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Plans for an aviation charter school in Kendall get major pushback

The aviation training center would be located at 13300 SW 120th St., just east of Kendall/Tamiami Executive Airport.
The aviation training center would be located at 13300 SW 120th St., just east of Kendall/Tamiami Executive Airport.

A proposed K-12 aviation charter school in West Kendall is getting major pushback from Miami-Dade police, the county Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources and area residents.

The aviation training center would be located at 13300 SW 120th St., just east of Kendall/Tamiami Executive Airport.

Smart Charter Group filed plans for the 165,100-square-foot school with the county on Feb. 26, records show. The two-story K-12 school would sit on 9.5 acres, which were bought for $6.7 million in 2014. The school would have a media center, gym, and a playground.

On July 1, the county said the site failed to comply with “tree preservation” guidelines, among other things, in a memo to the developer. Inspectors found that 19 percent of one acre had pine rockland.

“Pine rocklands are a globally imperiled habitat that at minimum are given priority as landscaping and require preservation,” the memo said. It recommended if the school is approved that developers be required “to preserve the pine rockland in perpetuity.”

Miami-Dade County police are asking the county to scrap the school, saying the traffic is already overtaxed and that a 3,000-student school would increase service calls significantly.

Police director Juan J. Perez wrote: “Our review of the project also uncovered serious concerns including, but not limited to the increase in vehicle traffic that will be generated by the school and related extracurricular activities. The existing traffic conditions in the area are already overtaxed. … The [police department] objects to any proposed zoning modifications to complete this project.”

The project would generate 7,400 additional trips per day, according to a traffic study paid for by the developer.

Michael Paris, president of the Crossings Village Homes Homeowners Association located about eight blocks from the site, isn’t happy.

Paris and other area residents are worried that the giant development, which would bring in 3,000 students, will make their already-congested roads even busier during rush hour as commuters make their way to the Florida Turnpike ramps.

“We believe that if allowed to proceed, the traffic on an already overloaded roadway in our community will come to a standstill,” Paris said.” It’s already a parking lot out there at any given time.”

Paris organized a meeting on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Crossings Clubhouse at 11578 SW 132nd Ave.

Monique O. Madan: 305-376-2108, @MoniqueOMadan

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