Now you have to remember this issue was a quasi-Judicial item on the Agenda May 2nd.
Somehow the Vice Mayor of Palmetto Bay, who lives near the project, wrote to residents before the vote and even quotes himself in his release, never saw that before.
|Dade County Pine|
Regarding the project in question, I toured the swapped property on Old Cuttler Road and saw Dade County Pines for the first time. I did think they didn't exist anymore. I was pleased with the swap because of the quality of the developer owned lands being swapped. I do not know about zoning changes made by the council in 2008 or the circumstances of how the developer got the property. I am just commenting on the property I toured. However, I would rather see the development back further from the road anyway.
The item passed except for Vice Mayor John Dubois, who did a reversal on recusing himself (He lives very close to this property) and Councilwoman Karen Cunningham, Dubois' best bud on the Council. She is also eyeing the Mayor seat of Mayor Eugene Flinn. Speaking of friends, Dubois temporarily housed an accused sex offender of young girls in his home for his friend.
Here is the Dubois email to residents, sent out looking like a press release, before the quasi-Judicial vote:
For Immediate Release - May 1st, 2016
PALMETTO BAY MAYOR CONTINUES TO SUPPORT A MASSIVE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT THAT COULD TURN OLD CUTLER ROAD INTO A PARKING LOT
(Palmetto Bay, FL) - The Village of Palmetto Bay, long renowned as a quiet, picturesque, and environmentally responsible bedroom community is on the brink of becoming just another over-developed, traffic congested municipality in Miami-Dade County - if the Village's Mayor, Eugene Flinn, and his developer friend get their way.
While serving as Mayor during his inaugural term in February of 2005, Eugene Flinn and his developer friend began increasing the residential development density of the old Burger King Corporate property, now known as the "Palmetto Bay Village Center" on Old Cutler Road, despite strong development opposition by the community for decades. On June 9th, 2008, Flinn voted to "Up-Zone" the property from exclusive use for office space to allow an additional 100 townhomes and 300 bedrooms/units for elderly housing. At the time, the developer stated - "this [elderly housing] type of facility would lessen traffic flow."
Palmetto Bay Vice Mayor John DuBois, who lives a few properties to the North, believes that if the proposed ordinances recently presented to the Village Council and supported by Mayor Flinn are approved, there will be a major traffic crisis in Palmetto Bay. The traffic generated by 100 homes Flinn initially approved in 2008 along with traffic from the additional 385 homes he is trying to approve now could increase car traffic by a factor of 5 on a road that already resembles a parking lot during morning and evening rush hours. This act would destroy the quality of life for residents of Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.
To justify this 5-fold increase in residential traffic flow, Mayor Flinn and his developer friend are now claiming that "it is a good deal for the Village because Palmetto Bay is getting 40 acres of new park land." This is an expertly crafted deception that has even pulled the wool over the eyes of the environmental community. The reality is that these 40 acres include environmentally sensitive lands that cannot be developed for residential purposes. These 40 acres are divided into 2 sections - first is a 22-acre section which already has a land use designation of "Parks and Recreation" the second are 18-acres of mangroves and wetlands that are environmentally protected by government regulation.
"The Mayor's actions could result in a traffic disaster to already gridlocked roads used by residents of Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay that would only benefit Flinn's developer friend." - Said Vice Mayor John Dubois. - Added DuboisDisclosure: This news release is purely the opinion of John DuBois
BTW wetlands are not really as protected by Government regulation as Dubois said. If they were, we wouldn't have half the development in Florida that we have. The Developer is able to do mitigation somewhere else (there are very lucrative mitigation banks) for destroying wetlands and bingo, he or she has their development.
Mayor Flinn said of his vote:
I received no donations from Scott Silver the owner of the Palmetto Bay Village Center. He is an acquaintance, not a friend.
My vote was based upon the law as presented by our village attorney, the facts, the traffic study which showed no impact from the existing plan, as well as the fact that I was able to preserve 40 acres of land. I am looking forward to preserving and beginning a similar effort to what is going on on the Cutler Bay side with their restoration along Old Cutler Road.
Mayor Eugene Flinn responds.