Back in June of 2006, Community Community Council 11 acting as a Zoning Appeals Board approved the necessary zoning changes that allowed the highly successful and architecturally pleasing development known as London Square to become a reality. Located on the southeast corner of 137 Avenue and 120 Street, the mixed use low rise, medium density development is exactly what the community needed. What has made the site alluring to neighborhood patrons has been primarily due to the tenant mixes that provide a myriad of goods and services. Some of the tenants include TJ Maxx / Home Goods, Total Bank, Main Street Children’s dental, medical offices for Miami Children’s Hospital and a karate school.
On July 19 the West Kendall Community Council will make a decision that for all intents and purposes is considered to be a “no brainer” and that is to allow another very much needed service for the community. The University of Phoenix has filed for a zoning request to allow the school to open. The accredited university is a commuter college that provides adult education focusing primarily on preparing adults for job related skills as well as degree programs. You might be asking why is an adult college required to file for a zoning request, particularly in an area where schools and parks already exist. It is because London Square lies in a No School Zone (NSZ) and an Outer Safety Zone (OSZ), which prohibit public assemblies.
One could understand prohibiting day cares and schools for children however the fact of the matter is that there are schools for children such as the Heritage School (K through 8) as well as the Happy Hippo Too daycare within the two zones. In addition there is a Karate School, soccer and sports club as well as a Boys Town. With regards to the University of Phoenix, there are however several other issues which compound the problem, one that a permit had been issued to the property owner, filing fees collected and hundreds of thousands invested on the build out of the facilities.
Community Council consists of hard working dedicated individuals that care about their community and are tasked with the decision of applying the law fairly and uniformly as opposed to capriciously and arbitrarily. For a variety of reasons including, that the applicant, University of Phoenix is a commuter school for adults who will congregate in the evening when the airport is hardly used, one would hope that their decision is an easy one and we urge the Community Council to approve this application.