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Thursday, February 06, 2020

People are seeing dollar signs on Charles Avenue

The city's Planning and Zoning Board approved the upzoning of the properties on Charles Avenue near the Stirrup House by a vote of 7-3 on Wednesday, now it goes to the city commission.

Some members of the community spoke in favor of this. Some claimed it was the wish of the Stirrup family to honor Grove history by allowing the upzoning for building on the properties in question. I find that to be disingenuous and I feel it is all about money. What else? If they cared about Grove history and the Stirrup legacy, they would not have allowed Mr. Stirrup's house to crumble to the ground from neglect for so many years. They didn't have the decency to even put a coat of paint on the place. It sat and rotted. You can see the recent photos here. I fail to see how upzoning and adding more density is honoring the history of the Grove.

Also, I'm still not sure how this helps build a bridge, as they are calling it, between the residential area and Main Highway. Sure the area needs revitalization, but upzoning?

This upzoning issue has been talked about for years, we wrote about the request in 2011, when the Village Council discussed it. It all boils down to the Stirrup House and the Stirrup family, who seem to be behind the zoning change. The neighbors were against it at the time and I believe they are against it now.

We wrote about the land behind the playhouse not long ago. There is/was talk about building a hotel on that land. Is it a rumor, is it part of the upzoning? It sickening what the Grove is becoming these days. Zoning basically doesn't exist in the village anymore. It's something to change and upzone with every proposed project. Does anybody ever down zone?


Many residents are worried about increased building and also the increase of traffic on the historic Charles Avenue as a fast shortcut to get from Main Highway to Douglas Road. Next thing you know, there will be a traffic light added at either end of Charles Avenue - at Douglas Road and at Main Highway.

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5 Comments:

Blogger chariega said...

I live on Charles and I’m all for it. Now the Stirrups are a different story. They own quite a few properties around here and I’m not surprised they let the original house fall into disrepair. It is all about the $$ for them. For me, I just want to see nice, focused revitalization on my street. People already use our road as a cut through anyway—at least make it look nice.

February 06, 2020 8:40 AM  
Blogger Melissa Meyer said...

Extending and reconnecting streets behind the Playhouse and rezoning can help to remedy the social, cultural and economic hardships imposed on Miami’s most historic community during and after segregation ― when the City of Miami closed off streets and used barbed wire fencing to cut the once vibrant mixed-use historic Bahamian village, known as Kebo and the Little Bahamas, off from the Grove's commercial core ― as it remains today.

Looking around the Grove, you can see that there is a clear precedent for rezoning residential lots that are adjacent to commercial corridors. An incremental approach can lay the foundation for responsible development.

The general consensus of neighbors is that a master plan study - that includes the community - must occur BEFORE any up-zoning happens and before any particular project is approved. Why can't this community get the same respect that we gave the waterfront masterplan?

Check out my MDC students' ideas on Facebook or Instagram -

https://www.facebook.com/melissa.meyer.336717/posts/10221966442252738

https://www.instagram.com/p/B63bP0yAW7u/

February 06, 2020 10:37 AM  
Anonymous john snyder said...

An excerpt from page nine: http://www.historicpreservationmiami.com/pdfs/Evangelist Street -Charles Avenue.pdf

“All the business, everything was right here on Charles Avenue. Old Man Joe Major had
a bicycle shop. Old Man Stirrup had a grocery store. There was a soda shop and ice
cream parlor. And then they had a Cleaner’s, belonged to Old Man Summons. He died
last year; I didn’t even know it. Father Culmer had a pressing club – a cleaner’s – before he was a priest. He also was an organist at Christ Episcopal Church. After he got married and moved to Overtown and he became a priest at St. Agnes.”
The road was called Evangelist Street because of its churches, Macedonia Baptist
Church, which was first called St. Agnes Baptist Church (the oldest black congregation), A.M.E. Methodist Church, former St. Paul’s Methodist Church (housed the first black school), and St. James; there was also the Odd Fellows Hall which was a community center and later served as a library for the village as well. As the area grew, Evangelist Street was extended to Douglas Road and later had its name changed to Charles Avenue after Joseph Frow’s son, Charles Frow. Soon Charles Avenue became the spine of the community, Esther Mae Armbrister, remembered as interviewed by Willian Labbee in 1991: “Back then they called Charles Avenue by the name Evangelist Street, until they named it in the late Twenties after an
early settler called Charles Frow. But this street was it. It was the main drag. It was the hopping place to be....

February 06, 2020 1:37 PM  
Blogger Sharie B. said...

Alot of white privilege and assumptions in this piece. Thanks Mr. Synder for some historical context.

February 06, 2020 1:48 PM  
Blogger Melissa Meyer said...

Extending 32nd Avenue all the way to Charles Avenue would alleviate traffic woes on Main Highway and Charles Avenue, while opening up a whole new range of possibilities for a new main drag behind the Playhouse. Thanks to Gloriana Calhoun for sharing this great idea with my MDC students!

February 06, 2020 2:01 PM  

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