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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Developers destroy quality of life before the first shovel of dirt is dug

Over-development has ruined so much in the area, not just Coconut Grove, but most of Miami. And this isn't an issue of pro or con development, it's the actual work I'm talking about, the actual progress as it is going on. Quality of life is affected from the first moment a developer arrives. Streets are closed or blocked, traffic is at a standstill, and parking is affected in a big way.

Just this week, in my neighborhood in the North Grove, the City of Miami banned all cars from parking on our streets. Now for 100 years or however old our neighborhood is, cars have parked on the street. I live in a small, private cul-de-sac. It's private, there is no traffic. In the last few years, developers have taken over our quiet little paradise and destroyed the neighborhood. But not in the way of development, although that, too. But by having workers and construction crews commandeer the neighborhood. They are like ants all over the place; in every nook and cranny. And in every parking space that they could find.

The reason the parking was banned was because a neighbor complained about blocked streets and excess of cars and rather than deal with parking issue caused by the construction crews, the solution was to ban everyone, by the Police Commander. It was called "selective enforcement" if they had to tell a few illegal parkers that they couldn't park and allow the rest of us, you know the homeowners and tax payers, to park in our own front yards.

The solution now is what it always should have been, the construction crews park offsite and are driven in, in the meantime, the homeowners have to do the same - park far away and walk home or maybe Freebee their way home? This was an issue in the Center Grove not too long ago where the construction workers for the high rises going in were taking all the street parking, and a lot of the lot parking. So the construction not only affects the neighborhoods, but the actual construction at the time affects the neighbors. There was a big meeting at the time to discuss the parking mess.

There was a time when you could park anywhere in the Grove - for free, no meters. And there were dirt roads and quaint streets. Now everything is to code, which of course is a good thing when it comes to building, although so much of the construction these days ignores the codes and so do the officials who are to enforce the codes. And parking is not so easy these days, recently I wrote about many parking spaces being taken away on Grand Avenue, for no apparent reason other than codes, which of course make no sense.

One problem on our street is that one of the developers took it upon himself to remove all of the "No Parking" signs on one side of the street and this is where so many construction workers parked. You know, county planted "No Parking" signs. This caused people to park anywhere and it ended up blocking streets, it caused issues and now no one has anywhere to park. The city and county ignored it. Now there is no proof that the signs ever existed. How can there be no records of this? And how could the county not notice it at the time?

We're working on something to solve this parking issue mess, but it's interesting that the developers cause so many problems from the second they enter the neighborhood. They add cement, they cover storm drains - one city official told me how hard it was recently to have a sewer drain added to one development. They just destroy the whole eco-system and quality of life from the second they set eyes on a neighborhood, never mind the crap they build in the end. We've been dealing with the developers in the neighborhood, who my neighbor Mary says are "nice." They aren't nice, they are polite, because they need to be in order to scam everyone, but they certainly are not nice people. They'll bulldoze anything and anyone in their way.

A week later, cars are still being ticketed in my neighborhood and I'm not sure if they are being towed, but of all the people we personally spoke with and met personally with (the Commissioner, County people, the Police Commander, City People, the Mayor's office, etc.), have done nothing but smile and give us lip service. 

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