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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Appealing in the name of the NCD-3 Code

The City Commission will be hearing the appeal of the Historic Environmental Preservation Board (HEP) on Thursday, January 26, regarding the splitting of the property at 3701 Park Avenue into two single family sites.

For over 100 years, the site has been the location of one house. It was built for the Pollard family and owned and occupied by them for over 40 years.

According to the Save the Grove group, "The ancillary accommodation, attached to the 4 car garage, was originally occupied by a driver, Percival, and from 1946 by the widow of Mr. Pollard, as the second generation of Pollards occupied the primary home. From 1956 to 1997 the home was occupied by the Graves family and from 1997 to 2002 by the Kingsbury family. In 2002 the house was bought by Roger Treese who retained the property until it was purchased by the development company in 2015. The house and ancillary building is constructed of Dade County Pine, noted for its resistance to termites and other superior properties as a building material . By most accounts the buildings are in good shape with the possible exception of the ancillary  building’s  sleeping porch. Here's an article on Dade County Pine called "The Wood That Would Be Steel."

"After designating the Primary and Accessory building as Historic, HEP approved a waiver to divide the single family site into two single family sites, waive the lot width requirements for a large lot, demolish Mrs. Pollard senior’s cottage with attached garage, and reduce several setback requirements. The sleeping porch of the primary home is also to be removed. Neighbors appealed the waiver. The appeal will be heard on January 26 by the City Commissioners." 

Also from Save the Grove: "There have been two new warrant applications in Coconut Grove to divide single family building sites into multiple building sites. We believe that approving them would be a violation of the NCD code which requires that warrant applications be reviewed according to the intent of the appropriate transect. Since the NCD-3 code has a very clear intent which precludes destroying the diversity of lot sizes, splitting of single family sites regardless of the number of component lots making up a single site, canopy, and lush landscaping; it cannot be construed that placing sub-divisions derived from single family sites where very large houses are being built in our neighborhood is allowed.  In any case, threats to the integrity of our Neighborhood Conservation District neighborhood continue to emerge, and while good progress has occurred, we continue to have serious threats with which to contend."

Save the Grove's mission is to protect the nature and character of Coconut Grove’s low density, tree canopied neighborhood. We seek to accomplish this through advocating for thoughtful enforcement of our Neighborhood Conservation District, NCD code and to enhance that code by reasonable requirements for green space and lot to building ratios.

Please be aware of posted notices and notices sent to your house, Please share them with Save the Grove by emailing a copy to savethegrove16@gmail.com. Please send them asap, as there is only certain number of days to appeal.

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