Why is the city not transparent in its communications?
By: Doral Community Coalition
Over the years, we have seen the growth of our City of Doral, including Downtown areas, like Downtown Doral, Midtown Doral, and City Place. We have also seen the growth of commercial areas with the addition of many warehouse complexes. These have all been planned development areas over the decades the city has been here.
The objective of the master plan has always been to maintain large residential and commercial areas west of the Federal Reserve Building on Doral Blvd, in order to better control traffic and access to services like schools.
Progress and growth are part of every new city, and in Miami Dade County it seems to flourish more rapidly. Nevertheless, when making decisions as a City, the quality of life for current and future residents must be the top priority before approving the requests of builders and developers. Currently, the City does not have any of the properties west of 97th Ave on Doral Blvd zoned for large scale residential. In other words, unless the council approves a change, no developer can build a residential tower, or mixed used project (residential + business) on our beloved Doral Blvd from 97th to 107th. Recently questions have been raised regarding a new project being considered by the administration. This project is not new, in fact it was informally discussed in the past. The project, referred to as Oasis Doral by Apollo Companies, seems to be moving forward and considered to be presented officially as an application for Zoning Change to the property located across from the Publix Plaza on 97th and 41st.
The process for a developer will typically include conversations with the Mayor, City Attorney and Zoning Director. Once these individuals give the developer the green light they may ask for the developer to speak and get the backing of the community. After the developer feels they have the majority of the Council backing the project they will then officially hand in the Application for the Zoning changes and approval.
The Apollo Companies has already taken the step of reaching out to part of the community. In fact, a meeting took place on Tuesday, March 28th with the Costa del Sol Executive Committee. We also understand that a City of Doral employee Julian Perez, has been spreading the word that new laws in Tallahassee prevent the City from denying this development from occurring. Knowledgeable sources have informed the Doral Community Coalition that due to the location of the area being considered for this project the law DOES NOT apply and the zoning change can be denied by the City.
We certainly expect our elected officials to represent us, not Tallahassee. The question now becomes, what happens if new changes (Zoning Changes) are approved, and those residential areas are expanded? What happens if the change is made and developers are allowed to build residential buildings on Doral Boulevard from 97 to 107th Av?
Residents and business owners are well aware of the increasing costs of land in our City, and the interest from developers to buy, build and sell projects in Doral. The many large commercial plazas that line Doral Boulevard have become beacons to developers, who see the large parking lots as available building space. It doesn’t take a large area to build a 15-story tower…. If this new project is approved and Zoning is changed in Doral Boulevard, all plazas that sit on 41st street west of 97th Av will also be available for development of mixed used Residential/Commercial projects that include 12-18 story towers. The effect on the Quality of Life for residents could be catastrophic. Allowing for any Zoning changes west of Univision and the Federal Reserve would cause a snowball effect of overdevelopment on Doral Boulevard at the cost of the residents of our City.
The Oasis at Doral project currently includes (currently renderings, may change when application is made to the City):
- 2 residential towers (14 story)
- Commercial buildings to include: Retail, Grocery Story, Gym, Car Dealership
- Hotel (14 Story)
- Assisted living Facility (14 story)
- 2 Office towers (currently existing 4 story)
When analyzing the impact of this project and the possibility of the changes that may be applied to the rest of our most important City road, there are many reasons for concern. The current administration seems to be promoting and pushing for these changes, some with misinformation to the public, and suspicious activities like the last meeting reorganized as“41s St charrette” only brought more confusion. The Doral Community Coalition believes in Controlled Development, with focus on the residents’ Quality of Life and will continue to inform the community of important developments in Doral. It is up to each resident to be informed and get involved in the process before votes take place and changes are approved.
The upcoming months are key to the future of our city you are part of that future.
Article paid for and approved by Doral Community Coalition