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Friday, July 27, 2018

Fees waived for appealing historic designation

Earlier this month, Miami's HEP Board (Historic and Environmental Preservation Board) declared 40 wooden shotgun homes in Village West as historic.

Not all homeowners are happy, as they feel their hands are tied when it comes to selling the homes or restoring and/or fixing up the homes. Many of the homeowners are appealing the decision. The due date for the appeals is August 8, 2018. 

On Thursday, the City Commission unanimously passed an emergency ordinance which waives all fees and costs for the homeowners who wish to appeal the designation which is under the experimental "Wood Frame Residences of Coconut Grove Village West Multiple Property Designation." The appeals could cost a minimum of $10,000.

The emergency ordinance was drawn up and Mayor Francis Suarez signed it on the spot.
Frank Schnidman, attorney representing 16 of the appellants says, "As we move forward, it will be important to lay the foundation for a Section 1983 Civil Rights cause of action so that in the event that there is a law suit, as hopefully the prevailing party, we will be able to be awarded legal fee reimbursement against the City. I will also be laying the foundation for a potential 'disparate Impact”' challenge, made possible because of the substantial difference in provision of incentives for historic preservation of the white residents and investors in the MiMo/Biscayne area of the City of Miami and historic 'Negro District' as the City used to call the area, and now calls it 'Village West.' "

Originally, the HEP Boards report stated: "These homes in Village West are associated with the overall establishment and continued settlement of the area by black Bahamians, African-Americans from the South and their descendants. The homes are associated with the early history and development of Coconut Grove."

During the late 1800s, a mass immigration from the Bahamas to the US occurred. Criteria for designation of the houses as being historic included the historical nature of the houses, including cultural, political, economic and social trends in the community; they must portray an environment in an era of history and embody distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style, period or method of construction.

Here in the dropbox is info on the existing wooden homes.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duh! What a train wreck. It was clear to everyone with a working brain that historic designation of the shotgun homes was a terrible idea that was going to harm homeowners. Hopefully the City will do the right thing and not deprive the homeowners of the value of their largest single asset.

July 27, 2018 8:52 AM  
Anonymous al crespo said...

Everyone can thank Commissioner "Sellout" Russell for this fiasco. This was his brainstorm from the beginning, and he bears the sole responsibility for this having gone the way it did. One more reason to add to the list of reasons why this moron should not be reelected if he decides to run next year.

July 27, 2018 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Building high rises and zero lot houses is not necessarily progress contrary to common belief.

July 27, 2018 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the city really wants to save these homes, it should pay fair market price and fix them up. Turn them into a living museum. But taking away a large asset that a family may have relied on is despicable. Where is the fairness for these folks? Agree with Al Crespo. Russell needs to go. He’s created a mess. Didn’t really think it through. Didn’t think the Melreese situation through either. He wants to preserve old homes but is more than willing to give away park space. Follow the money.

July 27, 2018 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a disgrace that the city government would declare someone's home historic, thus depleting its value significantly in a single day, over the objections of the property owner. This seems to me an egregious violation of private property rights. Now, on top of that, the city may ultimately choose to spend large sums of money to defend this action in court. And for what? How do the residents of Miami benefit from any of this?

July 27, 2018 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So equal rights are now not necessary? I'm sorry, but the historical designations are being applied equally and fairly. How many houses have we seen designated outside of the West Grove? Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I don't see anything unequal here.

July 28, 2018 12:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should look a little more carefully. Or try looking with your eyes open.

July 28, 2018 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:17 said "You should look a little more carefully. Or try looking with your eyes open." How about listing some examples of inequality regarding the historical designation of properties. The designation of the properties in the Grove are overwhelmingly owned by people outside of the African American class of property owners. Most are developers who want to demolish the building to put up another white box and are stopped by the City Commission/HEP Board. Nothing in the West Grove forced designation is different from that normal scenario. It may not be fair, but it is equal.

July 29, 2018 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon10:51. It is so easy to speak about this when you have no skin in the Game. You don't own one of those houses that is falling apart. Even if you had the capital to rebuild it to its original condition..then what? You are stuck living in a 600SF shotgun house. How about you trade houses with one of these people, fix it up (or not) and move in there. I guarantee that your comments will be extremely different. It is so easy to speak out against the 'Greedy Developer' that wants to put up another white box that is going bring more to the neighborhood then a dilapidated house that the owner is never going to fix up and now they are never going to be able to sell.

July 29, 2018 1:01 PM  

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