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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Village Council compiles NCD concerns

Commissioner Ken Russell hosted two Sunshine meetings regarding the NCDs on Monday and Tuesday of this week, while they weren't broadcast on tv or internet, they were shown live on the commissioner's Facebook page. Here is Monday's meeting.

The Village Council met Monday night and discussed the meetings. On Tuesday, they sent out a letter to the city's Planning Department who agreed to review and respond to the issues. The Village Council sent out a broad reaching email to gather more comments and questions from the residents and was successful in getting a good response.


Here is a list of questions/concerns the Village Council has compiled from numerous residents/stakeholders in the Grove.

1. Clear language of the intent and purpose for the NCD document. The purpose is NOT to create historic district in this document. Design guidelines – where and when do they apply and who reviews them. Also the intent is the mission statement for this legislation and therefore must be clear. It must be identified as the underlying force when an interpretation of the code falls into a gray area.
2. Identify homes/areas where the “overbuilding” has already occurred and relief may be needed for those property owners that have not sold/developed yet. Review if this relief needs to have a time limit.
3. FLR definition and total % allowed while identifying specifically what it includes and excludes needs to be further studied. Please show actual data indicating how many recent “market rate” homes have been built and what actual FLR has been attained. Must gather market data that shows actual FLR size of homes trends recently.

4. Allow for a variance or waiver process when it concerns additions or alterations to existing single family homes, irregular shaped lots and corner lots. The intent is to allow some leniency to encourage renovations of existing homes but also try to avoid exploitation of this process.

5. Introduce a hybrid waiver/warrant process that allows an appeal to City Commission first and avoid any battles in court. Review both warrant and waiver processes and create one that allows flexibility to property owners and yet protects residents and the intent of the NCD. Make sure certified mail process is adhered to and not just for immediate neighbors. To have a radius area from the subject property that includes the immediate neighborhood.

6. Defining the maximum height of single family homes and duplex. Clarify base “0” elevation from which this measurement starts as well as including all roof members such as parapets and peak ridges. Clarify this in flood zones and how this applies to S. Florida Building code FEMA elevations to avoid conflict. 

7. Density issues as it relates to lot splitting or separating property unifications to build more than one dwelling per property. A detailed block by block review was proposed to establish buildable property minimum sizes to avoid any future grey areas or unwanted density increases.

8. Review conditions being proposed for the increase in density for the sole purpose to create more
affordable and workforce house in the main transit streets. Identify rent rates that are to be considered for 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units to comply with the bonuses. 

9. Review parking requirements and when a reduction in this requirement is allowed.

10. Review and clarify the ADU proposed regulations and the details of how it differs between NCD-3 and NCD2. Make sure the intent to allow these units are clear and understood by all. Covenants can be issued with the land to outline restrictions and rent control as they apply to homestead or investment properties.

11. Clarify what is green space, currently permeable surfaces of patios, pool surrounds etc. are counted. Clarify the status of septic drain fields and required “clear area” Trees cannot be planted here.

12. Identify what happens to existing non-conforming lots. What hardship can be claimed to make them buildable sites.

13. What buffer is being required where T-5 is adjacent to T-3 zones. Current code requires additional setback after 2nd floor – anything else being proposed?

14. How does this document address enforcement of the code. What can be added or done to make sure enforcement actually takes place.

We suggest a written response to the items above that you believe can be explained or clarified fairly simply. The Village Council will assist in distributing a document that can assist in clarifying the facts and allowing residents to better understand the scope of the new proposed legislation.

For the others that are more involved or need discussion we need to identify specific public meetings that address each one. We suggest meetings should be set up to only discuss one or two specific items as covering too many issues, while allowing public input, will not be very productive.

Please let me know your ideas of how you want to tackle this and the Village Council will try to assist as much as possible.

Marcelo Fernandes, Chair
Cocoanut Grove Village Council

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a shameful display of white privilege. This group (and a similar facebook group that will go unnamed) completely lacks self-awareness. Isn't it pretty to think that The North, South, and Central Grovites should limit what West Grovites should be able to do with their property after they had/have no such similar limitations with theirs.

February 14, 2019 5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1st off it not "White Privilege" It's white, Latino, black & a few Asians who sell & purchase homes, freely. And there are a similar mix on all the boards, commissions, developers & investors. Money makes the world go round and if the melting pot wanted the Grove to remain "THE OLD GROVE" there would be no MacMansions, congestion and high rises blocking a view of Biscayne Bay. There's no conspiracy just business as usual from the North Pole to the South Pole and the Grove is somewhere in the mix. We are all in this together.

February 14, 2019 6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many questions still left unanswered:

1. Why is the intent of proposed legislation vaguely creating a De Facto Historic District in the West Grove?
2. Why are homeowners in the West Grove not allowed to build modern style homes?
3. How will the increase in density and reduction in parking impact the traffic along Grand Avenue, 37th Avenue, and Main Highway?
4. How will this impact what already take 20-30 minutes in the morning and afternoon to go from the South to the North Grove?
5. Have any studies been done to analyze this impact?
6. Have any studies been done to show the scale of this increase and reduced parking requirements adjacent to the residential neighborhoods?
7. Why are existing homeowners going to be burdened by the new proposed legislation to not be allowed to do small additions because the proposed FLR takes those rights away from them?
8. The Waiver and Warrant process is ambiguous, obscure and not effective. Both the Waiver and Warrant process has led to costly (in some cases more than $100,000) to argue something that should be so black and white in a code that there shouldn’t have to be a Waiver or Warrant process. The system is so broken that anyone can appeal either of these processes and the process becomes litigious every time. Why are we continuing to rely on this broken system?

February 14, 2019 9:13 PM  

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