I) Discussion and Review of “
Lofts,” 528 NW 7
the recommendation of the MRC Urban Infill Working Group on May 19,
2005, MRC staff coordinated this Greenways subcommittee meeting to
provide an opportunity for the “Havana River Lofts” proposed
development, represented by the architect, Mr. Reynaldo Borges, and the
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) representative Mr. Michael
Sileno, to discuss the designed NW 5 ST Bridge replacement footprints
and road-realignments on NW 7 Ave, which may impact the proposed
“Havana River Lofts” project and potential riverwalk connectivity.
The UIWG and MRC Executive Committee agreed, if there was sufficient
time before city consideration, to defer the project to the MRC’s
Greenways Subcommittee’s mid-June meeting to determine whether it is
consistent with the Miami River Greenway Action Plan, so the
Greenways subcommittee convened this meeting two weeks ahead of
schedule, in order to provide the MRC with the opportunity to hear the
presentation on June 6, 2005, rather than July 11, 2005.
Dr. Ernie Martin, GSC Chair, explained the City Commission requested the
MRC’s advisory recommendation regarding river related agenda items.
Dr. Martin further explained the MRC’s process is for the MRC’s
subcommittee’s to advise the full MRC on whether any item is
consistent with the Miami River Greenway Action Plan and the Miami
River Corridor Urban Infill Plan. The MRC then places the item on
their publicly noticed agenda and the presenters are provided an
opportunity to address the MRC, which votes to determine if the proposal
is consistent with the aforementioned plans.
Mr. Bibeau noted the “Havana River Lofts” project is not
required for consideration by the City Commission, unless the
administrative Class II Special Permit is appealed, and noted NEO Lofts
was also presented to the MRC, although the development was never
considered by the MRC.
Dr. Ernie Martin inquired about the timetable and building alternatives
NW 5th ST
Bridge. Mr. Sileno, Hardesty & Hanover, stated that FDOT had recently
completed its Preliminary Engineering Phase, and contracted his firm to
commence the final project design for the PD&E selected bridge
“Alternative 4”. Mr.
Sileno stated the existing
NW 5th ST
Bridge would be replaced with
another bascule bridge with concrete grating to reduce noise.
Mr. Sileno stated his contract requires 30% complete construction
documents by November 2005, and 60% complete by July 2006, when the
final determination of the necessary right of way to accommodate the new
bridge would be determined. Mr.
Sileno presented an aerial depicting the PD&E’s selected bridge
alternative, which at this time does not appear to impact the “Havana
River Lofts” site or the adjacent commercial fishing business.
The Greenways subcommittee asked Mr. Sileno to discuss potential
connectivity with the Miami River Greenway and the
. Mr. Sileno pointed out on the
aerial rendition that the plans feature a publicly accessible riverwalk
proceeding east to west beneath the new NW 5 ST Bridge, and continuing
north as an “on-road” Greenway along the western side of NW 7 Ave to
Bibeau noted the City of
and TPL were preparing
construction documents for an “on-road” Greenway section along
NW North River Drive
, leading up to this NW 5 ST
bridge area, and asked how it would connect with the planned riverwalk,
considering the 8-foot elevation change between the seawall and natural
shoreline. Mr. Sileno stated
this connectivity would be addressed as they create the construction
Mr. Borges asked Mr. Sileno for a copy of the FDOT aerial photograph
detailing the area surrounding the
, and Mr. Sileno provided him
with his copy. Mr. Borges noted he would digitally superimpose the FDOT
CAD file with the proposed project’s aerial to create an enhanced
graphic he could distribute to the
Miami River Commission
board during its
June 6, 2005
meeting, Robert King High.
Mr. Borges stated he would e-mail the rendition to Mr. Sileno,
Dr. Martin and MRC staff by
June 2, 2005
Bibeau noted he had drafted a letter to FDOT project manager Jose
Barrera, and copied Mr. Johnny Martinez, FDOT, regarding timing the
funded replacement of the NW 5 ST Bridge, which is currently built into
the River’s Federal Navigable Channel, and the commenced dredging of
the channel area. Mr. Sileno
stated he did not believe the existing bridge would be removed before
the dredgers arrive in the vicinity.
ensued as to whether the proposed “Havana River Lofts” project was
consistent with the Miami River Greenway Action Plan.
Dr. Martin stated the Plan was adopted in principle by the City
’s in 2001.
At that time the Greenway was planned to proceed around the
subject property, which currently has no setback from the shoreline, and
the adjacent commercial fishing business to the south and recreational
boat yard to the north, as an “on-road” greenway along NW 7 Ave.
Dr. Martin stated anytime a site is redeveloped, the Plan and MRC
have sought the inclusion of a publicly accessible riverwalk, consistent
with the Plan’s standards. Mr.
Borges claimed the subject parcel created a hardship for developers due
to its small shape and size, and therefore the project’s designed
riverwalk area would not be open to the public, yet noted the FDOT will
be constructing an “on-road” greenway past the site along NW 7 Ave.
Dr. Ernie Martin stated that Mr. Borges may present that case before
the MRC board on June 6, 2005, yet he personally did not believe the
subject parcel created a hardship sufficient to eliminate the
recommended public access of the proposed developments designed
riverwalk area. Mr. Borges
expressed concern over security within the area, especially for the
recreational boats, which would be docked along the property’s
shoreline, if public access were to be provided along the designed
riverwalk area. In order to enhance the safety and security of potential
residents of “Havana River Lofts,” Mr. Borges noted that his clients
had wished to create a stand-alone “urban compound” with no public
access to the riverwalk. Borges
stated the potential developer has had a series of meetings with Manny
Prieguez, owner of the adjacent commercial fishing business, regarding
potentially redeveloping his property in conjunction with the “Havana
River Lofts” development, yet no agreement has been reached, therefore
the project was moving forward without the commercial fishing business
parcel. Borges stated he
would discuss the concept of potentially providing public access to the
riverwalk in the future, if a neighboring parcel provides a publicly
accessible riverwalk section to connect with.
