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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Will Village West be changed by upzoning?

Interesting article in The Miami Times about the gentrification of Village West. 

The Village West has been prime territory for developers, only nothing has been done in all these years except to eliminate apartment buildings, were people were living. In those spaces is deserted land.

Upzoning is now on the table as an issue, brought on by a law professor at UM, Anthony V. Alfieri.

Mr. Alfieri feels that the properties along Grand Avenue are meant for low rise development and zoned for residential. If others have their way, it will end up being the next Brickell.

It seems that no matter how much many of us try to keep the village a village, greed gets in the way and tries to change the neighborhood. It's always a case of having a great little neighborhood and then overbuilding and over-populating it which changes the whole neighborhood from what it originally was. The developers pocket the money and the rest of us are left with over-development, upzoning and lower quality of life.

Here is the full Miami Times article.

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that just about every time a developer buys a property, they hire a powerful zoning attorney to petition the City of Miami or MDC for up-zoning for greater height and density. They always promise that they will deliver a better building, improve the neighborhood, create employment opportunities and bring increased property taxes to our general fund. They request to build really high and out of scale projects, but with enough neighborhood resistance, they will eventual compromise and just build a moderately high and out of scale project. Why must every project be a battle between the developer and the out lawyered neighbors? Residents are not permitted to change the zoning of their house and neither should we allow developers to expect that they can do so. Miami recently invested a great deal of funds and time creating our new zoning code Miami-21. So why don’t we respect it? Let developers know that they can build what the property is zoned for. Just don’t even think of requesting it to be up-zoned. In fact, remove the power to vote for up-zoning from the Commissioners all together. They have enough on their plate with budgets, pensions, transportation, photo-ops, ribbon cutting ceremonies and campaigning for reelection. If Commissioners no longer hear up-zoning cases, then they will not have to feel obligated to vote in favor of them, just because the developer was a donor to their election campaign. It will be a relief to the Commissioners to no longer feel they are compromising their principles. If a project is significant enough that it will forever alter the quality of life of a neighborhood, than the possible rezoning must be put to a public referandium. Let those that will be the most effected decide the future of their own neighborhood and not a Commissioner that will eventually be long gone and not be here to live with the consequences.

December 17, 2015 5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen

December 17, 2015 7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally think Brickell is a much better place than it was 15 years ago. Would love to see West Grove improve. Anything but the dump it is now..

December 17, 2015 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree it should not be allowed to overdevelop. Look at what is happening on Bayshore drive. If you bought at the Ritz now your view is gone and probably your value as well. You buy at the two new building great view but then when the other buildings are built across (coconut grove bank) some owners will lose the view as well. Then we go into the traffic over population or we have vacant buildings owned by oversees investor holding their money in concrete. The Grove has history that needs to be maintained for all to enjoy no matter what your social economic status is.

December 17, 2015 8:51 AM  
Blogger Brian Breslin said...

Fighting gentrification is a sensitive subject. Many economists argue that fighting development can disenfranchise the poor already living in the area. The smart solution is to bring in the community leaders of village west and have them help craft a new zoning ordinance that makes sense financially for developers and the community. That neighborhood needs more jobs which will help the residents. The current zoning was designed for an era long gone.

December 17, 2015 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are large swaths of open fields over several blocks on Grand Avenue which should be converted into a big lush tropical park with a soccer/football field in the middle for neighborhood kids. Ask David Beckham and his friends to buy it and donate it to the City and the community will be thankful and supportive for ever to him.

December 17, 2015 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian:
There is little need to "craft a new zoning ordinance" since Miami-21 was implemented in May 2010 and not "designed for an era long gone" as you seem to think. Zoning codes only work when the community supports them and the Commissioners respect them. Since most Commissioners prefer to vote in favor of donors rather then residents, it would be best if remove that temptation from them. Talk to your newly elected District-2 Commissioner and see if you can get him to support the zoning code that we paid plenty for. It would be even better if you could get him to possibly champion legislation to only permit changes to zoning with a public referendum. Good luck!

December 17, 2015 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only is the grove going to turn into a brikell but its going to happen way sooner than you think.get ready guys.thank god i sold all my properties when i did.now people will have to sell theres for pennies on the dollar.sad but all in the name of progress as they say.traffic is going to be a logistical nightmare in the grove in the next 5 years

December 17, 2015 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record, Professor Alfieri has been screaming about the sky falling in the west grove for over 15 years - trust me, I've heard it from him many times.

Still, it hasn't happened. Still, in the last 20 years, a half-block of development has occurred, and it has been within existing zoning, and fitting all around - the BofA andCVS, and the buidling directly across from them.

Maybe in another 50 years, there will be new 2 story buidlings stretching all the way to douglas... oh the horror. This glacial pace will certainly give us all whiplash.

December 17, 2015 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This issue is exactly why Ken Russell was elected. Now is the time for him and all of us who live in the Grove to step forward, speak out and do whatever we can to manage changes that are coming. Yes, changes are coming no matter what, but the type of change will be really important. There are lots of vacant lots, and the neighborhood needs help, and development is inevitable. The kind of development and its inclusiveness will be our legacy, and that of our elected leaders. I plan to attend the meetings, talk to my neighbors, contact Ken and make my voice heard and not just complain on an online comment section.

December 17, 2015 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Son mentioned to me yesterday that Coconut Grove is designated as a unique, one of a kind, well maintained, healthy ecosystem. Contrast that with millions of Chinese purchasing canned pressurized mountain air from Canada. Plus, we have Biscayne Bay, parks, parks and more parks and fresh air drifting in from the NE across the Atlantic. about 78% of the time annually. Traffic slows everything down; perhaps we don't have as many accidents or people being run over due to the slow traffic, what with all the bicyclist, baby carriages and dogs being walked. Presently our Grove is very attractive place to live. Jobie Steppe

December 18, 2015 8:38 AM  

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