4
| Columns |

County Officials Crack Down On A Mom-And-Pop Landmark

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

David Anderson and his family have been serving breakfast and lunch to migrant workers and farmers from a tin-roof shack for more than half a century. But Miami-Dade County's bureaucratic environmental red tape is threatening to shut down his Redland Grocery at 26400 SW 187th Ave., Anderson says. "We've been in survival mode for quite some time," he adds. "It's hard to stay in business in this economy. We certainly don't need the county making it harder for us to stay open."

Built in 1912 as Pioneer Guild Hall, a home for a women's social service group bearing the same name, the structure located on agricultural land in southern Miami-Dade was converted to a mom-and-pop general store and gas station in the 1920s. Anderson's mother and father took over Redland Grocery in 1943, serving fried chicken and pulled-pork barbecue sandwiches along with homemade tamales.

In the 1990s, Redland Conservancy, a nonprofit group committed to preserving the area's agricultural and rural character, designated the store a historic site.

But the Miami-Dade Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) has been putting the squeeze on him, Anderson claims, by forcing him to conduct expensive testing for contamination of Redland Grocery's groundwater wells every month. Initially, DERM officials had refused to close out a building permit on Anderson's property because of the potential contamination from petroleum and sewage waste.

This past June, Anderson appealed to the county's Environmental Quality Control Board, which found that the "on-site drinking water supply well will not be detrimental to the public health." The board granted Anderson a variance on the condition he monitor his wells.

"I've already spent $7000," Anderson grouses. "There is really no reason to do what they are asking for. This is completely uncalled for."

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.