Pinecrest votes against building of Matheson Hammock dry dock

VILLAGE OF PINECREST, Fla. - Tuesday night the Village of Pinecrest joined several other neighboring South Miami-Dade municipalities in opposing the development of a proposed dry dock facility at Matheson Hammock Park.

In unanimously passing its opposition resolution, the Pinecrest city council wanted to send a message to the Miami-Dade County Commission, which determined that a boat storage facility needed to be built at the historic public park in neighboring Coral Gables.

Pinecrest council members said the project should have never gotten the county's green light saying the public was never properly notified or allowed to review the proposal beforehand. Pinecrest also said there has been a lack of study results publicized about impact on traffic, noise and the environment.

Before the council voted Tuesday night, developer Andrew Sterner of Aventura-based Aqua Marine Partners addressed members and about 40 residents telling them that there has been a lot of misinformation about the project.

Sterner said studies are still underway and that no final development plans have been submitted or designed. He also said elements of the project are subject to change before the city of Coral Gables makes the final approval.

Currently the proposal calls for 1.3 acres of Matheson Hammock's 600 plus acres to be used to build a boat storage facility six stories high, which would make it visible above the park's tree line. The building's length could run as long as one and a half football fields, with room for 360 boats in dry dock. The privately funded project has an $18 million price tag.

Aqua Marine Partners would lease the boat spaces; and the county would receive about $200,000 a year in rent for the term of the 20-year contract.

A date for the final decision and design plans has not been set.

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