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Monday, April 30, 2018

Is GroveBeautiful a paid lobbying group?

Some thoughts I passed on to the commissioners and Planning and Zoning (and I responded on your Facebook site also) regarding the GroveBeautiful letter.

I believe this email reveals just how uncompromising some developers are on the issue of reducing FLR to 50% and just how far they will go, behind the scenes, with city employees and elected officials, to bully and threaten a way to cancel the good work done by the city in good faith over the last three years. If you read the article in detail you will pick out the intent and three salient points listed below, all of which impact your credibility as decision makers.

1) GroveBeautiful bills itself as just another group of concerned neighbors. The letter shows they are a paid lobbying group.
2) The letter compromises both our city and elected officials. They are now in the unenviable position of being accused of caving to pressure/money if they do something that goes the developer’s way (hence how do you get a compromise that is believable?)
3) The compromise on the process is serious. The community and the city has gone out of its way to hold many public hearings and private meetings, going back a decade for many and nearly three years for us.  GroveBeautiful has shown up at NO public hearings I am aware of until the Planning and Zoning meeting last week, during which they claimed not to know of the meetings in advance. Rubbish. They didn’t show because they thought this process would go nowhere, and that has been far from the truth.

This is about leveling the playing field. Planning and Zoning asked all of us to try to reach some sort of compromise and come off hard positions. When the opposing party blatantly threatens an injunction and runs behind the scenes with lobbyists with a ‘take no prisoners’ stance, that is not possible.

John Dolson
Coconut Grove

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