It's all about the square footage
I called the company that owned the house, they had a sign out front. I asked them why they were destroying such a beautiful house and their response was that it was termite ridden. Their answer to this pesky problem was to construct two large, three story town houses on the property, side by side, touching with a common wall, a modern day Queens/Archie Bunker Astoria-style house, you know - attached.
There is maybe a foot or two of land on either side to get to the back of the lot. The houses next door are one story ranches, now in the shadows of the large structure. The original house had been set far back with a nice big lawn out front, now the lawn is gone and there is space for a couple of driveways, but they come up as close to the sidewalk as possible.
A friend told me that his mother lived at the original house a couple of decades ago. He said it was a great house inside, just as I suspected. It was not one of those tiny shotgun houses, which I know people like to knock down and replace; it was a decent size house that could have easily been renovated. But with the laws as they are, why have a decent size house on a plat of land when you can have huuuuge (picture Bernie saying this with his arms spread) townhouses taking up the whole lot and selling for much more money.
I had worried over the years that the neighborhood would turn into this but so far, no one has sold out. But I did notice that one project on another side of the street that was supposed to be three large townhouses is now going to be five or six. I don't know when that was approved, and I suspect it wasn't approved, but it's being done.
This has been the way of the Grove for years. It's the ability to knock down older houses and then construct big, tall, replacements. Remember that lady who wanted to put in the Montessori school on South Bayshore Drive, across from Mercy Hospital? Well, you should see the property now - it's a bunch of big white box-y houses with almost no green space now. Maybe the school wasn't so bad after all.
I'm wondering if there is a way to sue the city for every infraction against the Miami 21 code. Right now on Park Avenue in South Grove, there is a house on a 40,000 square foot lot that has been approved for demolition. How many houses will now stand on that one lot? The South Grove does not have sewers. What about the tree canopy and traffic?
It's not just here in Coconut Grove, read the Miami New Times' front page story this week: "Residents and Preservationists Push Back as McMansions Take Over Miami Beach".
YOU MAY NOT LIFT THE PHOTOS & TEXT. IT'S COPYRIGHTED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. YOU CAN HOWEVER SHARE A STORY ON SOCIAL MEDIA BY USING THE LINKS HERE.
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.