The Real Deal Miami

Massive theme park could threaten endangered land

Orlando-style development near Zoo Miami proposed on site owned by U.S. Coast Guard
July 28, 2014 09:45AM

Dennis Moss and Zoo Miami

Dennis Moss and Zoo Miami

The planned development of a Wal-Mart-anchored mixed-use complex on endangered pine rockland is raising concerns about a larger proposed project nearby: an Orlando-style amusement park by Zoo Miami.

Approved by Miami-Dade County voters in 2005, the attraction would include a water park, roller coaster rides, a hotel and conference center and restaurants. The county is negotiating a private-public partnership with 20th Century Fox for the theme park. A plan could be submitted to commissioners by the end of 2014.

The 2005 approval was contingent on the development not harming the pine rockland around the project site. Miami-Dade Commissioner Dennis Moss told the Miami Herald the amusement park would not be constructed on any land considered natural forest or protected by the county’s Environmentally Endangered Lands program.

“The environmental community would like to conserve everything and I understand that, but at the end of the day we have to create jobs and opportunity for the community,” Moss said. “It’s a balance.”

As presently proposed, the project would have a 16-acre attraction called Adventure Beach and a 100-acre theme park and sports complex on land owned by the U.S. Coast Guard. The county has designated some of that site as endangered. [Miami Herald]Eric Kalis