Activists Worry About Destruction Of Environment if Massive Theme Park Built In South Miami-Dade

“No one is going to develop the zoo, everyone knows this land is protected” thought William Cully Waggoner, a member of the Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition and Gold Coast Railroad Museum, when he moved to Miami near the Richmond Pine Rockland in 1990.
Twenty five years later, that patch of pine rockland, a rare forest habitat, is facing more than $1 billion worth of proposed developments, according to Al Sunshine, the president of the Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition.
Sunshine said that proposed plans from developer Ram Realty, include building a 900 unit apartment complex and a Walmart under the name “Coral Reef Commons”.
Read More: Arsonists Burn Large Swaths Of Endangered Habitat At South Miami Park
A separate project, led by The Miami Wilds LLC developers also want to expand Zoo Miami into a theme park, hotel, and tourist destination according to Sunshine.
The developments to the Richmond Pine Rocklands, a globally imperiled habitat, can potentially affect the dozens of rare and endangered plants and animals, including the Florida Bonneted Bat and Miami Tiger Beetle, according to Sunshine.
The Miami Wild LLC development plan states that it  “be allowed to develop and operate an entertainment district.. on Metro Zoo property on land that is not environmentally sensitive and is outside the animal attractions.”
However, on page 23 of the proposed plan, it shows a map of 119 acres of land dedicated to development that lies outside of the zoo property.
On behalf of the Miami Wild LLC developers, Miami Dade county has offered to pay 13.5 million  to the Coast Guard to entice them to move their station off of the rockland to make room for the new proposed theme park according to Waggoner.
However, the Coast Guard has yet to move.
The county’s review states that the Coral Reef Commons developers are required to preserve at least 43 acres

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