Biltmore Neighborhood Association

The Association is to be strongly praised for its aggressive defense against both the City of Coral Gables and a private school company who want to set up a large charter school in a city neighborhood in a church school.  The City Commission was willing to approve a 200-student school.  With this the Commission was on both sides of the question–they supported somewhat the parents who wanted to send their kids to the school and they supported the neighbors who didn’t want the school. (Peruvians say “ni chica ni limonada“).  I was extremely impressed by the legal representation of the Association and the well presented views of the neighbors against the school.

The Biltmore Neighbors Association filed a motion Monday with the circuit court to challenge the 110-student certificate of use, which the city issued in June.

The suit says the certificate was inconsistent with the city’s comprehensive plan and its zoning code. The comprehensive plan says if a religious institution operates a school, the school must be run by the religious organization.

“The city didn’t follow its own rules,” said Tucker Gibbs, an attorney who is representing the homeowners. “It’s non-church operated, so that makes it illegal. We filed the suit to basically enforce what we believe is the city’s rules.”

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

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