MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A development debate is brewing in northwest Miami-Dade County as homeowners spoke out Wednesday night against a proposed plan to turn their lake into land.
The man-made Silver Blue Lake has been in the community for 50 years. That’s one of the reasons some residents said they’re opposed to eliminating part of it.
The developers and others in the neighborhood disagree, saying the proposed project will bring much needed opportunities to the community.
“We’re filling in a portion of the lake in order to do workforce housing, which is much needed in the community,” said Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, an attorney representing Lake Sana Developments, which hopes to fill in a third of the body of water, 29 of 80 acres, to then build 100 apartments.
Those opposed to the project made their voices heard on Wednesday in front of the zoning board.
“Where they going to put this traffic at? Where this traffic for these 100 developments going to go?” asked Melvin Mills.
Concerns for those opposed include the environment, traffic congestion and history.
Lake Sana Developments promises updates to the local Boys and Girls Club as part of the development, as well as a covenant preventing filling any more of the lake.
“This is a good project,” said Diaz de la Portilla. “It has a staff recommendation, all of the professional agencies that recommended it at the country are recommending approval.”
Added project opposition Anthony Johnson: “We know that people promise things that in the end, they’re not there.”
Not everyone in the community opposed the development project. A handful of residents coming out to voice their support.
“I understand the people who vote no, but when are we going to vote yes on things that affect our children,” said Anthony Johnson, who opposes the development plan.
The zoning board is expected to make a decision on March 16.