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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Waivers discussed; state to seize Playhouse?

According to the Miami Herald, the state is moving toward seizing the Playhouse from the county over the renovation delays.

The property could go onto the open market which would throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing if a developer gets their hands on the playhouse. Of course that would most likely delay any plans as their will be law suits over historic designation issues.

And the delays continue. At Wednesday night's Planning, Zoning Appeals Board (PZAB) meeting, Michael Spring, head of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, who is in charge of renovation of the Coconut Grove Playhouse, asked for waivers for the project.

He claimed that the County is saving the historic elements of the Coconut Grove Playhouse and if the historic designation passes by the National Register Review Board in Tallahassee, they will keep the front portion (the wings) and still rebuild the back theater portion and that is where the waivers come in.

Spring says that no matter what is being declared historic, the whole building or just the front wings area, his plan is to knock down the theater portion and only save the wings section.

The regulation about changing the property falls on the City. Not the National Register, even if major changes are made after the designation.

Waivers were requested by the county at the Wednesday meeting. The waivers were needed so that the playhouse conforms to the properties to the north and south of it.

Waivers include:

1) to allow an increase in the maximum lot coverage from fifty percent (50%) to sixty-four percent (64%); and

2) to allow a reduction of the minimum green space from thirty percent (30%) to fourteen 8/10 percent (14.8%); and

3) to allow an increase in the maximum driveway width from ten (10) feet to thirty (30) feet; and

4) to allow an increase in the maximum impervious pavement within the front Setbacks along Main Highway and Charles Avenue from thirty percent (30%) to one hundred (100%)

A motion was made by the PZAB to continue the issue at a future PZAB meeting on November 7. The motion failed. 

Another motion passed 5-3, to allow the waivers, there are quite a few changes to the initial plans, but a supermajority was required, so the 5-3 vote did not qualify. A supermajority would have been 6 to 2.

The HEP Board approved initial plans in April 2017. Future changes, including the waivers, will have to be approved by them as well.

To see the waivers and resolution, go here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what happens when the Citizens of the Grove and the City of Miami tie the project up in endless delays. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. To the dear fellow citizens that sued to stop the Playhouse project, please do the honorable thing and dismiss your suit so that we don't end up losing the Playhouse. You may have won the battle, but you're going to lose the war and cost us all the Playhouse.
The County plan is better than nothing. If you don't drop your suit, we may end up a condo development instead of a Playhouse.

September 06, 2018 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does all that mean by State taking from the County that is fighting the City?

September 06, 2018 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:45 - The citizens of Coconut Grove and the City of Miami will not be fooled by the lies and misdirection perpetuated by Miami-Dade County and the Clown-in-Charge, Michael Spring. Mr. Spring may be a good public speaker, but he cannot overcome the sheer determination and the will of the people. Why does Miami-Dade County consistently ignore what the people are saying? Ask yourself that question. Does the Clown-in-Charge work for the people or does he work for Joe Adler? Even if the residents in Coconut Grove are wrong, it is still the job of the government to work with them. It is because Mr. Spring and Miami-Dade have refused to work with the residents that it was necessary for the residents to file their appeal. If you need to point a finger, direct that finger to the Big Top.

September 07, 2018 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lease was negotiated by the County. There are lots of parts that all must fall into place to satisfy the requirements. The State has the option of canceling the agreement and selling off the property to a developer. The Playhouse has been on the brink of repossession several times over the years. The County did its due diligence with the residents, holding several town meetings. The preservationists have not put forth a viable plan. No projections of construction costs. No economic impact study. No feasibility study on audiences. No operating budget. The County has all of that and is prepared to bring back a business that will generate significant income for surrounding businesses, the City, the County, and the State. If it fails, it's not because the County didn't try. The preservationists have never been able to answer the question of how does a restored theatre to a 1000 seat theater sustain itself.

September 12, 2018 5:42 PM  

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