Residents fear ‘Grove Gridlock’ with new private school construction in Coconut Grove

Loss of iconic canopy trees, increased traffic among complaints

GF Default - Resident of Coconut Grove fear loss of green space, traffic grid lock
GF Default - Resident of Coconut Grove fear loss of green space, traffic grid lock

MIAMI – Dozens gathered at Miami City Hall for the Historic and Environmental Preservation Board meeting to voice concerns over a new private school development project built on the historic Villa Woodbine home site.

While some residents were there to support the development, several in attendance were wearing “Stop Grove Gridlock” shirts and voiced opposition to the project.

Among the concerns, residents fear that the new all-boys school proposal put forward by Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart will increase gridlock along Bayshore Drive and also remove iconic tree canopy.

“When you take a home that’s just being used now as property for wedding receptions and events, and, now it’s going to be a school with approximately 400 cars going in and out on a daily basis, you’re just going to impact the traffic,” Coconut Grove resident Isaac Kodsi said.

More recently, opponents to the building project have raised concerns about the current proposal from developers that would remove 116 of the 173 trees on the Villa Woodbine property while potentially building a pool on its limestone bluff.

“I’m personally going to lose 150 trees of the canopy to my home in what they’re about to do,” Kodsi added.

Representatives from the school project told residents that they’d be planting more trees than before with native tree species, unlike those creating the current canopy.

Villa Woodbine was designed by Miami’s first licensed architect Walter De Garmo, who is celebrated internationally for his Mediterranean-Renaissance style.

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