Battersea Woods re-platting denied by Commission
The property is at 4384 Ingraham Highway. The one acre property is in danger of being split up to allow five large houses, destroying the tree canopy in its wake. Construction has already begun, we pointed out this mess of a property in April.
"Immoral" and "greed" were words used often to describe the developers, Palmcorp Development Group, who are said to be skirting the law.
"We, the voting public only ask that our laws are unforced." said one resident.
Many felt that City Attorney, Victoria Mendez, one individual, took the law into her own hands when it came to the Battersea property. She ignored advice given to her by many in order to accommodate the developer.
Why is the city ignoring it's own code to appease developers was asked by many.
The young lady who was being evicted, stepped up and spoke at the Commission meeting. Again, she started putting down the neighbors who are against new development. She didn't understand why people are fighting the new development since it raises property values in the area. She then claimed that it brings property values up so much that it has forced her out. So I am not quite sure what her reasoning is for being condescending to the neighbors, as development has affected her, too. It's all about quality of life.
"Developing with a conscience," is how one lady put it. One man said that the City Commissioners need to start listening to the tax payers who elected them and pay their salaries.
Carlos Sosa, of Palmcorp Development Group, from Coral Gables, one of the developers of the Battersea Wood project spoke. He said that they had gone through all the laws and have gone through many obstacles. It's interesting that he is not trying this in his own hometown of Coral Gables, but here in Coconut Grove. He claims that they are seasoned developers and have not used loop holes to conduct business.
Paul Figg, the attorney for Palmcorp spoke. He says the warrant process does not apply. He says Miami21 does apply. He claims it is all legal. He says that all of the neighbors live on platted land that was not platted to begin with. And now the Commission should vote for the approval of the Battersea property expansion.
Our District 2 Commissioner Ken Russell, made a motion that the plat additions be denied for the Battersea Woods property. He moved that the plat be denied because it did not go through the warrant process and neighbors did not have a chance to appeal the development. Of 13 cases in the Grove now that have lot splitting going on, Ken's office did an investigation and they found that all 13 were not done properly and the properties bypassed the system and are being built illegally. Once concrete is poured, the error cannot be rectified according to local laws.
It's too late for six, the remaining seven will be dealt with.
In the end, the motion passed 5-0. the Battersea Woods property re-platting was denied. A win for the neighbors. For now.
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