Doral held a local planning agency meeting and a council zoning meeting on Wednesday, May 20.
A heated debate centered around possible changes to the city’s zoning and land-use policies that would allow for construction of up to 195 residential units at the intersection of Northwest 112th Avenue and 82nd Street. Residents and neighbors were concerned that the new residential area, in addition to the proposed 114th Avenue Park that would be built next door, would increase traffic, cause an exodus of residents, and reduce property values.
“I’m not against growth. In fact, I’m for growth, but it has to be prudent growth,” said Doral resident Alex Rodriguez.
Two items on the agenda addressed the specific issue. One item called for a change to the city’s land use that would allow a move from low- to high-density residential development. The other called for a zoning from “Industrial Commercial” to “Multifamily Residential 3.” Other uses, including possible commercial interests on the first floor, were also discussed.
Doral’s planning and zoning staff submitted a report that recommended the council to approve the changes. According to the report, presented by Planning and Zoning Director Julian Perez, the change is consistent with the goals of the council’s comprehensive plan and with zoning polices in the area that surround the property. The lot in question is vacant.
Both changes were tentatively approved. Councilwoman Christi Fraga was the only member of the council to vote against the changes.
“Do we need to be as compacted as a beehive? You are here to represent the value of my property and the quality of life that we have. Let’s preserve that over external private interests. The developer wants to make money, cash out and leave. He doesn’t care about who is left behind.” — Pierre Chirst, Doral resident and community activist.