Kendall Corridor plan urges centers of redeveloped

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series.

Within its 58 pages, the recently released Kendall Corridor plan provides multiple recommendations to improve the one-mile area, north and south of Kendall Drive from SW 137th Avenue west to Krome (SW 177th) Avenue.

Street ways are redesigned to provide bicycle lanes, wider sidewalks and added landscaping along Kendall Drive. Other key improvements:
Kendale Lakes Plaza has been re-designed in redevelopment phases to accommodate mixed use and a new commercial building where parking aisles become streets to form pedestrian-oriented block networks, and

Kendall Town Center off Kendall Drive between SW 157th and 162nd avenues remains an “ideal location” for a West Kendall town center, primarily with retail uses.

For enhancing commuter transportation:
• In 2023, Miami-Dade Transit is programmed to begin Route 288 “enhanced” us service with station improvements, queue jump and by-pass lanes, transit signal priority and real-time bus arrival with electronic signage.

• A 140-space park-and-ride facility on the north side of Kendall Drive at SW 150th Avenue is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.
Meanwhile, according to the study, the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) has begun a study for the extension of the Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) to the west and south from its current terminus at NW 137th Avenue and 12th Street.

In describing a rationale to form recommendations, the planners note the corridor area was “entirely occupied by agricultural uses” prior to 1960. The planners note that residential and commercial development began in the late 1960s with Kendale Lakes between SW 137th and SW 147th avenues from Kendall Drive north to Sunset Drive, continuing into the ’70s and ’80s with large-scale developments at The Hammocks, Kendale Lakes West, King’s Meadow and Lago Mar on either side of SW 88th Street.

Effecting future planning for still undeveloped corridor areas, the planners partly based their study recommendations on the movement of the Urban Development Boundary that “has gradually shifted westward” from SW 147th Avenue in the 1980s to its current location at SW 162nd and 172nd avenues, concluding “there is very little vacant or readily developable land within the UDB. Future consideration for implementing corridor improvements is largely available for areas now located within the Urban Expansion Area between the UDB and Krome Avenue from SW 42nd Street south to SW 112th St6reet where development is anticipated from 2020 to 2030.”

The process for the corridor plan started three years ago when county commissioners passed a resolution sponsored by District 11Commissioner Juan Zapata during his first year in office (2013) directing the planning staff to conduct the study.

After a series of informational meetings, more than 100 attended a charrette workshop at Felix Varela Senior High School in which citizens teamed with planning staff members to sketch out specific improvements and assign priorities for improvements in different Corridor areas.

During the workshop sessions, planners said a comment repeatedly expressed was that “the West Kendall area was not planned” but in their report counter: “In reality, the opposite is true: West Kendall was planned to be exactly what it is today, however the development that resulted from 1960s and 1970s era-planning is poorly suited” to current resident desires and lifestyles.

The study concludes: “The challenge for now and the future is how to adapt the current existing development pattern to one that serves changing circumstances.”

The next step: The document has been forwarded for review by the Planning Advisory Board for additional recommendations before presentation to county commissioners for acceptance.


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