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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Changes for events at Peacock Park

I've been hearing complaints about the bars losing business because the Friday night kickball teams are no longer in Peacock Park, they moved to Armbrister Park which is on Grand Avenue, near US1. The teams have played for years on Friday nights at Peacock Park. The league brings in a lot of young people who play kickball then spend money on food and drinks. Bar owners are not happy with the kickball teams being so far away from Center Grove now.

I spoke with Lazaro Garcia, the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Special Events guy about this. He told me that the city had nothing to do with the leagues moving locations, he said they preferred Armbrister Park because it is a better park for kickball, it's newer, renovated and there is lots of free parking.

"Because the field was rented out Monday through Friday and we had many events scheduled for the weekends we took a hard look at the schedule at Peacock Park and decided to leave at least one day during the week and one day during the weekends where the community can use the park and there would be no recurring permitted activities. At the same time Special Events that exclude the community and the use of the park will be reduced significantly over the next few months."

Mr. Garcia gave the kickball teams a choice of staying on Friday nights and making another night of the week open to the public or having them change nights if they preferred. He says they chose another park altogether when they had that option. So Friday night along with Sunday night are now open to the public without any league play.

Al Borrero, co-owner of The Sandbar wants to start up a new kickball league on Friday nights, but he says the Parks Department is denying him the ability to use the park on Friday night. I asked Mr. Garcia about that,  he says, "
On Fridays and Sundays we leave the park available for the community to use and for one-time events such as birthday parties or field rentals. These are also the days that the grass gets to rest if it’s overused we must shut down the park in order to install new sod and all activities are affected. It’s a balancing act on our end between issuing permits for activities at the park and ensuring that the park remains open and available for public use."

I'm not quite sure how that works with the kickball league. Isn't that a field rental? And besides, since the other league used the park on Friday nights for years, why not allow Albert's new league to use it?

When I questioned this logic and suggested he give Albert Friday night for kickball and give the park "a rest" on another night during the week, he said, "As I mentioned earlier we have other activities Monday through Thursday. In order to accomplish what is being requested we would need to take away a day from the youth soccer program that is currently at the park Monday through Thursday so that Friday can be used by the new organization that is trying to operate at the park. What I advise everyone is to complete an application and turn it in so that in the event that a day opens up we can contact them. In the summer this is a possibility."

I'm still scratching my head on this one.

As for the events being held in the park, the Parks Department will meet with the BID marketing committee and come up with a solution regarding events in Peacock Park. The Parks Department does not want gated events any longer. They want the park open to everyone and not have people pay to enter an event. As of right now, no changes have been  made. "We are working with everyone to try and keep events there. We do have a problem with the gated events," said Mr. Garcia.

Mr. Garcia says that they need to start following city codes, which do not allow for gated events that charge the public to enter the city parks.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

We left because we both longer could justify having to pay parking to play at a park

May 06, 2015 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how they are so worried about the grass in the park but not the beautiful old trees that they happily cut down. Its seems that this group is against all events for profit unless the profit is hitting their own pocket books. This is just another way to kill all that is fun and unique to the Grove.

May 06, 2015 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is really quite simple -- the city wants two nights a week for the park to not be reserved for recurring events but to be open for citizen and one-time use (which makes sense). They offered the kickball league the option of Friday night or another night, and the kickball league said no because they don't want to pay to park (which makes sense). So the city designated Friday night as an "open" night and gave one of the other open weeknights (M-Thurs) to another group. I don't really see how the city did anything wrong here. Not granting a new kickball permit for Friday nights fits in with the two-night open policy and anyone who wants a new league can wait until another night opens up. I am not sure why this leaves you scratching your head. It seems like you are just looking for a conspiracy wherever you can find one, and this just isn't it. Maybe if the bars and restaurants in the grove want to attract more Friday night business they could look into (a) better food, (b) more food and drink specials, and (c) hosting events of their own - bands, comedians, special chefs, etc.

May 06, 2015 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The park should be first come first serve every night like any other simple!!!!!! only in the grove is there so much drama for everything OMG im so over this

May 06, 2015 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I guess this statement: "Mr. Garcia says that they need to start following city codes, which do not allow for gated events that charge the public to enter the city parks." doesn't apply to the CG Arts Festival?

May 06, 2015 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Alfest said...

They claim they have designated the park for community use on Friday and Sunday. Yet on Friday night, the lights are off. How can the community use it in dark? Seems the community should have the park to themselves on Saturday and Sunday, when residents would have all day to enjoy it instead of a Friday when most people work till the evening and kids are in school. By the time they are ready to go it's getting dark and the lights are off. If it's for us to use then why aren't the lights on?

May 07, 2015 1:01 AM  

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