Williamson expansion application decision postponed until Nov. 3

Williamson expansion application decision postponed until Nov. 3A decision on zoning changes to permit the Williamson Cadillac dealership on S. Dixie Highway at 104th Street to remodel and expand into an adjoining two-story building for car repair and vehicle storage has been postponed until Nov. 3.

East Kendall Community Council 12 Zoning Board continued a Sept. 1 public hearing and deferred action on the pending application following a dozen resident protests and board member concerns for multiple issues including the lack of a traffic study.

A 5-0 vote approving deferment was moved by Elliot N. Zack, seconded by Peggy Brodeur and supported by council chair Jose I. Valdes, Alberto Santana and Javier Gonzalez-Abreu. Members Angela M. Vazquez and Matthew Larch were absent. The vote specified that the Sept. 1 hearing would not be re-advertised.

Increased traffic as well as noise affecting nearby residential areas was the chief concern of objectors, although review by the county

Platting and Traffic Review Section stated the application “does not generate any new additional daily peak hour trips and meets the traffic concurrency criteria” for an Initial Development Order.

Nevertheless, the board urged Williamson to meet with homeowners in the area to work out differences that might be resolved before continuing the hearing, including furnishing an area traffic study.

“Although the board voted to close the public comment section of the hearing, the chairman can reopen it for additional comment or information,” said Rosa Davis, county zoning staff member.

Located at 7700 SW 100 St. the property is directly across from the Dadeland Cove townhome community on the north side of the Williamson showroom building. The 1.44-acre site includes an 80-by-200 foot, two-story warehouse, formerly operated as A-1 Fargo Moving and Storage Company.

Denise Tyre, vice president for Dadeland Cove HOA, appeared to support the proposal on behalf of the 296-unit community, noting that owner George E. Williamson had met with over 20 homeowners in July “and answered all questions satisfactorily, as he always has in questions about his business.”

She said plans for a bougainvillea landscape screening design and other changes “would be improvements over moving vans entering and leaving at all hours of the night.”

Holly White, president of the Continental Park HOA, said the area on SW 100th Street needed careful planning to maintain safe traffic, adding that Williamson had never contacted her to meet with Continental Park’s approximate 800 single-family homeowners.

She was followed by a dozen residents largely from the SW100th Street area who were opposed to the added traffic potential through adjoining neighborhood streets, including several who said the board should ask for an area traffic study.

Williamson, who appeared with his attorney and architect, is seeking special exceptions for setback reductions, non-use variances and reduced width of a “green belt” to five feet from a required eight-foot screening separating the east side of the property from the adjacent Miami-Dade Transit Busway and S. Dixie Highway (US1).

Plans displayed at the hearing showed the ground floor of the remodeled structure with 26 bays with lifts for automotive repairs and the second floor for vehicle storage.

Last rezoned in 1956, the property is approved as an IU-1 Light Industrial- Manufacturing District but county master planning carries a medium-density residential use designation for 10-year development beyond 2020.

Even if approved, a current planning review requires 10 conditions that include banning vehicle displays or showings at the building, new landscaping on the east and west property lines prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy and operating hours restricted Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with outdoor speakers prohibited.

The conditions also require soundproofed ground floor and ground floor walls, restricted security lighting directed to prevent light spillage to nearby homes and radial (silenced) air compressors for vehicle repair.

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