Miami Planning and Zoning Director Francisco Garcia withdrew his proposal to rezone a vacant lot in Midtown where Wal-Mart has been planning to build a 24-hour superstore. He notified Mayor Tomas Regalado and the City Commission by letter about noon today, asking to take the item off Thursday’s commission agenda.
The city’s Planning, Zoning, and Appeals Board had voted unanimously to deny the rezoning, citing a lack of specific plans from Wal-Mart and the opposition of numerous Miamians at the board meeting and two public workshops. The city staff’s request would have allowed N. Miami Avenue’s median to be narrowed so big trucks could pull into the store from that side of the block just north of NE 29th Street. “The feedback received thus far,” Garcia wrote, “indicates a marked preference to examine all possibilities available presently, and only if those prove insufficient or problematic consider others as appropriate.”
Miami’s Planning & Zoning Appeals Board rejected the city’s request to rezone a Midtown site where Wal-Mart wants to build a 24-hour superstore. You can read the Miami Herald report — and lively comments — by clicking here. Our earlier report follows.
Pedestrian safety and convenience in the Wynwood and Midtown neighborhoods would be affected by Wal-Mart’s request to accommodate a new store off NE 29th Street. The retailer wants to narrow the tree-shaded Miami Avenue sidewalks and median just west of its building site so its supply trucks can more easily reach the planned store. And it wants to be excused from a zoning ordinance that prohibits putting the store’s loading bays on the Miami Avenue side.
With the proposed design, the pedestrian-oriented character in the Midtown area may survive a constant crawl of semi-trucks delivering consumable products. However, forcing trucks to use North Miami Avenue will place a hard boundary between the residential parts of Wynwood and the many shops and apartments in Midtown. Pedestrian access to Midtown will become as difficult as walking to Dadeland Mall from nearby homes in Pinecrest or Kendall. The proposed changes were shown to neighbors July 9 at a meeting in Roberto Clemente Park. City Planning & Zoning Director Francisco Garcia has called a second meeting for Monday, July 16, at the park’s Dorothy Quintana Community Center, 101 NW 34th St. The time is 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.