Borges noted the potential developer is already “borderline”
about the project, and was concerned that recommending public access
along the riverwalk may discourage his desire to proceed through the
building approval process, rather than selling the property.
Greenways subcommittee noted the designed project features an 8-foot
wide unobstructed pedestrian path, half of the Plan’s recommended
16-foot wide minimum width. In
addition, the Greenways subcommittee noted the MRC recently endorsed the
extension of the 50-foot building setback formula throughout the River
Corridor, and since this parcel is less than 200 feet wide, the
recommended setback from the shoreline becomes 25% of the property
width, which equates to approximately 32 feet, where the presented
design provides a 23-foot setback. Dr.
Martin found the “
Lofts” proposal to be inconsistent with the Miami River Greenway
Action Plan, primarily due to blocking public access of the
project’s designed Riverwalk area.
Martin inquired as to the findings of the MRC’s Urban Infill Working
Group, regarding the “Havana River Lofts” proposal.
Mr. Bibeau distributed copies of the May 19, 2005 UIWG meetings
minutes which state, “The UIWG found the Miami
River Corridor Urban Infill Plan’s zoning and land use related
recommendations for this particular area, including creation of a new
ordinance to permit a “water-dependant commercial or industrial uses,
with associated mixed-use development”, which may include a
residential component, and the recommendation to designate a
“Neighborhood Conservation District”, which would include the
“Havana River Lofts” site, have not been approved by the City of
Miami. Therefore, the UIWG
recommended the MRC work with the potential developers to ensure the
proposed “Havana River Lofts” project is compatible within its
surrounding area and determine whether it is consistent with existing
code, such as the Spring Garden Historic District, and recommended the
use of some shade trees in addition to palms.”
Mr. Borges stated shade trees along the shoreline have been added
to the design.
II. Discuss Future
Bibeau, at the request of the Greenways subcommittee, created and
distributed Part II of his research highlighting
the roles and examples of non-profit models, as described in the
“Public Parks & Private Partners,” authored by Project for
Public Spaces. Mr. Bibeau stated he believed MRC’s infrastructure and
role is currently a cross between the “Catalyst” and “Assistance
Provider” models, with a limited “Co-Manager” role, and
recommended the MRC consider increasing their “Co-Manager” function
by means such as increasing coordination of volunteer maintenance.
Bibeau noted the book described the difficulties
“sole-manager” non-for-profits have had in providing the 100%
maintenance they are responsible for, therefore doesn’t recommend the
MRC attempt to evolve into the “sole manager” model.
Ms. Ashley Chase, MRC Assistant Managing Director, provided a
report of the roles, function, benefits, and national and international
examples of Business Improvement Districts and Internal Greenway models.
Dr. Martin thanked MRC staff for their reports and directed them to
continue their research of public/private governance models and their
corresponding legislation. Bibeau
noted the Executive Committee discussed the potential of hosting a Miami
River Development Summit to discuss the creation of a BID, the Miami
River Corridor Multi-Modal Transportation Plan and the Miami River
Corridor Energy and Water Conservation Report.
Greenway Historical Markers-
Martin stated that the Villagers, Inc attorney was out of town, and upon
his return Martin would schedule a meeting with the Greenways
Discuss Status of Draft
Greenway Regulatory Design Standards-
Bibeau stated the MRC had written City of
Miami Planning Director Ana Gelabert
, regarding the MRC’s
recommended revisions to the draft “Miami River Greenway Regulatory
Design Standards”. The
revisions include but are not limited to replacing
“encouraging” public access along the Miami River Greenway with
“requiring” public access along the Miami River Greenway, and
extending the current 50-foot building setback formula from the
shoreline required for new developments along the River to the east of
the NW 5th ST Bridge, throughout the Miami River corridor,
with the exemption of properties less than 200 feet in width, which
would then revert to a 25% of property width setback, and low-density
and marine industrial developments, where the Greenway would proceed
around the property as an “on-road” Greenway.
Discuss Status of
Greenway Development and Discuss
and City of
Bond Funding for the
’s recently approved Bond
Issue includes a $7.5 million Miami River Greenway line item. Mr. Bibeau
stated he forwarded the Greenways subcommittee recommended first phase
of the County Bond’s Greenways line item to be used on developing a
riverwalk at the County owned Robert King High housing facility, to
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro and Mr. Roman Gastesi.
Bibeau noted the FDOT’s draft Transportation Improvement Program does
not include the previously awarded “Miami Riverwalk Flagler
Extension”, nor the “Lummus Park Extension” grants.
Bibeau stated he contacted David Henderson, whom is looking into
it, and perhaps the reason they aren’t included is that the funding
has already been transferred to the City of
Bibeau stated he had recently spoken to Ms. Lori Billberry, City of
Miami Director of Real Estate and Economic Development, regarding the
City’s decision to place the “Lummus Landing” project on hold
until a new scope of services is developed and an RFP is issued, as
documented in the March 22, 2005 Bond Oversight Board meeting minutes.
According to Ms. Billberry, the minutes were inaccurate. The “Lummus
Landing” project is currently on hold to allow Mr. Steve Bogner to
obtain new dockage / shoreline permits to better accommodate vessels for
the MRC recommended “Fisherman’s Wharf” component of the “Lummus
Landing” project, and a RFP wouldn’t be drafted until after the
“Lummus Landing” construction is completed.
Mr. Bibeau stated he had left a voice mail for Mr. Bogner to
obtain the status of the pending shoreline permit revisions.