Travis Kendall, who joined the staff at Palmetto Bay Village Hall as the new Planning & Zoning administrator on Sept. 23, has been getting acquainted with both the job and the community.
Kendall said he is looking forward to the work ahead.
“There are a lot of exciting projects going on right now,” he said. “There’s the redevelopment for the ‘Downtown Center.’ That’s the big focus for the village now, and something that has a lot of potential.”
Before coming to Palmetto Bay, he was the planner for the City of Hollywood for seven years. He attended Lynchburg College in Virginia, then went to graduate school and got his master’s in Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Although currently still residing in Aventura, Kendall plans to relocate to Palmetto Bay, but not immediately. He and his wife have a 3-month-old child and they do not want to relocate just yet, especially before the holidays.
His early impressions of the village are very favorable.
“The city’s fantastic,” Kendall said. “You’ve got residential; you’ve got some commercial; it’s a very good balance as far as municipalities go. The size of the commercial corridor compared to the residential is proportionate, where there’s not one greater than the other. You have to have someplace to eat, and someplace to live and good schools to go to.”
Kendall is second in command to the director of Planning & Zoning and there is an assistant planner and a few other staff members who help out. He has his work cut out for him.
“I’ll get the questions from Planning & Zoning specifically having to do with any code issues, or if there’s any problems, I’ll be the one to resolve that, hopefully,” Kendall said. “And write any staff reports for projects currently going on in the village.”
He also said that the job involves not only local planning and zoning, but wider issues as well. There are intergovernmental agreements specifically that deal with situations in which there are structures or buildings that are adjacent to other city limits.
“So there’s the technical side of it that if there’s a building going up next to Cutler Bay’s property we contact them and make sure it’s okay with them at the same time,” Kendall said. “There are also regional planning meetings that are attended by the director and council with most of the local municipalities, that discuss regional issues and bigger topics than any specific city.”
He said that although the village is relatively new as communities go, the planning and zoning regulations were adapted from the county’s which had been in place for a long time. “But it’s not a one-size-fits-all type of thing and we’re still working to improve those areas that need it,” Kendall said. He said that the members of the village council are extremely hands-on and like to be informed about what is happening. Over all, he is pleased with his new duties and the community.
“I’m excited,” Kendall said. “I’m very thankful to have been afforded the opportunity to be here. I think the people here I’ve met so far are fantastic and the work environment is one of a kind. It’s a great place to be.”