Welcome to the Grapevine

The only place for Coconut Grove, FL News, Views & Opinions - Sunlight is the best disinfectant

Saturday, March 28, 2015

And now there are what, seven? eight?

Seth, courtesy of his Facebook page
A message from Seth Sklarey:

I have lived in Coconut Grove for more than 47 years and am a candidate for City Commission in District 2 because I would like to implement some positive changes in Miami. I enjoy Coconut Grove because it is unique and for years have been advocating for some architectural integrity which combines our historical origins of Key West and Bahamian style architecture with American innovation. I like porches, verandas, and shaded areas which reduce the need for constant air conditioning and which utilize the natural breezes. I would prefer that our architecture be recognized as Coconut Grove rather than Coral Gables or Miami Beach.

Shopping areas should be reflective of the community, not a tourist destination of big box stores. Fast food franchises should find other communities to pollute, and I would prefer restaurants that reflected our surrounding fresh seafood and semi-tropical agriculture, exotic fruits and caribbean cultures.

The answer to parking is not expensive high rise parking garages but discrete yet covenient parking facilities. Alternative transportation such as rickshaws (which the powers that be have outlawed in the Grove) are a green alternative to parking problems and getting around.
I strongly advocate for free city-wide Wi-Fi and feel developers should be barred from making campaign contributions, both ideas which have worked well on Miami Beach.

Little Havana is an example of extremely bad zoning which created hundreds of inappropriate buildings crowded together with apartment buildings and historical homes which should be preserved. We need to have the input of planners, architects, designers and citizens to come up with a workable plan to have that area revitalized to reflect its history, including the Tamiami Trail as well as Calle Ocho, the same street with very different concepts, which could become a blend of the past, the present and the future and draw on the best from each, retaining its proximity to downtown, its tourist draw yet retain its worth as a residential urban community without displacing its long time residents but giving them an economic base in which to prosper. Density will be inevitably increased, but it should be based on need and utility, not on greed and making a few developers and insiders richer. There needs to be an overall plan, but not a disaster like Miami 21.

Downtown and Brickell must be made more people friendly for pedestrians, joggers, bicycles and the traffic clogging nightmares and inadequate expensive parking must be resolved.
The Omni area and upper east side also have to be carefully planned or we will wind up with a concrete canyon along Biscayne Boulevard with barely any sunlight able to penetrate the bulwark of concrete.

There are some major projects that will determine the nature and character if the area. The Genting project will define the area and will either the beginning of greatness or the beginning of disaster and we all must be alert to the possibilities.
The upper east side is another unpolished jewel which has the potential for greatness with careful planning and preservation of the MiMo style and possibilities yet retention of scale and overall theme.

Midtown, Wynwood, Little Haiti, Overtown, Spring Garden, Shenandoah, Flagami and dozens of other neighborhoods I will address in future discussions, but I have spent a lot of time walking through them, engaging in historical renovation and preservation as a general contractor, and understanding the dynamics of each neighborhood throughout the City of Miami and not just District 2.

If you have ideas I would like to hear about them at

Seth Sklarey,
candidate for Miami City Commission District 2,
phone 305 525-6982. 

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent and thoughtful introduction letter, every American citizen has an undeniable right to run for office, the number of candidates is evidence how fed up Miami is with the status quo.

March 28, 2015 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The City of Miami had a Commission Meeting on March 26th, 2015. Many important issues were discussed. Only one candidate bothered to show up. Grace Solares. As usual, Ms Solares was fighting to protect Miami's residents from out-of-town over-developers. She was advocating for historic residential districts.

March 28, 2015 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Charles Corda said...

Why does everyone say "Density will be increased"?
Where is it written that we must keep increasing the density of Coconut Grove and the City in general?
Why is this assumption accepted as inevitable?
WE are the ones who will decide is "density will increase".. I do not accept this as fait accompli. We don't have the need to keep making our home more crowded, especially in light of the failure of Government to provide essential services and traffic planning. Increasing density is an option not a necessity. In point of fact across this country the most valuable homes and land are in areas where density is highly restricted. If everyone is looking to make money by increasing density're going in the wrong direction. DECREASING density will drive up the value of your property much more than increasing density which only rewards developers and real estate sales people. Keep the density DOWN and watch how valuable your land and homes become.

March 28, 2015 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Charles Corda

Of course density is going to increase. Do you actually think people are going to stop moving to Miami? How absurd.

"We don't have the need to keep making our home more crowded..."

What a bizarre comment. Who is the "WE" composed of? How do you plan to weed out the undesirables?

Apparently you don't really care if the cost to rent sky rockets and impacts working families. Because without new construction somewhere, that's what will happen. A moratorium on new construction, which is basically what you're arguing for, would be a disaster for economically vulnerable groups and for the county in general.

March 28, 2015 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not true (second Anon). I saw Lorry Woods sitting through the whole commission meeting as well. I saw Ken Russell and Seth Sklarey at the previous meeting.

I haven't decided who I'm supporting, but this whole "Grace is the only one who cares about the city cause she attends all the meetings for the last twenty years" campaign strategy is getting really tiring.

March 28, 2015 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lemonade truck dude on Kennedy Park and friendly black cop on the bike for District 2!

March 28, 2015 8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As per plan... the opposition is being split +7 ways and the Sarnof legacy will be safe.

March 28, 2015 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Density cannot continue increasing when there are no jobs, under funded public transportation, broken utility services and plenty of corrupt politicians and a nepotistic system. TAKE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS.

March 29, 2015 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Charles Corda said...

To Anonymous... Increasing density is a choice. Balance in the environment is what creates desirable places to live and work. If you increase density and don't provide the necessary infrastructure and services you ruin that place for everyone. Construction and land development is not the only way to provide jobs and economic prosperity. Also preserving areas that are unique and historically significant such as Coconut Grove is another way to generate income..Respecting the resources that you have is a far better investment in the future than creating overcrowded and underserved communities ..For example take my pet peeve..Grove Harbor.Are the proposed restaurants, banquets facilities, bar, retail shops and a huge parking garage a better use of irreplaceable bayfront land than providing open public park space which is in terribly short supply? The idea that development is the only way to provide jobs is short sighted and an unsustainable approach. As I said increasing density is a choice. Do we really want to be another Sao Paulo or Mexico City? Why not keep at least parts of Miami charming and attractive..

March 29, 2015 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I first moved to the Grove in the 70's, I lived in the center Grove in an affordable duplex. The center Grove was filled with lots of affordable old wooden houses situated on lots filled with plants. Now I am fortunate enough to live in the South Grove. Sometimes on our morning walk, we wander through the Center Grove. I am really shocked at how densely this area has been developed in such a disorganized fashion. Six townhouses will fill one lot. Fencing of every shape, size and color gives the appearance of fear of criminal activity. And rent? Through the roof. If I was in my 20's again, I would not be able to afford the Grove like I did back then. High density did not make the Grove affordable. It only made it ugly.

March 30, 2015 7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am still waiting for one of the candidates other than Grace Solares to read an Agenda and study an item then stand up at the podium and speak intelligently. God knows, Teresa Sarnoff will never show up much less speak. Any takers?

April 02, 2015 12:41 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home