This from the Herald today:
…a group of investors are developing a large chunk of Homestead’s Park of Commerce — 270 acres lying west of the Homestead-Miami Speedway and east of Florida’s Turnpike — into what they believe will become South Florida’s largest luxury business park.
Once complete, the aptly named ParkSouth will house 1.4 million square-feet of warehouse, light-commercial and office space. Maybe even a hotel.
“I see Homestead like a new Doral, a new Weston, three years down the line,” said Albornoz (retail investor).
Jeez, I hope not.
This is really unfortunate - especially given our current economic problems. We can no longer approach land development with a business as usual mindset. This project typifies the type of bad, autocentric planning that pervades our suburbs and which should not only be avoided, but written out of our land development regulations (ie. made illegal - in much the same way that compact/traditional planning has been illegal for the past 50 years).
Our friends at Eye on Miami have some great commentary about the proposed changes to the State growth management laws - part of the same discussion. Rolling back growth management laws is clearly a mistake - we need to beef up our land development regulations, not water them down. Our future is in compact, pedestrian friendly development - incremental growth that uses resources efficiently, and results in the creation of real communities. Projects like the one shown above perpetuate an isolated, car-dependent way of life.
The advent of the car was a great thing - it allowed us the flexibility to travel long distances, altering the landscape we inhabit. In our eagerness to use this new toy to its fullest - we separated the different aspects of our life - work, home, school, store - into neat little zones, but we never stopped to ask whether it was practical or useful to do so in the first place. Well it isn’t - not for the people who inhabit these places, and not for the local government that needs to provide them services.
If we continue with these same patterns of development then our future is going to look like one mini-Doral after another, all connected by an arterial that comes from nowhere and goes nowhere.
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