Horse Country residents rally opposition to shopping center

Strong opposition, supported by homeowner petitions, is facing the newest effort to create a shopping center in West Kendall’s “Horse Country.”

Initially denied by a 5-1 vote of Community Council 11, the pending action would re-designate land use from agricultural to commercial for a 10-acre tract at the southeast corner of SW 56th Street and 127th Avenue.

Application 3 in the May-October 2015 cycle of the Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) will come before the Miami-Dade County Commission Wednesday, Nov. 18, around 10 a.m., for a final public hearing before commissioners vote on the amendement. This follows a Planning Advisory Board review on Oct. 19.

The community council vote on Sept. 24 recommending denial was moved by Jose Soto, seconded by Alex Diaz, with chair Beatriz Suarez, Andres Alvarez, Socrates De Jesus and Kevin Cabrera concurring. Vice chair Carolina Blanco was the sole dissenting vote.

The Bird-Kendall Homeowners Association has gone online seeking signatures for petitions to “preserve and protect the natural beauty of Horse Country,” an approximate square mile of ranches, nurseries, churches, schools and homes from SW 40th to SW 72nd streets, between SW 118th to 127th avenues.

An BKHA spokesman pointed out that a CDMP change to allow a strip mall “will most assuredly trigger multiple applications for more non-agricultural uses, such as grocery stores, office, gas stations, restaurants and more businesses along SW 127th Avenue from Sunset Drive to Bird Road.”

Juan J. Mayol, attorney representing Southeast Investments Inc., maintains that although the CDMP strives to protect agricultural land, “it also encourages that development occur within the Urban Development Boundary.”

Mayol added that agricultural land conversions “were anticipated and are consistent with the overall intent of CDMP.” He is seeking that the CDMP application be processed as a “Small Scale” amendment to expedite the procedure.

Southeast Investments Inc., located in Ponte Vedra Beach, is the petitioner for the land use change as contract purchaser of the tract. The company stock in equal 50 percent shares is listed under the names of Paul S. Ferber of Ponte Vedra Beach, and P. Shields Ferber Jr. of Juno Beach.

Ownership under a corporate name, Miller Country Plaza Inc., lists Jose Carro and Raquel Carro as tenants with Juan F. Martinez, Trustee of Capital Investments Trust, each sharing 50 percent of the Trust stock issue. Beneficiaries to the Trust are listed as Yovahnn Vinas, Yarlennie Vinas and Yarlene Vinas, all of Miami; Robert Vinas and Anthony Garcia, both of Miami.

The Declaration of Restrictions pending approval limits maximum development of the property “not to exceed 75,000 square feet.”

The Bird-Kendall Homeowners Association noted that the same corner sought for a commercial development in 2012 by Pan American Companies Inc. was rejected by the Community Council by a 4-2 vote, noting that such commercial development was unneeded with five shopping centers existing within 1.5 miles of the intersection.

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