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Sunday, February 01, 2015

Does Grove Harbour meet Miami 21 requirements?

There is an interesting turn of events regarding the Grove Harbour project, you know, the "mall on the water" at the Scotty's Landing location. The developer, Grove Bay Investment Group, has to apply for a "warrant," a "special exception," to the Miami 21 Zoning Code (Miami's 21st century plan for land use and urban planning). The only way they can proceed with their current plans is to get the exception. The Miami 21 code does not allow for aspects of the project to be in a Civic Space Zone. 

The city should have known it was not to code, but of course the city will do anything to bend over backwards to accommodate developers. To the City of Miami, laws are suggestions. The city went out of their way to override the Coconut Grove residents' feelings against the project, to bring in a "yes" vote for the project, from people in other parts of Miami. People who have never stepped foot in Coconut Grove and didn't have a clue what they were voting for. It's one thing to have the vote be a city-wide vote, it's another for elected officials, who should have been unbiased, go on TV and radio and give speeches at civic groups to push the "yes" vote. 

The request for this Warrant is to permit food service establishments (three restaurants and a related banquet facility) in the Civic Space zone, pursuant to Article 4, Table 3 of Miami 21, and a Warrant for outdoor dining in the food service establishments pursuant to Section 6.3.2 of Miami 21.

They are asking permission to build 51 feet at the highest point with 102 parking spaces onsite and 137 spaces off site, per the original agreement. The restaurant space would be 16,810 sf, the restaurant exterior would be 9,025 sf. and the banquet facility would be 4,850 sf. Total: 30,685 sf.

If the plans are allowed to proceed with the Warrant approved, there is no telling what else would be approved. Many people are wondering about Regatta Park, so many people fear that it can end up in the hands of a developer, who can move in and "finish the job." 

There are rumblings now by activists who were against the Grove Harbor project from the start. Their goal is not to stop the project and stop the Warrant with an appeal, which is permitted by written letter.  

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Mall in the water". Delightful concept. That's exactly what we need to continue "modernizing" this old Grove. More plastic, the latest bogus fashion, hot dogs and burgers for a "vibrant community". Anything that $ell$$$$.

February 01, 2015 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went last weekend to Biscayne Bayside Mall by American Airlines Arena. It stinks. Loaded with Crap for lost tourists. Hadn't been in years, won't ever set foot there again. Talk about an ugly, classless downtown, wasting away the beautiful bay.

February 01, 2015 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warrants, special exceptions in the Grove, and upzoning in West Grove risk making Miami21's intentions meaningless here.

Development by litigation -- with developers pushing the limits to maximize returns are pushing Miami's planning department to breaking point.

So look out... Grove Harbor, Grove Isle etc. may not be the 'exceptions' but the new rule. The Grove's coast is a most attractive developer proposition.

February 01, 2015 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because the current "what have you" on the water--greasy boat dock,and equally greasy food venue--is the kind of status quo we need.

February 01, 2015 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're right. The boat dock is kind of slimy and Scotty's certainly is not 4 star. But don't you think the 99% in the Grove deserves a place where they can bask in the sun, chat with their friends, eat some munchies without paying $75 pp plus parking? I think so.

I mean how many times do you think I'm going to go to Shula's on a lazy Sunday afternoon?

February 01, 2015 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed, but Scotty's isn't cheap either. The drinks are good, but the food is pretty subpar, and an evening there will set you back quite a bit of money.

February 01, 2015 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's only rich and poor now. We who scrimped and saved to live in the grove moved here for all the reasons this proposed project is not. It's all about the money... Just like when the grove morphed in the 80's. The city is a prostitiute and B&Z her pimp. It doesn't matter how the ballot reads or what they say. ( remember: Marlins stadium, illegal movie production studio inside the old CGCC, the monstrosity ON 27 Ave or the US worlds fair in 1800's)This is nothing new in the construction industry. A community has to be involved at a grassroots level, be vocal, call them when we see them etc. By the time the convoluted vote comes around it's already a done deal: only an either/or situation remains; not a yes or no. You live in Miami your whole life and it's hard not to have a defeatist attitude myself included. Never underestimate the power of the people. Maybe it's time to rekindle the ole picket sign mentality....and the groovy Grove's the perfect place for it.

February 01, 2015 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly, anon@3:13

And how many lousy "Don Shula" type plastic joints are there out in Miami? Dozens.

How many original, unique Scotty's are left? Only one Scotty's, has its history too, has some character. People came from all over Miami to see it, despite the lamentable cuisine and the same 'ole music playing over and over for decades. Will miss it.

February 01, 2015 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was looking for Captain Dick's the other day. Couldn't find it anywhere!

February 01, 2015 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, Scotty's Landing and Charthouse are currently operating in violation of Miami 21. Quick! Let's get our picket signs and shut them down!

February 02, 2015 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes, Scotty's has so much character, from the dirty old broken plastic chairs, to the food not fit for human consumption, to the smell of oil & rot in the air... it's glorious.

February 02, 2015 3:29 PM  
Blogger Michelle Niemeyer said...

Every time I look at the Grapevine lately I feel more and more like I'm reading the National Enquirer of local "news." You know the facts. Get them straight. You were there and followed and participated in the waterfront master plan. The master plan was heavily supported by local residents from all over Coconut Grove who helped create it. In that plan, we all agreed that there should continue to be restaurants on the water in that parcel as well as the marina.

It's unclear to me how Miami 21 calls it a "civic space," since it is not, any more than Monty's or the Fresh Market location is a "civic space." It's a city-owned parcel that's been used for commercial purposes for many, many years.

Not everyone wants to contemplate their navel in a park with no amenities, and for those who do, we have options. What you are suggesting would replace Scotty's with what, exactly? Derelect dead space for the homeless people to hang out on? Perhaps it can be like Merrill Stevens was for so long, deserted with a big fence around it blocking access to the water's edge?

Look around you. Lately, you comment on how great other parts of town, and other cities are. Places where good development is happening. Yet in the Grove you jump on this bandwagon that's against all change. We wonder why the Grove is dead. It's because every time we start to walk we shoot ourselves in the foot.

February 03, 2015 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was brave for you to say. Especially in this forum. I applaud you for it. Very good point.

February 03, 2015 5:29 PM  

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