As we all know, Palmetto Bay councilmember and mayoral candidate Shelley Stanczyk has spearheaded the campaign against the Palmer Trinity School expansion.
At the May 4 (and 5) public hearing on the school’s revised site plan, she arbitrarily capped the student population at 900, and then voted against her own amendment. Not surprisingly, the issue is now back in court and could cost the village well over $500,000.
In its most recent ruling regarding Palmer’s zoning, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled the village departed from the essential requirements of the law, resulting in a miscarriage of justice. This same court could now be assessing fines and penalties against the village, with serious financial implications.
Then Stanczyk led a campaign against a charter school that was going to rent space from Old Cutler Presbyterian Church. She was successful in orchestrating an email campaign that caused the Miami-Dade School Board to strike the item from its July 14 agenda, effectively delaying the implementation of this neighborhood school for at least another school year.
Bad for the school, and the church really needed the financial support from that rent.
Next on the list, Councilmember Stanczyk became aware of a large parcel of land for sale immediately adjacent to Westminster Christian School. She does not want Westminster to get involved in buying this piece of property for $8.8 million. What was her response? To propose an emergency moratorium on all development in the Village of Palmetto Bay, although I asked her and she denies that.
What schools or churches are next? Is Christ Fellowship the next one in line to be rejected because they ask for an expansion?
People move to Palmetto Bay because of the schools, parks and religious institutions. Stanczyk tried to pass an ordinance last year regarding churches, private schools and child care facilities which would severely reduce their size, hours of operation and even the size of their congregations. The village council ignored this egregious intrusion into the operation of some of the most important village assets.
Stanczyk and her vocal group are against any expansion of churches and schools. They may have the power, but that doesn’t make it right. Is this the direction in which the people of Palmetto Bay want to go?