Lawsuit filed over trolley garage

Astor Development wants to build Coral Gables trolley garage in West Grove

MIAMI - An attorney representing people living in Miami's West Grove neighborhood filed a lawsuit to prevent a trolley garage for the Coral Gables from being built.

Construction has already begun on Coral Gables' new trolley garage on Douglas Road between Oak and Frow Avenues in the West Grove.

When Astor Development wanted to buy the city's current garage, near Coral Gables High School, to build condominiums, Coral Gables said yes, but only if the developer built a new trolley garage first. The developer decided on a site in the West Grove.

Attorney Lowell J. Kuvin, who is representing some of the residents, contends there are at least three legal challenges to the construction of the garage, including:

  1. Was proper notice given to all the persons required to receive notice under the City of Miami ordinances?
  2. Is the Miami 21 code of ordinances requirement of notice to residents constitutional?
  3. Is the intended use of the Trolley Maintenance Facility allowed at the location – Industrial (not allowed) or Commercial (some allowed).

Kuvin filed the lawsuit Thursday.

Kuvin added that a study by the University of Miami's Center for Ethics and Public Service found that the garage would adversely affect the health of its residents.

A meeting will be held in Miami City Hall chambers until about 7 p.m. Thursday.

Tadd Schwartz is the public relations spokesman for Astor - the developer behind Gables Trolley Depot in West Grove project.

Schwartz made the following statement regarding the lawsuit:

Amazing how this attorney chose to share a lawsuit with the media prior to serving the defendant - who has yet to receive anything and therefore cannot even respond. He's clearly taking this on for the personal publicity. What a shame - considering the land in question was zoned for this use, all adjacent property owners and homeowner associations were properly notified of the initial zoning application, the City has issued a building permit, and construction has commenced. The appropriate time to raise concerns would have been during the appeal period for the zoning approval, however no appeals were filed with the City. Those are the facts.

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