at Coral Reef LLC, is scheduled to come before the Local Planning Board April 20, and then on to the County Commission for a final vote on May 6.