State OKs huge multi-use project
Written by Vanessa Zambrano on September 25, 2013
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has granted a land use change at the former Westview Country Club’s site, approved by the Miami-Dade County Commission last year, that allows a $300 million redevelopment of the now-closed golf course and private club.
The order permits up to 1.6 million square feet of light industrial and warehouse space plus up to 400,000 square feet of retail and office development and up to 2,000 residential units.
The department’s decision supports the recommended order filed Aug. 1 by administrative Judge Suzanne Van Wyk upholding the county commission’s action. Despite some area residents’ objections, the commission in December approved a land use change in the residential area that allows the redevelopment.
The 196-acre site is between Northwest 22nd and 27th avenues and Northwest and 107th and 132nd streets.
Area residents had challenged the commission’s action, alleging that the land use change was inconsistent with the county’s plans and with the adjoining residential use.
Rosal Westview had at first proposed to develop 2 million square feet of industrial and warehouse space, but after negotiations with the residents and with county Commissioner Jean Monestime, the developer agreed to limit it to 1.6 million feet.
The county’s decision to allow the change limited industrial development to 1.6 million square feet of light industrial, warehouse and flex space, and further limited warehouse/distribution space to no more than 700,000 square feet of that; limited business and office development to 400,000 square feet of retail and service uses; limited residential development to areas designated for business and office use, and a maximum of 2,000 units; prohibited direct vehicle access between the property and the surrounding residential neighborhood; limited the height of any hotel or motel to 50 feet, and committed the developer to work with transportation authorities to improve Northwest 119th Street.
“Petitioners failed to establish beyond fair debate that the challenged Plan Amendment is not in compliance,” stated the recommended order by Judge Van Wyk.
The Department of Economic Opportunity’s final order said that no one had filed exceptions and that “no party demonstrated that the underlying administrative proceeding departed from essential requirements of law or that the findings of fact in the recommended order are not supported by competent, substantial evidence presented at the final hearing. Therefore the department accepts the findings of fact of the recommended order.”
It also states that the department accepts the judge’s conclusions of law, adopts her recommended order and finds the plan amendment that the county commission approved Dec. 4, 2012, to be in compliance.
The issue isn’t officially over, though: appeals can be made within 30 days of the filing of the department’s Sept. 19 final decision. The notice must be filed with the department’s agency clerk in Tallahassee and with the district court of appeal by then or the right to judicial review is waived.