An Open Letter to Commissioner Ken Russell
As the Landscape Architect serving in Parks Administration for the City of Miami, Department of Parks and Recreation, I generally avoid commenting on issues of a political nature within the City of Miami, and so seldom express a view on a subject as "delicate as the potential for modifications to "Miami 21," the City's current zoning/development code. However, as a resident of this community for almost 50 years, I have observed changes - many positive and some negative - in how our community uses and manages its natural and man-made resources.Far too often, such decisions are made on the basis of personal benefit and gain, and not under the umbrella of benefit to our community and our neighborhoods.
While I understand that there are flaws and weaknesses in almost all rules, regulations, and codes, the overwhelmingly positive intent of "Miami 21" is to ensure an orderly process that addresses the desires, wishes, and needs of the majority within our community. So, when a real estate speculator, or a developer, seeks to modify an aspect of "Miami 21", one must ask rhetorically: "Does such change benefit the community at large, and the neighborhood that will be directly impacted?" Or, in the alternative, "Is such a proposed change beneficial - financially and in other ways - to one (or a select group)?" Most often, the answer is obvious.
Rules on setbacks and height restrictions within "Miami 21" fundamentally recognize the inherent right to use one's property to the "highest and best" purpose, without burden. However, the lengthy process of review, discussion, debate, and resolution accorded the process of adopting "Miami 21" has manifest extensive and detailed community involvement from among significant numbers of Miami residents. for some to argue now that - for example - a setback of fifteen feet is too burdensome, but a setback of nine feet is appropriate, seems to border both on the disingenuous and the egregious.
Each and every citizen resident of the City of Miami resident had the opportunity to be heard throughout the nurturing process of drafting, refining and adopting "Miami 21," which is equitable for all parties - absent the regular "assaults" on its objectives and its integrity.
I would certainly appreciate hearing your thoughts on the issue! Thank you for your continued interest in and dedication to our community and neighborhoods.
Ted Baker, FASLA
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.