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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Stop the greed; sign the petition

There is a petition regarding over-development in Brickell. I think that ship has already sailed, but in this case it's about Brickell Bay Drive, that quiet area behind Brickell Avenue between 14 and 15 Streets.

Seems our own Grove neighbor Arquitectonica wants a variance against Miami 21, to build a 60 floor tower, where only 12 story high rises are allowed now. Arquitectonica should be applauded for their handling of the renovation and renting of spaces at the Engle Building in Center Grove, but I think most residents in Miami have had enough with spot zoning and loopholes and over-development.

So the petition to Ken Russell and the rest of the City Commissioners, to uphold a denial by the city's planning board is an important message to send. As developers creep into the Grove more and more, it's important to stop spot zoning and variance agreements now.

More info on the petition here.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s tragic that citizens have to constantly fight every upzoning battle against developers, a battery of lawyers and their own elected government in an a noble effort to preserve their neighborhood. It seems that the only time citizens receive justice is when the zoning case is taken to court and a responsible judge rules that the case was an example of illegal spot zoning. This was true with Mercy Hospital and also true with Greynolds Park.

It’s only natural for developers to request upzoning of a recently acquired property, because that instantly increases its value and virtually guaranties its ability to maximize profits.

It’s only natural for elected leaders to support upzoning requests from developers, because they were the ones that mostly funded their election campaign and helped them get elected.

It’s about time that we had a more level playing field for this never ending combative sport. A person is offered a public defender when they can’t afford an attorney. They should also be offered a public zoning advocate or Ombudsman to help them preserve their neighborhood and quality of life that they have worked hard to achieve.

Perhaps there is another alternative. Our commissioners have a great deal on their plates, with all those photo-ops, ribbon cuttings, meetings, chamber lunches, speeches and dinners with lobbyists. Let’s relieve them of the tediousness and stress of having to study all those boring rezoning requests and having to debate the issue, since they will never make everyone happy.
Let’s save the elected leaders from being in a position where they have to compromise their principles to return a political favor to a fundraiser. Let’s agree that our zoning codes need to be respected and supported. That a developer is permitted to develop a property as per the zoning code. That a public referandium is required if a change of zoning is to be considered. Our zoning code was designed to benefit our community with smart and planned growth. It must not be arbitrarily altered to suite every developer that promises the moon and the stars.

January 21, 2016 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good ideas.
And it is our good fortune that we just elected the person the writer describes.
Unencumbered by campaign contributions from special interests, Ken Russell is free to view development matters in a clear, unfettered way.
Good job voters!
We won!.

January 21, 2016 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An individual can file a petition in Federal Court, as of 2013, for $350.00. Armed with only common sense, I sued the City of Miami in Federal court and won. The City hired five attorney's from two law firms and finally the city took over the case to fight my complaint and it did take 2.5 years and wasn't fun and took a toll. Sometimes it's wise to go pro se and the courts are under strict guidelines to take into consideration a pro se litigant so as not to trample on citizens who have a beef.

January 21, 2016 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived for a few years right at 14th, where Brickell bay drives round straightens out. This picture is peculiar in its cropping as it cuts out Jade's 46 stories, which are nearly on BB drive. It also cuts out Brickell House, right on 14th which is over 60 stories, the conrads 40 stories next to that, let alone the longer existing Emerald at 30 stories (in the picture on the right with a pool on the roof), the very very old Sail and Fortune house,e ach at about 30 stories (rear right), and of course the 4 seasons at 65 stories (inside of the horseshoe and just cut out of the shot, not to mention all of the other monstrosity sky scrapers all around it.

My point, if you haven't picked up on it is two-fold: 1) brickell bay is presently the spot zoning, as there are just the 5 lowrise buildings surrounded by skyscrapers 2) the only beneficiary of keeping the height limit there is the 4 seasons (along with maybe the south facing owners in Emerald & fortune house.

Simply stated, this seems an odd battle - that area is interesting and cool and different for Miami, because as my visitors when I lived there - vistitors who'd lived in Miami their whole life, would note, this spot is unlike anythign else in Miami - it's almost got a manhattan feel (Their words, not mine).

Brickell is what it is. High density, sky scrapers, and a place where you can walk to work or ride the free metro mover door to door around your downtown lifestyle. Miami needs to have some real city too, and not just be a strip-mall suburb.

January 22, 2016 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Charles Corda said...

What is really interesting in this case is that the current building on the site designed by Arquitectonica back in the early 80's or possibly late 70's would be demolished and replaced by a new building by them.
There are at least a few people who believe that little red Ziggurat Apartment Building is a future historical landmark as an example of Arquitectonica's early work.
This little building was a sensation in the architectural design community building when originally designed and constructed. I was living in NY at the time and vividly remember when the drawings of it were first published. It was an incredibly interesting and different form of Architecture.
The designed received worldwide attention and has influenced countless
Architects and buildings since.
Whether one agrees with what they are doing today or not the fact remains that Arquitectonica's early work was "critically" - intellectually ,important and helped to set a new direction in Architecture at a time when the profession was firmly in the grips of a historical revival- post modernist style.
In their efforts to promote their own work and reputation Arquitectonica put that little building "out" in the world. It played and important roll in establishing the reputation of the firm and the lead Architects... Fort Brescia and Spear. It was a stepping stone for the larger work that was to follow.
That said it appears to me that this little building should be preserved for it's importance in the history of Architecture in our country. I often disagree with the direction their work has taken particularly in their designs for Grove Harbor and the Genting site. BUT there is no denying that Arquitectonica's early work played an important and pivotal role in the architecture of the late 20th Century..We have a rare architectural gem right here on Brickell. It should not be demolished.

January 25, 2016 9:52 AM  

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