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North Miami residents discuss development plan

North Miami started the process of updating its citywide development plan by hearing from residents and comparing its plans to the last update seven years ago.

At a community workshop Thursday at the Joe Celestin Center, residents and staff discussed what they want to see prioritized as the plan develops.

“I would like to start seeing some cranes, some construction machines, I would like to see some buildings erected,” Mayor Smith Joseph said. “I would like to see people have areas where they can go.”

The plan’s development is in its early stages — the community workshop was the first of four community meetings. But it got started last September when city staff gave an initial assessment of the plan and sent a “letter of determination” to the state department of economic opportunity.

One of the main focuses for the city’s plan is dealing with environmental issues and the potential effects of sea-level rise. Residents and groups like Poor Oleta, a collective of environmentally conscious residents, have expressed concerns over development in the city, especially building near Biscayne Bay and at the Biscayne Landing site.

The presentation from The Mellgren Group, a firm hired by the city to help facilitate the plan, also discussed development around the city’s potential All Aboard Florida train station at Northeast 125th Street and West Dixie Highway.

Planning director Tanya Wilson-Sejour called the plan “the most important policy document we have in the city.”

When the comprehensive plan was discussed in 2007, it came after the city amended its charter, eliminating a four-story restriction on buildings. The state eventually approved the plan in 2008.

The meetings will continue, including a hearing with a Miami-Dade County local planning agency and the city’s planning commission, and staff hopes to have a final draft available by the end of April. The current schedule calls for the plan to be adopted by September.

For more information on the comprehensive plan visit northmiamifl.gov/cpd.

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