Miami-Dade Residents Gather To Protest Closure Of Matheson Hammock Park’s West Entrance – CBS Miami
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For the second year running, Miami-Dade residents gathered to protest the closure of the west entrance of Matheson Hammock Park.
“It’s easy. I just don’t want these people to be watched near my house, ”said pro bono attorney Bruce Jacobs, who represents the Friends of Matheson Hammock Park West.
CONTINUE READING: 3 children injured in NW Miami-Dade Crash
Jacobs says efforts to close the Old School House Road entrance to the park are being driven by the Hammock Lake Homeowner’s Association.
“You have come up with a plan that this nature trail, which is about a quarter of a mile longer, is a protected natural rock trail. It is planned to build a multi-million dollar promenade directly through the nature trail. As if this is somehow helpful to the community, and really all it does is give them an excuse to close the north gate on Old School House Road. ”
Jacobs refers to emails between then District Commissioner Xavier Suarez and the President of the HOA as evidence.
“It all started when there was a judge on the Miami-Dade Circuit Court, a very powerful person in town who went to consult with a district commissioner and said I want you to meet with the My Homeowners Association and that they do This park is closed, ”said Jacobs as he described the contents of the email chain.
But the homeowners association denies claims they had nothing to do with the change. In a previous interview with Bill Ogden, the HOA president said that while they reached out to the commissioner for help with concerns about the park that surrounds their community, those emails never came to the rescue.
CONTINUE READING: RNC donors gather to hear Trump, others in Palm Beach, the GOP’s “New Political Power Center”
Ogden added that the Old School Road Entrance was only used for service vehicles from the mid-1980s through 2009 and was not open to the public.
In 2009 the entrance was expanded to accommodate people with disabilities, but since it was never monitored, anyone could access it again. Before the gate closed to COVID last year, about 4,000 cars a month used the west entrance that runs through their small residential area.
Now the newly elected Commissioner Raquel Regalado is trying to find a balance between the two sides across this district
“Miami-Dade County makes no decisions about who lives next to the property. We are making this decision on the basis of the treaty and our commitment to protect, preserve and restore environmentally harmful properties, ”added Commissioner Regalado.
Regalado says she has proposed laws that address the concerns by giving the environmental resource management department, not the commissioners, neighbors, dog owners or the parks department, the final say on what happens next.
MORE NEWS: Florida man accused of killing girlfriend’s 2-year-old son
“We take into account all the different parties, the people who are interested in the environmental piece, the people who are interested in the dog park, the leash and no leash, and the educational component,” said Regalado. “These are environmentally protected areas and that is our number one priority. We are careful to restore and preserve this.”