Are they circumventing the public process?
However you are not invited to participate in that effort.
David Villano founder of Grove 2030 has apparently taken it upon himself to circumvent the public open process of Grove 2030 , to form a small exclusive group or committee to propose changes to Miami 21 Zoning as it pertains to Coconut Grove. Once again YOU are not invited to participate.
The group or committee which was formed without any community involvement or knowledge includes:
Two Residential Developers - Andy Parrish and Marcelo Fernandes
One Real Estate Salesman - Javier Gonzalez
Two Lawyers - Elan Gershon and Miriam Maer
One "businessperson" - Johannah Brown
One Veternarian - Ruth Ewing
One Architect - Thorn Grafton of Zyscovich Architects
At least one of the developers has been building oversized "McMansions" in the Grove for a some time and has proposed "relaxing" the restrictions governing residential construction in the Grove. i.e. "reducing setbacks, increasing FAR (Buildable Area), increasing Height" and the like. The "committee" is currently entertaining those suggestions.
The "businessperson" plans to compile a list of the restrictions that some builders find onerous and would like to see more flexibility with...."
Other items under consideration by this "select" committee are basically ways to make larger, taller (40' suggested) and more omnipresent houses in the Grove easier for developers to build.
I object to this "committee" proposing Code Revisions to COMMISSIONER RUSSELL AND the Miami City Commission on a number of grounds.
1.) Any review of the Zoning code MUST be done with the full knowledge and input of this community. Any process like this that will effect every Grove Resident must be OPEN, TRANSPARENT and INCLUSIVE..The manner in which this committee was formed, and is operating, does not meet those requirements.
2.) Any other review of the Zoning code MUST include knowledgeble professionals such as Planners, Landscape Architects and Historic Preservationists, who know Coconut Grove, who possess a working knowledge of the Code, and can visualize and articulate the impact of any proposed changes to Grove Zoning.
3.) NO one on this committee should have a clear conflict of interest..i.e. developers and or Real Estate Sales people who's goals may conflict with that of the community.
4.) At this time from what I have learned the intent of at least some members of this "committee" is to make the Grove a better place for "investment". I do not believe that to be the primary goal desired by the Grove residents I have spoken with..I do believe perserving the Residential Grove to the greatest extent possible and stopping overdevelopment is the real priority of this community.
5.) At this time I have yet to hear any cogent identification of where specific "problems" exist in the Zoning Code..They committee has NOT identified what those "problems" are or who is affected by them..BUT this committee is now proposing solutions to those yet unidentified
I do not object to a review of Zoning. HOWEVER I believe that in order to address the problems and issues that so many of us are troubled by that any committee formed to do so, MUST do so with the involvement and consent of the community.
By way of this letter I ask Commissioner Russel to totally disavow this group or any proposed Zoning changes they may present, to him, or the City Commission.
Ironically, Grove 2030 was founded as a vehicle for moving beyond the inane civic ranting that has long dominated the public discourse here, by giving people a meaningful opportunity to engage in substantive steps -- real action, like reworking the NCDs -- at making the Grove better. Visit us at Grove2030.org and on Facebook.
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