MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Local 10 News began investigating after video of crews using heavy machinery to rip out trees at an old Miami-Dade golf course began circulating on social media.
Developers want to turn that patch of land in southwest Miami-Dade into homes, but neighbors in the area believe it needs to be protected and left alone.
There has been strong opposition to developing what used to be the Calusa golf course.
The group of residents were recently hit with a huge blow when Miami-Dade County Commissioners voted in favor of developing the land, but Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava promised the environment would be protected.
Developers GL Homes and Facundo Bacardi plan to build homes on the abandoned property.
Those residents were alarmed on Wednesday when they heard construction noises.
The land had been protected by a covenant against residential development, but it was also voted down by the commission last year.
Cava did recently come out in support of residents over environmental concerns, vowing to require developers take protective measures under the supervision of the county’s department of environmental resource management, better known as DERM.
Community Activist Amanda Prieto says seeing the drone video taken Wednesday was alarming.
“We obtained the footage, we’re greatly concerned and immediately reached out to DERM,” Prieto said. “Right now my understanding is they do not have any tree permits.”
Seeking answers, Local 10 news reached out to Mayor Levine Cava Wednesday afternoon.
She said she sent a DERM investigator to the site shortly after the video surfaced.
“They confirmed that what is happening is part of a clearing of invasive species,” said Levine Cava. “It doesn’t have anything to do with the development, and it’s approved and being supervised.”