West Kendall incorporation study to focus on ‘zones’

A study of possible West Kendall incorporation now appears likely to revert to its original proposed size west of SW 137th Avenue between SW Eighth and SW152nd streets, apparently to determine what areas are best-suited to become cities.

A new study proposed by Miami-Dade District 11 Commissioner Juan C. Zapata will focus on finding “zones” within West Kendall that would likely support creating a municipality, rather than creating a massive new city west of Florida’s Turnpike.

In reviewing the commissioner’s consolidation proposal, former MAC Committee member Miles Moss and Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations president Michael Rosenberg agreed that an area of 200,000 or more population probably would not work as well as smaller cities.

A seven-member Municipal Advisory Committee (MAC) named by Zapata in April began exploring incorporation of an area known as

“Section One,” north of Kendall Drive with an estimated population of 129,000.
Plans for a second “Section Two” study, south of Kendall Drove with similar east and west boundaries never got underway.

Zapata has postponed current Section One meetings until he can propose new legislation permitting a study that would combine the two sections into one.

A statement from his office said: “The Commissioner has recently met with the Office of Management and Budget. Upon receiving some feedback, we will be moving forward with legislation changes inorder to consolidate the two proposed study areas. By consolidating the study areas, the commissioner is providing an avenue that will allow residents to not only see the area as a whole, but be able to hone in to specific zones.

“Based on knowledge provided to the office, the commissioner feels an all-or-nothing study is unfair to everyone, and by these means he strives to give residents the most options possible in creating potential areas of interest. Therefore, the meetings are postponed until further notice to allow for these procedural modifications to take place.”

Section One lies between the Tamiami Trail (SW Eighth Street) and Kendall Drive (SW 88th Street), west of 137th Avenue to 187th Avenue, except for an area that lies within District 10 which Commissioner Javier Souto asked to be excluded.

Consolidation would add Section Two that covers a largely residential area south of Kendall Drive to SW 152nd Street, west of 137th Avenue to 237th Avenue.

“I believe that combining study areas is a good idea as long as individual areas desiring to become cities can be separated,” said Moss who served as a member on an earlier West Kendall MAC.

“The combined areas could be over 200,000 population. Optimal city size is 30,000-40.000, so the entire area could become multiple cities, as long as the areas can be subdivided. If residents want this, by combining the areas, this will bring more residents into the discussion,” he added.

A similar view was expressed by Rosenberg.

“We’ve discussed that perhaps there could be up to 10 cities in Kendall,” he said. “Look how well the smaller cities work — Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay, Aventura, Miami Springs. I’m not sure how big two new cities would be, but I think people need to decide size and then sustainable boundaries.”

Asked for comment, Section One MAC chair Raul Pino replied: “I truly don’t have enough information at this point to provide an informed opinion as MAC chair or as a homeowner within the district. I’m looking forward to continued participation in the civic process to see where the facts and figures ultimately lead us in the recommendation process.”

In 2000, Zapata chaired a similar West Kendall MAC study but lack of public participation and interest resulted in its abandonment.

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