Planning Board postpones rezoning for senior project

By Kimberly Porter….
A decision to rezone a fa city owned piece of property to construct an eightstory residential building was deferred January 11 by the South Miami Planning Board to January 25.

Carlisle Development Group is seeking a change from current LI-4 zoning for the former auto inspection station at 5890 SW 69th Street to allow construction of an eight-story building with a maximum height of 100 feet.

Rezoning to MU-5 was jointly requested by City Commissioners and Carlisle Development Group to meet a city need for affordable housing by allowing a fixed-rent apartment complex for active seniors to be built on the site. Previously both an inspection station and storage building, it has been vacant since 2004.

As late as November 2010, planning officials heard a proposal to convert the property into a community garden. The latest effort to change zoning is caused by Carlisle’s desire to apply for housing tax credits from Due to the property’s proximity to mass transit, medical centers, food markets and schools, it would be an extremely viable candidate to win funding, noted Chris Peterson, senior development manager for Carlisle.

While concerns were expressed about a sudden need to rezone the property, planning and zoning consultant, Sanford Youkilis recommended approval of the application “with the condition of a traffic analysis” by the developer.

Initially, application for state funding required new zoning to be in place and a site plan approved by the beginning of February, he explained. However, that deadline has now been reset to April 2011, the board learned.

“That really blows me away,” interjected Sharon McCain. “As a South Miami resident, why do I care that they’re going to get tax credits?”

Jorge Cruz, a member of the Planning Board, moved to defer voting on the amendment until the next planning board meeting January 25, reflecting members’ desire for more time to have specific questions answered. The motion passed 5-2.

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