Miami-Dade County is suspending building and other permits for a controversial Wal-Mart shopping center. The Wal-Mart was being built in an endangered forest. The retail giant is now looking to strike a deal with federal wildlife officials to protect the rare butterflies, bats and plants in the forest.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the county made the decision because federal wildlife officials expanded the number of rare species that inhabit the pine rockland. Last year, the county planning board approved the 250,000-square-foot shopping center, parking lots and 408 apartments near Zoo Miami, according to the Miami Herald.
If the project violates federal law, the county could be on the hook, said spokesperson Luis Espinoza.
Residents and environmentalists also argue that other big-box stores such as, LA Fitness, Chick-fil-A, and Chili’s should not be built on the largest remaining fragment forest outside Everglades National Park. [Miami Herald] – Christopher Cameron