Preserve Historic El Cid

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Dear Neighbors:
We know it has been a stressful time worldwide with Covid-19, nationally with the election and - at our doorstep, the flooding on So. Flagler, our north-south corridor. Now, the proposed Carefree Planned Development with its massive size and intrusion into our neighborhood. 

The El Cid Historic Neighborhood Association has been closely following this project since the developer’s original submission.  While we support development on So. Dixie, we have substantial concerns related to this Application, which involves doubling the property’s ‘as of right’ development intensity of the City’s Commercial Zoning Code.
The Carefree developer is requesting 11 zoning waivers, most of which involve severely reducing or eliminating the City’s Development Code standard zoning protections including setbacks, lot coverage, landscaping and impermeable surface area.
Due to the impact on our infrastructure, parking, traffic and flooding, the El Cid Association does not support the approval of the latest Carefree Planned Development Application, which will be considered by the City’s Planning Board on Tuesday, November 17th at 6 pm.


What can you do?

It’s simple: have your voice heard over those who live outside our community! To garner support for their project, the Carefree team is promoting to community and business leaders City-wide that they have significantly reduced the size and scope of the project, and that they have the support of the surrounding neighbors.  It is imperative that the City hears directly from our residents – not just those who do not live in our community!
It’s easy to take action and have your voice heard!  

We encourage you to:

  • Attend and speak at the City’s Planning Board Meeting on November 17th in person or by Zoom 
  • Write a letter to the Planning Board members, the Mayor and City Commissioners
  • Sign this petition

Below is a summary of the concerns expressed by our residents:
Size/intensity of the project:

  • The Carefree Planned Development Application seeks to achieve the maximum density and intensity allowed, even as a Planned Development. An unprecedented 11 zoning waivers are being requested. The Carefree Application contains no meaningful mitigation protections for the intrusion into our historic neighborhood.
  • A “Commercial Planned Development” requires a minimum of 5 acres; the Carefree property (2 parcels) is 1.8 acres – 64% less than the minimum requirement.
  • The proposed height of the Carefree would range from 64.6 ft. to 71.8 ft., more than three times the height of single-family homes in El Cid and grossly inconsistent with the scale of development recommended by the 2012 ULI South Dixie Corridor study. 


  • Storm water runoff is a major concern as the requested maximum impermeable surface waiver at 97% would result in a significant reduction in permeable surface.  We are currently experiencing extensive flooding on So. Flagler in our neighborhood; this could compound an already serious problem.


  • Substantial cut-through traffic from Flagler to Dixie exists now and can be expected to increase with a potential 100+ new residents and hundreds of visitors on any day to the restaurants, stores and theatres. 


  • Parking on El Cid’s narrow streets already creates emergency hazards as ER vehicles are unable to pass when cars are parked on both sides of the street.

Buffering the project from the historic neighborhood

  • Three commercial properties on So. Dixie in the immediate vicinity of the proposed Carefree are designated historic landmarks; the proposed Carefree towers over these properties.
  • El Cid residents have worked diligently for more than three decades to restore our historic homes and the ambiance of our neighborhood leading to a strong interest in our community as a desirable place to live, increasing our real estate values, and adding significantly to the City’s tax collections.
  • An 8 ft. wall with landscaping for 64.6 ft. and 71.8 ft. tall building with a 17 ft. east facing setback into the neighborhood is an inadequate visual buffer and a massive affront to the one and two-story residences on adjoining properties. 
  • Noise pollution could be a factor created by two systems in constant operation: (1) a below-grade parking garage is required to be ventilated with an exhaust system, and (2) a pump removing underground water will be running 24/7. 
  • Vibrations from excavations and compaction pilings during construction for a two-level below grade garage might impact the historic homes in the neighborhood, many of which are nearly 100 years old.  

Mark your calendar to attend by Zoom or in person the November 17 Planning Board meeting.
The updated Carefree Justification Statement is available on our website: .
Please email the Association at with questions, comments or an interest in assisting with our efforts.