It appears the trolley garage is illegal
The neighbors do not want the garage in their neighborhood for a couple of reasons, the main reason is that it's a residential area, a trolley garage does not belong next to the houses. The second reason is that the garage belongs to Coral Gables, not Coconut Grove. The Gables just swept it across US1 so as not to deal with the ugly mess in their backyard (this is a classic case of governmental NIMBY). Ironically, the trolley does not even accommodate the Grove. And it certainly doesn't take neighbors into the Gables.
And through it all, toxins and trolley mess, skeletons are starting to come out of the closet. One big one is an email that has been circulating, I received it from a number of readers. The original email comes from Dakota Hendon of Miami's Building and Zoning Department, who helped write Miami21. Dakota says that the project should not be built and that it does not conform to the Miami 21 Plan. This email went out long before the project was started and apparently the powers that be ignored it for their own reasons.
So as usual, even our own Building and Zoning Department has no power if someone wants something done, even if it's against zoning rules.
Here is the email (in bold) sent by Dakota to Francisco Garcia, the City of Miami Planning Director:
"We have a bit of a problem. The Coral Gables Trolley Station that I met with you and the applicant on a few weeks ago appears to not be an allowable use as we had originally anticipated. See the definition of Auto-related industrial below. I believe this is specifically an industrial use. At this point, they have already submitted for the Warrant and action needs to be taken to stop the application. Additionally, IDR was adamantly against the project in the specific location. Please call me to discuss at your convenience."
Let's hope this trolley project is finally killed. After all the years of smoke, soot and toxins from Old Smokey, now the neighbors have to deal with fumes from trolleys which don't even traverse our streets?
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