Hi my name is Amanda Prieto and I live in Calusa, West Kendall, Miami-Dade. We are raising funds for a legal appeal and to continue advocating for the protection of 168 acres of green space, a multi-species rookery, and wildlife habitat. I have been advocating with a group of neighbors, to save our community from a large scale GL Homes 550 home development.
There are 168 acres of land that is designated parks and recreation in the heart of our community that was intended to be protected until 2067 under a land use covenant. The covenant was released in 2020 after a minority of homeowners entered into a financial settlement with the owner/developer. Money, power and lobbyists influenced a change in zoning, to the detriment of our community and resident quality of life.
Residents are concerned about the wildlife that call Calusa home. We were able to document the nesting of the State Threatened tri-colored heron, and have FWC add it to their map of imperiled wading bird colonies nesting in the Calusa Rookery. There is high activity of the endangered Florida bonneted bat, and we are not confident in the environmental studies submitted by the applicant. We want US FWS to provide consultation, and ensure proper methodology and protocols are followed to protect wildlife on the property.
On November 17th, 2021 resident concerns were dismissed at the Miami-Dade County zoning public hearing, when commissioners voted 10-2 (with one absent) to approve the large-scale development without USFWS or FWC consultation.
On December 23rd, we formalized our group by forming a non-profit Save Calusa Inc. and filed litigation to reverse the zoning approval, and to hold tree/building permits until wildlife studies are complete.
For more information on our advocacy, please go to www.savecalusa.org
Calusa Community Advocate
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