Kendale Lakes residents have mounted a petition drive supporting the Miami- Dade County appeal of a Bureau of Indian Affairs decision designating the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club as a tribal land trust.
Petitions began circulating throughout West Kendall after community activists became aware the county attorney is appealing regulatory control of the 229- acre tract owned and operated by the Miccosukee Tribe as a golf club.
The county has opposed that designation as “unreasonable” and “erroneous” because of a failure to consider extensive objections stated in 2003, including enforcement of an existing 99-year covenant limiting property uses.
The 1972 covenant “currently requires the consent of the Miami-Dade Board of Commissioners and 75 percent of the neighboring residents prior to any change of use,” the county states in its appeal.
Action to appeal was filed Aug. 23, 2012 within a 30 day time limit from July 27, 2012, the date when the decision by Randall Trickey, acting director, Eastern Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, became effective. The county subsequently asked and received extension to Jan. 28 to file its objections.
“The Bureau’s action is outrageous,” declared Miles Moss, president of the neighboring Winston Park Homeowners Association. Moss, a former president of the Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations (KFHA), has aided Kendall resident protests of government and institutional threats to homeowners for more than 25 years.
“The consequence of assigning authority independent of county regulation to the golf course and lake areas is far-reaching and potentially damaging to hundreds, if not thousands of West Kendall residents,” Moss declared.
“Should the tribe redevelop the property, it could substantially change area drainage since the lakes act as drains for accumulated storm water that affect homes surrounding the golf course.”
The county’s original letter of objection came about in 2003 when then county manager George Burgess said the possibility of a casino at the club would cause increased servicing and policing problems.
Trickey’s decision granting the tribal request was largely based on the need to improve the economic conditions for the MIccouskee community, headquartered on 667 acres along the north boundary of Everglades National Park.
Any concerns over using the property for gambling purposes was “without foundation,” his ruling stated, adding that acquisition of the property by the tribe “will not have a significant impact on the existing level of services currently being provided by the state and its political subdivisions.”
Moss and Kendale Lakes resident Aster Mohamed decided to move ahead early in January with the legal appeal upon learning the county only had until Jan. 28 to file its objection
“We wanted our community voice added to the county’s action because, to our knowledge, affected residents never had the chance to speak in behalf of their concerns,” Mohamed added.
Circulated with English, Spanish and Creole text, the petitions note lack of county regulatory authority over the golf course land as a primary objection, also noting residents were unaware the government considered the tribe’s request because “it was not well publicized.”
A background statement distributed to petition signers notes that the tribal land trust designation under federal statutes “could allow the tribe to change the land use to multi-family, a hotel or casino without any control by Miami Dade County or without regard to neighbors’ concerns” which are listed as public safety, traffic, drainage and gambling.
For information regarding signing or obtaining petitions, contact Moss by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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