Palmetto Bay developer’s rezoning request up for vote

Environmentalists worried about proposed project on 22 acres of forest land
July 21, 2014 09:45AM

Laura Reynolds

Palmetto Bay Council members are expected to vote Monday night on a developer’s rezoning request that has local environmentalists concerned about residential encroachment on private forest land.

The Palmetto Bay Village center wants 22 of its 80 acres at the village’s southern edge rezoned to allow single-family homes on the land. About an acre at the northern end of the site would be allocated for a fire station. Burger King once had its corporate headquarters at the site.

From the early 1980s until 2005, the 22 acres up for rezoning were designated for trending development, according to the Miami Herald. That meant any construction would have to mesh with the uses of the nearby parcels. In 2005, the village zoned the site for parks and recreation in its comprehensive plan.

Activists like Tropical Audubon Society executive director Laura Reynolds are speaking out against the proposed residential development on land that is presently filled with trees.

“It seems like there’s an all-out assault on endangered land,” Reynolds said. “We really need to reevaluate how we proceed with development.”

Scott Silver, a partner with Palmetto Bay Village Center, noted the low-density project his company is proposing is much more sensitive to the surrounding environment than a high-rise building or shopping center would be. Silver also said the company would not develop on any portion of the site determined by Miami-Dade County to be pine rockland or hardwood hammock. [Miami Herald]Eric Kalis