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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Does the city side with developers?

When it comes to the city's Planning & Zoning Department, I wonder if they really are on the side of the residents or the developers. It's almost like a phone or cable company, they already have you as a customer so they offer all their deals to potential new customers. With us, we already pay them high taxes, so they are now going after new potential taxes.

The passive aggressive way
to deal with potholes.
I praised Francisco Garcia head of the P&Z Dept. for being accurate and informative at the neighborhood meeting on April 28, but he seems to be just as bad as his staff. People complained at the meeting that the Planning & Zoning Department doesn't respond to calls and emails. They didn't have an answer then, they just shrugged and it's happened again. When I returned from the meeting in April, I emailed Francisco a quick question, something I didn't understand at the meeting, I am still waiting for a reply.

I told you about that 311 app that I use to report potholes. It actually works well, I've used it a few times and they do the job. I have also used the app to file zoning complaints and they play games.

I reported a property where a house is going up in my neighborhood where the place is surrounded by ads for the developer. This is illegal. I took photos and on the app sent photos and the address of the place. I got an email back asking for more info.

The report is supposed to be confidential yet, they had my email address and secondly, what else do you need other than the address and photos?

I called after that and I emailed them, but received no results. The silence from Miami's Planning & Zoning Department says a lot.

Not too long ago, people had to keep calling for the same issue on the other end of town, where the same thing was happening - signs all over the development property. The city finally got around to making the developer take down the illegal signs after so many complaints.  They claim to be short staffed, so this could be the reason for slow responses.

Megan Cross Schmitt, the Preservation Officer at the city's Planning & Zoning Dept. says, "I have spoken with many of the people about a growing desire to establish more protection for Coconut Grove’s historic resources. This office, as well as the Planning and Zoning Department, are available to work with all interested parties to explore how this can be achieved using tools that we already have available to us, such as Chapter 23 of the City Code. We are also available to gather input regarding how the existing NCD-3 overlay language might be revised to better address historic preservation. This department is already in the process of reviewing the entire NCD-3 section so it is a good time to provide feedback."

A recent bright spot on Brickell is that the City's Preservation Board saved the Babylon Apartments, one of the first buildings on Brickell done by Arquitectonica. The demolition permit was denied. That has such a nice sound to it. Denied!

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.


Blogger Lance said...

good idea whit the signs .also report Shabad on the Grove , Ramson , Carrollton , Kampon,Spazzo,Saint Stevens,Terra Group all whit illegal baners

June 07, 2016 11:59 AM  
Blogger Grovite said...

Thank you for your hard work, Tom. Keep it up

June 07, 2016 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do we have to keep old buildings that might not be energy efficient etc etc? Isn't it my right to tear down my house if I want to? Imagine if these denials had started in the dark ages or worse, in the age when people lived in caverns and hunted for food!

June 08, 2016 2:02 AM  
Blogger John Snyder said...

We do not have to keep old buildings that have become dysfunctional. When we replace old buildings we must follow the zoning and building codes. Where the city is circumventing the law by approving development that is against the letter and spirit of the law it is our right, if not our duty, to object. The neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) is not designed to prevent renewal of our neighborhood it is meant to make sure the nature and character of our neighborhood is not destroyed in the process. This protects the property owners who selected to live in the Grove because of it's sub-urban, tree canopied, nature friendly environment. Replacing a one bedroom one bath 1,500 square foot house with four 5 bedroom 5 bath houses of 5,200 square feet which cover the lot so that no canopy tree can ever survive on the lot again is an abomination. Unfortunately since the city is not following the law; Miami-21 App. A-3 section 3.6, the only opportunity to protest this destruction is to appeal the waiver for demolition.

June 08, 2016 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you John Snyder for your desire, passion and efforts in helping to save our Coconut Grove. We could use more Groveites like you and fewer whiners that just complain but never actually accomplish good for our village.

June 09, 2016 6:46 PM  

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