North Beach Proposed Historic Districts are Under Attack. We need your help!

North Beach Proposed Historic Districts are Under Attack. We need your help!

Miami Beach 0 Comment 29

The following is an update following the October and November Commission Meetings which took place on October 19th and then again on November 9th.

FLAMINGO PARK 

Congratulations!! Together, we saved Flamingo Park!

Flamingo Park

Flamingo Park

Thanks to all who came out in support and wrote letters to the Commission about NOT building a parking lot in the center of Flamingo Park. The item has been deferred — a big victory for residents. See what happens when we raise our voices together? Change happens! United, we can reverse decisions that negatively impact our quality of life. And…speaking of negative impact on quality of life…

Light Rail to Nowhere — But Only Halfway?

According to an article in The Miami Herald at the end of October, “City Manager Jimmy Morales…recommended reducing the (Light Rail) project’s scope because of issues with funding, costs and logistics…reducing the construction cost to about $244 million by scaling back a full loop around the heart of South Beach to a track that would run along Fifth Street and up Washington Avenue to Miami Beach Senior High School.”

According to an article in The Miami Herald at the end of October, “City Manager Jimmy Morales…recommended reducing the (Light Rail) project’s scope because of issues with funding, costs and logistics…reducing the construction cost to about $244 million by scaling back a full loop around the heart of South Beach to a track that would run along Fifth Street and up Washington Avenue to Miami Beach Senior High School.”

Light Rail

Light Rail

Wow! Now we have a super-expensive half-train to nowhere! Major public outcry helped put the brakes on this massively unpopular project. Maybe we can continue to slow down the process?

Resident groups from across the city, such as Miami Beach United, came forward and proposed a resolution to “Keep the Link in Baylink.” The result is that further decisions regarding this train are being postponed while the administration seeks “more input from the public.”

Ok, Public! This is our chance to deliver some sanity! Hopefully, Miami Beach Commissioners will listen to residents’ concerns about this nearly quarter-billion dollar half-loop, with no real promise to connect to anything, and a ticket price four times the MetroMover. :

Here’s a link to the Miami Beach United Resolution posted on my FB page.  Well worth the read:

https://www.facebook.com/voterosengonzalez/posts/904198453044300

South Beach streetcar project cut in half because of cost

 

Danger! North Beach Historic District in Peril!

This particular problem seriously needs your help. This year, the City of Miami Beach hired Dover Kohl, an Urban

North Beach Historic District

North Beach Historic District

design firm, to create a “North Beach Master Plan,” working with the North Beach Steering Committee, comprised of preservationists and developers. The result? A compromise — allowing yet another height increase in Miami Beach, this time along the newly proposed “town center” on 71st Street. (And, it’s worth mentioning that the final public reaction was not great. “The Master plan morphed into a plan of allowing for more development with few community benefits,” said North Beach community activist Tom Richerson.) In exchange, the Commission agreed it would honor the historic districts as drawn by Dover Kohl, the company who created the plan. 

At the time, believing they would keep their promise, I actually voted to allow a height increase to show support and goodwill toward the compromise between preservationists and development.

https://youtu.be/hykGEPyi6ZY

But! That scenario is suddenly changing. Commissioner John Aleman has requested a special meeting on December 5, 2016 at 3:00pm, to discuss North Beach Historic Districts. Aleman would like the Commission to go back on its promise and redraw the historic districts, reversing the Historic Preservation Board’s expert opinion. 

Why is this so dangerous for the architectural integrity of Miami Beach? Because, based on this “new reasoning” for slashing historic districts in North Beach, every area’s historic designations could be reversed, due to possible “sea level rise.” That sure would be great for developers! This is a poor excuse to destroy historic district protections all over Miami Beach. I’m stunned to think that all the heroic work of Barbara Capitman (champion of the Miami Beach Preservation League and Art Deco) will soon be in danger. 

Our historic districts are our unique postcards to the world. They are what makes us special. We are the unique gem we are only because, together, we fought hard to preserve our Art Deco heritage. Now, this heritage is once again under attack. We must come together to defend the Historic Preservation Board’s determination to safeguard the proposed historic districts in North Beach.

Please come to City Hall on December 5, 2016 at 3:00 pm to speak out for what is right in maintaining the low-scale, low density architecture that made us famous. 

Here’s a link to the Commission Meeting Memoradum with maps: http://eepurl.com/cpbUar

 Avon

Author

Leave a comment

© City Debate Publishing Company, Inc. 2000 – 2017

Back to Top