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Friday, January 31, 2020

Was the mayor's Playhouse veto legal?

There was a meeting regarding the Coconut Grove Playhouse at the County level on Monday, but it's been postponed.

Judge Thomas J. Rebull has recused himself from the case as of Thursday afternoon, another judge will be assigned and he will now have to be brought up to speed, so the case will drag on.

The Appellate Division of the 11th Judicial Circuit was going to hear arguments on whether Mayor Frances Suarez's veto was legal. The county is asking that the court, "issue a writ of certiorari quashing the City of Miami Mayor’s veto." 

According to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, and his veto, the county has zero dollars to put toward the project. He says, "The County's Playhouse plan is 'Mostly commercial real estate space with an attached subservient theater'." His whole letter can be seen here.

The City's HEP Board vote to deny demolition.

The county can't be pleased with this delay, they have been rushing to get their case heard before County Mayor Carlos Gimenez leaves office this fall.

The argument has been going back and forth as to whether the whole playhouse is historic or just the front "wings" section, that faces the street. The argument is that all the "magic" happened in the back theater section, so that is just as important as the front wings, even though there have been many renovations over the years.

The interesting part is that the State of Florida owns the playhouse, the county is a tenant. Since when does a tenant decide on the fate of the place they lease anyway?

The State of Florida sent a letter to the City of Miami last March saying that it “would consider demolition of the Playhouse as outlined in the provided plans to be an adverse effect to this historic property,” and reiterated that the State as the owner, “recommends restoring the Playhouse,” and calls on the County to work with the City and State to come up with a better plan.

So why is the tenant - the County - acting like thugs? I guess they are tied to the developers who want to profit on the property and open that area of the Grove for major development once the door is open.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are from the Grove you would probably know the mob has its finger in the deal and wants commercial and apartments on the site.

January 31, 2020 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Referring to those who disagree with you as "thugs' and suggesting they are corrupt for doing so is inappropriate. There are many members of the art community and other well intention community members who liked the county plan which was extensively and publicly vetted over many years.

January 31, 2020 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Andy Parrish said...

At some point, the courts will recognize that the 2005 Historic Designation of the Playhouse, wherein the Historic and Environmental Protection Board voted 8-0 to preserve “ the entire exterior” of the structure, will take precedence over an erroneous--and repudiated under oath at that meeting before the vote-- designation report. Fortunately for all but the County, the court reporter transcript of that HEP Board meeting has survived poor record keeping by the City.

The crux of this long running battle over the fate of the Grove’s historic crown jewel
comes down to this: Does the rule of law apply to a lawful decision by the City’s duly authorized HEP Board? Or can that decision be tossed out by backers of a scheme concocted to capitalize on the Grove’s “development potential.” The County could argue “If we want, we can put a basketball court in the Playhouse instead of a theatre so long as we preserve the entire exterior.” To that argument, we say Do it! Because then you’ll at least be complying with the law.

We all know, though, that once the entire exterior of the Playhouse is preserved, the interior will be renovated into a new theatre venue, and that Broadway on the Bay will return to its historic birthplace. What will that mean for Miami and particularly for Coconut Grove? Here’s an excerpt from The Village Post magazine, Vol. 16, No.3, in 1970:

"Coconut Grove’s business boom is about to take its annual nap between seasons of the Grove Playhouse. And once again merchants think longingly of the crowds of matinee ladies and evening theatregoers that make the Grove a profitable business address. Fingers are crossed that “Hair” will enjoy a good summer run, bringing fresh crowds to the village shops. The theatre season underscores the fact that culture and business are in the same ballgame…"

January 31, 2020 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one is calling many members of the art community and other well intention community members who support the plan thugs. If you look deeply in the related private financing and documents you will see fingerprints of the Mob.

February 01, 2020 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one with any real qualifications or talent supports the County's plan.

February 01, 2020 5:03 PM  

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