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Daily updates on what's up in Coconut Grove and beyond including Brickell, Coral Gables and Midtown Miami

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Too many questions on Waterfront project

As time goes on, many people are studying the Grove Harbour waterfront project and lots of little things are popping up.

I mentioned yesterday that the garage is now zones for "general" businesses on the first floor, changed from "marine," which is what the Sasaki Plan called for.

The garage is not part of the voting process on November 5, but the rest of the 7 plus acres are. This is why we should all vote NO on November 5, as there are too many sketchy items in the plans.

Coconut Grove resident/writer, Dave Villano, sent the following info out regarding the project:

There is no contractual limit to the number of restaurants that can be built and operated on the property. The lease will allow: “one or more casual restaurants, one or more formal restaurants” and “other related food services.”

Shula’s Steak House, Oceano, and Hangar 42 – are not designated under lease terms and may be replaced at any time with other food service concepts and operators.

Restaurants, retail sites, marine services and all other parcels within the 7-acre development site can be "subleased or reassigned” largely at the discretion of the leaseholder (Grove Bay).

80-year lease term will restrict the City from reevaluating and re-designating the site for emerging needs.

Viewed in its entirety, it's my belief that the development plan as presented by city staff, the development team, and as defined in the proposed lease agreement represents a significant departure from the vision expressed by community stakeholders and, ultimately, conceptualized in the Coconut Grove Waterfront and Spoil Island Master Plan. The community-backed Sasaki plan designates the site as the waterfront’s “Civic Core.” The challenge faced by the design team’s planners was to specify limited, low-impact development in a way that would enhance, rather than alter the existing character of “working waterfront.” In my view the proposed development – both as publicly presented and as legally permissible under lease terms – runs contrary to the public’s expressed preferences for access, usage and design character.

Lastly, it should be continually noted that despite the existing structures and commercial operations on the entire 7-acre parcel proposed for development is zoned CS (Civic Space) and the City’s land use designation is “parks and recreation.” In a city that ranks last among major U.S. cities for parkland per capita, we should move cautiously when considering best options for a limited public resource. The city has a long history of leasing public land to private development interests: Bayside, American Airlines Arena, Museum Park at Bicentennial Park, Marlins Stadium, and, here in the Grove, Monty’s mixed-use complex.  While the argument is strong to maintain existing boat storage and entry facilities at Dinner Key, we should be asking if the best use of our limited recreational space and park land is for the construction and operation of restaurants, shops, parking facilities and, under the open-ended nature of this lease, other possible commercial ventures.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said David Villano!

September 11, 2013 8:38 AM  
Blogger Sheila Boyce said...

With out a fixed and officially published plan the Miami Commissioner are asking uninformed voters to say yes to another Trojan Horse or a pig-in-a-poke based on pretty artist renderings.

This project can end up being just another bait and switch bad deal pushed by our politicians in their haste. It gives them, and the developer, too much wiggle room as to what will actually be developed.

This is a very important part of what's left of a limited amount open waterfront land that does not need to be developed into another retail center and parking lot. Especially with he switch from "marine use" to "general".

But that's up to the voters to decide and I'm sure we are all OK with that if they would just have a concrete plan that is widely disseminate ahead of time so that it could vote on knowledgeably.

The wise Miami Dade voter will just say NO! at this point.

That's what I'm asking all my voting friends to do.

The question is what can we do to get the fact, that there are no concrete facts, to the voters so they know to vote NO . . . at least until the City's plans are concrete and the voters clearly informed.

Is the group pushing a petition for more parks in Miami part of your mailing list? This is much the same question. Here the City already has the land why pave it!

Maybe picket type signs at the voting booths and in the streets on voting day and before? We could educate 1,000's just on Bayshore during rush hour as it's going to impact their commute even if they live south of the Grove.

Respectfully
Tom Boyce
2699 Tigertail Ave
Coconut Grove, 33133

September 11, 2013 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is the Grovite outcry, petition, nasty e-mails and rude blog comments regarding Monty’s, Rusty Pelican, Kennedy Park Dog Enclosure, Peacock Park, Glass House and demolition of the successful and highly profitable Dinner Key Expo Center Film Studio, that are also located on publicly owned Waterfront property? Aren’t they also of value to our community? Shouldn’t they also be respected with a referendum, so that we may all decide what is in our best interest.

September 11, 2013 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Mark Anthony, Shipping Ave said...

Marc Sarnoff has lost it. I thought he was cool to work to stop Perez at Mercy H. But instead of doing what is best for the local people and throughout Dist2 lately, he is on a mission to take out whatever beauty remains to the Grove and bring more cars and 'outsiders' here ala Mayfair/CocoWalk... plus give a nice 80 year gift to a commercial developer chosen after only a 90 day proposal period? As if this controversy was not bad enough, next thing I see are gorgeous trees coming down on Brickell, trees that stood up to several hurricanes over the years. Now, my daughters favorite playground is found to be a toxic waste dump. If a piece of land or building is purposed for use by people, especially A children's SANDBOX, ISNT IT ROUTINE TO TEST THE DAMN SPACE BEFORE RATHER THAN AFTER THEY PLAY THERE! I am simply done with this bizarre commissioner. I HATE HIM. If my 5 y.o. tests pos. for above normal lead and arsenic.....

September 12, 2013 9:35 PM  

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