Visions of residents, officials coalesce

State and city officials chatted with East Kendall residents in a meeting

hosted by the Kings Creek South Condo Association.

Article Courtesy of the Miami Herald

Posted July 31, 2005


EAST KENDALL -- East Kendall residents mingled with government officials Thursday night at a gathering hosted by the Kings Creek South Condo Association.

Board members from several neighboring communities got acquainted with officials and chatted about their vision for East Kendall development.

Guests included Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, state Reps. Juan-Carlos Planas and Julio Robaina and Miami-Dade Commissioner Carlos Gimenez. Jose Valdes, chairman of the Kendall Community Council, and council member Carla Savola also attended.

Residents avoided getting into specifics about particular projects.

They asked about broader issues, including traffic, high-density development and school overcrowding.

''The East Kendall area is acquiring a personality of its own,'' said Alfredo Manrara, president of the Kings Creek association.

Residents from numerous nearby condos and neighborhoods were also present, including Kendall Glenn, Village of Kings Creek, Continental Park, Kingston Square, Snapper Creek Park, Kendall Point and Tara.

Manrara said several homeowner groups have formed a ''loose coalition'' and are meeting weekly to organize their opposition against Dadeland Breezes, a proposed development that would nearly double the density of an apartment complex just west of the Palmetto Expressway on Kendall Drive.

The mayor congratulated the communities for their unity.

''Ultimately what you want to do is create a coalition of homeowner associations, and that is extremely important because of the power that it will give you,'' Alvarez said.

Gimenez, too, said he would do his best to address the residents' concerns.

Another major focus was the new board of directors for the Kings Creek South Condo Association, who were elected after a lengthy recall of the former board. ''We thought they were not exercising their obligations to oversee the management of the community,'' Manrara said, adding the old board was meeting ''very few times'' a year. ''This is a new beginning for Kings Creek South,'' he said.

After the meeting, guests joined about 100 residents of Kings Creek South in a celebration of their 25th anniversary as a condominium. The complex was created in 1970 as apartments and went condo 10 years later. The mayor cut a cake that was decorated like a map of the Kings Creek South buildings.

Manrara recognized the Village of Kings Creek community, which went through a similar recall about five years ago and encouraged Kings Creek South to do the same.

He also thanked Robaina for mentoring them throughout the process.

''I didn't do this, you did,'' Robaina said. "All I did was basically tell you how to go about it. Recalls are not easy, but it is what will set you free.''

Manrara said Alvarez and Gimenez offered to hold a town meeting to get a better understanding of the issues facing East Kendall residents.