The City of Coral Gables has been sued by parents of students attending George Washington Carver Elementary and Middle Schools over the construction of the Wawa gas station across the street from the schools.
As previously reported on Gables Insider, parents, school officials, residents and community leaders have demonstrated their concerns over the construction of this new project across the street from a school. The project was approved following backroom deals by the office of the City Attorney, dating back 7 years, to acquiesce the needs of the developer.
The lawsuit is a clear snub to several members of the Commission who were actively advocating to prevent any formal parent and community input, in order to prevent a lawsuit from the developer.
Parents and concerned residents have created the Gables Accountability Project (“a Florida non-profit organization made up of concerned Coral Gables residents and parents of children attending George Washington Carver Elementary and Middle Schools as well as Sunset Elementary School.”) and have filed suit against the City.
They released the following statement:
“We are appalled that the City of Coral Gables has repeatedly ignored our request to be heard about a construction project affecting the safety and welfare of more than 1,500 students at George Washington Carver Elementary and Middle Schools.
We felt compelled to file this lawsuit as a last resort after city commissioners took no responsibility for approving a settlement agreement with the land’s developer that, among other things, granted no public hearing on the proposed gas station and a promise to fast track all zoning modifications. In this manner, parents’ legitimate concerns about increased pollution, traffic and safety within close proximity to the school were silenced.
We understand the importance of developing this valuable property. But the failure to include public input from parents and the schools located less than 300 feet from the proposed gas station is incredibly troubling. We urge the City of Coral Gables Commissioners, the Miami Dade County School Board and the Miami Dade Board of County Commissioners to take action to prevent the project from moving forward and find a creative solution that takes into account the perspective of all community members.”