Accompanied by petitions bearing 1,351 signatures of protesting West Kendall residents, Miami-Dade County has appealed the federal government’s placing Miccosukee Golf and Country Club in Kendale Lakes under control of the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida.
A drive started on Jan. 5 by Kendale Lakes resident Aster Mohamed and Winston Park HOA president Miles Moss produced 111 pages of signatures opposing a Bureau of Indian Affairs decision to place the 229 acre golf course under an existing tribal land trust.
A 90-page “Opening Brief” filed on Jan. 25 by Assistant County Attorney Ileana Cruz declared the Aug. 24, 2012 decision to extend the tribal land trust to the golf club’s land failed “to give the deference and greater weight to the concerns of local governments and affected residents.
“These abuses of discretion resulted in an arbitrary and capricious decision,” concluded the filing that also disputes recognition of tribal agreements under federal statutes and county commission decisions dating back to 1934.
Among other objections to the designation were failure to adequately consider criteria for a decision, a valid tribal need for the land acquisition, and failure “to consider the substantial impact on the county.”
“There are many concerns voiced by residents, including public safety, traffic, drainage and potential gambling,” said Moss, long a respected voice in protection of Kendall homeowner interests.
While extent of authority granted under a tribal land trust was a primary concern, residents also have criticized bitterly the Bureau’s procedure that apparently led to the action without local public knowledge.
Both the filing and petitions note that a 99-year covenant placed in 1972 required any changes in the golf club to have 75 percent approval of its neighbors, as well as a majority of the county commission members to change its land use.
“In the last 37 years, I have been actively involved in every aspect of the West Kendall community, particularly in the Kendale Lakes area, and was aware of every zoning issue,” Mohamed said. “However, I had not heard about this application until a month ago.”
Adding its voice was Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations (KFHA) Board of Directors by resolution objecting to a potential land use change that could allow multi-family, hotel or casino development “without any control by Miami-Dade County or without regard to neighbor’s concerns.”
A KFHA meeting has been scheduled for Monday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m., at Kendall Village Center Civic Pavilion, 8625 SW 124 Ave, to discuss impact on the community.