Lot Splitting in the Grove – Preserving our Neighborhood while Encouraging Sustainable Development

Ariel view of proposed lot split

by Marcelo Fernandes

Recently, the City of Miami denied two lot splitting applications for properties located at 3901 Loquat Ave and 3600 Hibiscus Ave. I was involved in trying to purchase both of these properties before they were listed with a realtor. In both cases my offer to purchase was less than what the seller was willing to accept.

My offer was based on the value of the land to build one home on the site and not subdividing.

In both cases I lost out to higher bidders that wanted to build more density. The Sellers, looking out for their own best interest, sold to the highest bidder regardless what was going to happen with the property.

More than a year has passed since the purchase of these properties and the city has denied the initial application to split the lots.

I tried to purchase two other properties that are currently under efforts to be split up into more buildable sites.

These properties are also located in the Grove.

I am the last person that is anti-development as it is my livelihood, but in each case the property needs to be evaluated carefully to make sure we keep the integrity of the Grove we want to preserve.

This can only be maintained if we are diligent about participating in the process with each application that is submitted. In some cases a subdivision may be a great solution as this also helps create less expensive housing and does not have to result in the cluster and density we all oppose. It is all about creative and intelligent design. New homes on smaller lots do not have to be massive. They can easily be designed to fit into our community. We desperately need to begin re-writing the NCD overlays and create incentives in the code to preserve our old Grove charm and continue to allow sustainable and intelligent development to progress.

I urge everyone to stay involved and take a serious look at each application to be able to discuss intelligently the best solution for each property. In all my years of experience there is always a common ground that can be reached where all parties in a transaction can succeed. The best place to start is with the education of Sellers and miss-informed realtors. They are the starting point that create the initial false values and hopes. Wasting time, money and effort trying to fight the city and neighbors in an ill-conceived lot splitting effort is NOT profitable for the new buyer, the City or the residents.