Apr 10, 2024 - News

Park or privacy? Miami-Dade offers compromise in land fight

Grassy Palmetto Bay lot

The vacant property that Palmetto Bay wants to turn into a park. Photo: Google Maps

A fight in Palmetto Bay over whether to create a park on vacant county land or sell it to residents worried about commotion outside their homes appears headed toward a solution.

Catch up fast: Homeowners abutting the over 2-acre lot — which is empty, other than a few Florida Power & Light transmission towers — have been trying to purchase the lot since 2022 after complaining about young people gathering to drink beer and play music outside their homes.

  • The property is not buildable, but the neighbors want to buy it for $14,000 to subdivide it and fence it off as private property.
  • After Miami-Dade County notified Palmetto Bay about the application, the village expressed its interest in purchasing it for a park. County staff considered both applications and sided with Palmetto Bay.
  • The county commission voted last week to block the proposed sale to the neighbors and refer it to a committee.

Friction point: The biggest flare-up in the saga came when County Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins, who sponsored the land sale, filmed herself tearing up a letter from Palmetto Bay calling for an investigation into the proposed sale.

Yes, but: Tensions eased on Tuesday when a committee gave direction to the village and the neighbors to work on a compromise that would allow a park to be built, while selling the neighbors a sliver of land to create more privacy.

  • Palmetto Bay Mayor Karyn Cunningham was even seen hugging the main resident behind the lot purchase, the Miami Herald reported.
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