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Miami Shores residents fear new development could pose environmental hazards – NBC 6 South Florida

In the Miami Shores, debate is raging about a neighborhood where a developer wants to put some business.

Key Concerns: Biscayne Bay Pollution and Quality of Life. But project managers say their plan will actually benefit the village.

The disputed area is now a fenced, bulldozed land near 105th Street and Biscayne Boulevard. It used to be a motel and was planned to be used as a boarding house or for multi-family use.

Brad Smith, Stern Properties’ director of development, says the project is split into two phases.

“The first phase closest to the canal will be the Aspen dental office, Chipotle and a two-story building and will account for about 70 percent of the project.”

But it is the remaining 30% of the plan that is causing controversy and criticism from some neighbors, like Carol Respondek.

“My biggest concern is the environment,” Respondek said.

Stern Properties also wants to build a gas station and a 24-hour convenience store — near the canal leading into Biscayne Bay.

“We are extremely worried about our bay,” Respondek said. Our canals and bays, we’ve seen dead fish, fewer manatees, and we’re really concerned about gas stations. “

However, Smith said they plan to build the gas station so it doesn’t create environmental hazards.

“We will place the site at the highest elevation of the canal to drain the water out of the canal and we will have a stormwater management system and we will collect all the water in place and will not be allowed to discharge any which country entered the canal,” he said.

Last month, the Village Council approved the first round of zoning changes — the final vote will take place next month.

None of the board members voted to be interviewed by NBC 6. But they’ve heard a lot from the public for and against the plan.

One resident was supportive saying it would bring in better business, another said it was a positive for the tax base to get more jobs. One resident who opposed the plan said she was worried about the gas tanks being compromised and another expressed concern about crime and safety.

The developer still has a few weeks to convince neighbors and villages to support their plan.

“It was more than just a project for us, we wanted to engage the community and we were constantly trying to do that all the time and find ways to incorporate feedback,” Smith said. their.”

Although the council voted to move forward with a possible zoning change, planning staff recommended it not, citing the same concerns as some residents.

But if the zoning change is finally approved – the project still has to be voted on separately.

https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/some-miami-shores-residents-concerned-new-development-could-pose-environmental-hazards/2644488/ Miami Shores residents fear new development could pose environmental hazards – NBC 6 South Florida

JOE HERNANDEZ

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