jean_monestime_web.jpgMIAMI — Residents from North Miami-Dade’s Westview community claimed their first victory last week in their long-running fight against a developer who is attempting to build an industrial park in their neighborhood.

At the urging of Miami-Dade County District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime, the board on Wednesday, May 17, voted to deny a plan to develop the former Westview Golf Course into an industrial park and office complex. 

Commissioners agreed to send the plan to state regulators along with their recommendation it be denied. The commission will have a final vote on the matter in October.

The former Westview golf course sits on 198-acres in the middle of the predominantly black Westview community. It is Miami-Dade County’s largest tract of undeveloped land in an urban area.

Nearly 100 Westview residents packed the commission chambers wearing white-and-green ribbons to show solidarity against the developer’s plan to build warehouses on the vacant land.

During a four-hour meeting, residents expressed their desire to develop the golf course in a way that would bring more office buildings and retail stores to the area and more jobs to the community.

“Never have so many of our residents come to speak on a single development item,” said Commissioner Monestime, who represents the Westview area. “The County Commission heard the residents loud and clear.”

“We want jobs and we want smart development in our community, but residents do not want warehouses in their backyards,” said Commissioner Monestime.  “The residents said they want development, but not at any cost.”

Commissioner Monestime directed the developer to meet with residents and amend the development plan to

address the residents’ concerns or risk being denied again when the commission considers the item in October.

“The developer has to work with the community.  They have to negotiate and compromise,” said Commissioner Monestime. “The developer is bound to be neighbors with the residents, but in order to be good neighbors they have to be good partners first.”

Photo: Jean Monestime