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Friday, August 22, 2014

New rezoning plan presented for Grove Isle

The Grove Isle developer has applied for rezoning from the City of Miami, but only for part of the island. In July, Grove Isle Associates LLP, submitted the document to rezone approximately half of 4 Grove Isle, specifically the three acres currently occupied by the hotel, restaurant and spa.

This is not a variance, it's a request to rezone that whole area, which would allow for the building of a condo tower. If they receive the variance, then the project would be in compliance with Miami21.

If you have been following the story, then you know that the developers have plans to knock down the hotel portion of the island and to add another condo, a building which many residents are against. The proposed building doesn't look anything like the current three buildings. A group called "Save Grove Isle," has been fighting the plans from the beginning. You can catch up on what's been going on, here.

The developer feels that the high density of buildings will not be a problem if they add a fourth tower. The towers that are there now are not compliant with Miami 21, but of course they were built in the 1970s, long before there was a Miami 21. Urban planners feel that buildings should not now be built that close to the water and should have a larger setback. The island only has so much space, there isn't much room for setbacks.

The only person the rezoning helps is the developer and if this is allowed, who is to say what will be rezoned next. Everyone else on the waterfront would request rezoning and the North Grove would turn into Brickell. The whole request is nonsense.

It will be interesting to see if materials and equipment can even make it to the island as the fragile bay bottom may prevent barges from getting close and the bridge may not hold the heavy equipment. Just recently, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) warned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about the damage done to sea life and coral from the Miami Port dredging. 

It might be a good idea to get DEP involved in this Grove Isle issue before it's too late.

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Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

This is a problem. This new tower should not be built. It's just not practical.

August 22, 2014 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony, you are absolutely right. How can the city side with the argument that since the 3 original towers are not compliant, then his building should be no-compliant either. If the city allows for rezoning, they really have interpreted the law and zoning codes in a way that was never intended. I'm not a code expert but just look at the case of the two new luxury towers going up across from city hall. They are within 75 feet from the street!!!
Once you allow these developers to open a whole in the ground, they will do whatever they want, no matter how many laws it breaks. If the city is that much in favor of their developer/donors, they will turn a blind eye on everything they do after getting the go ahead. At that point, who is going to stop them???

August 22, 2014 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see a problem with bringing in construction equipment or barges. How were the original condos constructed?

August 22, 2014 3:44 PM  
Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

Anon 3:44, that's a good point. The headaches for the residents off the island will be the same as 1979. The main problem is Grove Isle Drive and the fact that it is very narrow, and it is busy all day with cars, families, bikes, and pedestrians. ... Otherwise I would say let them build.

August 22, 2014 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was told that the Grove Isle bridge was originally built illegally to facilitate the current development? Maybe the latest developer can sneak in a new bridge over to Mercy Hospital or dredge a real deep channel for barges to the Hotel get the many 10,000's of tonnes of material on and off the island?

August 22, 2014 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new in the area, but I don't understand how the developers and politicians have the upper hand in Miami. Miami 21 is a joke if it can be easily altered to suit the needs of the developers. Coconut Grove has the potential, with all of these high rises,to become like downtown Miami (or Manhattan, or Hong Kong, or Singapore, etc). That is not what we bargained for; we want to keep its original character. There needs to be a moratorium on all new high density building in South Miami. And we, the people complaining but seemingly without effect, need to get together and overcome this powerlessness. Where do the folks running for election in November stand on these issues?

August 23, 2014 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last time around with rezoning Mercy of it was called "land rape" with bully developers... is Grove Isle any different?


August 23, 2014 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good point... who is running in our November elections?

August 23, 2014 10:53 AM  

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