Lucky Start seeks new land use in Hammocks

Lucky Start seeks new land

Sign on SW 120th Street marks southern entry to divided land parcels.

New land use designation that would allow mixed residential housing of up to 611 units along with a small shopping center is being sought by Lucky Start Ltd. for an undeveloped 52-acre tract in the Hammocks community of West Kendall.

The property is divided by SW 151st Court, a gently curving boulevard connecting SW 120th Street north to Hammocks Boulevard (SW 112th Street), immediately west of the Beckman-Coulter biotechnology equipment complex.

On Dec. 17, the county’s Planning Advisory Board approved a Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) application to change current industrial and office land use to low-medium residential (6-13 units per acre).

The change also would provide businessoffice use for a 50,000-square-foot shopping center planned for a northeast parcel.

Revision from light industrial-office to residential use “reflects today’s market needs, primarily for new residential housing in this area,” said attorney Joseph Goldstein, representing Holland & Knight’s lead attorney, Juan J. Mayol Jr., at the PAB hearing.

Preliminary approval was voted by the West Kendall Community Council on Dec. 10 following a 90-minute hearing of objections initially registered by a group of Hammocks residents in November. At that time, a deferral was granted at Mayol’s request to further review the CDMP status after additional conferences with area residents.

The council’s assent is conditional, pending further county and state approval in the CDMP process. If the new land use is approved, residential or business applications still would require council public hearings with notice to abutting property owners within one-half mile of any parcel effected.

Single-family homeowners immediately west of the property said development of two-story apartment-styled units adjoining their homes would reduce property values. Other concerns include a potential increase of overall density and introduction of rental units.

“We believe these matters will work themselves out in an agreeable manner as the land use process continues,” Goldstein said, noting single-family homes, garden apartments and townhomes currently are planned for development. Office-retail use would be restricted to a 50,000-square-foot center with professional or retail space and a restaurant.

One condition added to the CDMP application will require Lucky Start to build a right turn only traffic lane from SW 151st Court onto westbound 120th Street, opposite the Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport.

Because 37 planned units fall within an Airport District with noise control restrictions, Lucky Start will agree to buffer structures in that area with “filled cinder block” walls and other noise-dampening materials as necessary, Goldstein said.

The application is subject to the CDMP process that must pass additional county and state reviews before a final public hearing and action by county commissioners, Goldstein added.

The original CDMP granting The Hammocks occurred in 1974, just two years after DRI (Development of Regional Impact) restrictions became legally effective in 1972, and is the first DRI ever adopted in Miami-Dade County, according to a Planning staff member appearing at the Dec. 17 hearing.

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