MIAMI RIVER COMMISSION
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GREENWAY SUBCOMMITTEE AND QUALITY OF LIFE JOINT MINUTES:
Minutes of meeting
Oct. 10 , 2007
(THIS IS A PUBLIC DOCUMENT)
The Miami River Commission's (MRC) Greenways Subcommittee (GSC) met as regularly scheduled on the second Wednesday of the month, October 10, 2007, 2:00 PM, 1407 NW 7 ST, Robert King High New Board Room. Dr. Ernie Martin chaired the meeting. The attendance sheet is enclosed.
I. Presentation of City of Miami Parks Master Plan- Dr. Ernie Martin , Chair of the MRC' Greenways Subcommittee (GSC), welcomed Ms. Lara de Souza, City of Miami Department of Parks & Recreation, whom presented the City of Miami adopted “A Vision for Miami Parks & Public Spaces” created by Goody Clancy. Ms. De Souza distributed a powerpoint presentation pertaining to the Parks Master Plan including:
Dr. Martin noted he serves on the board of the City of Miami Planning Advisory Board , whom had previously recommended approval of the Miami Parks & Public Spaces Master Plan. Dr. Martin provided a brief overview of the City of Miami and Miami River Commission - adopted Miami River Greenway Action Plan .
Ms. De Souza provided an overview of goals for the Miami Parks & Public Spaces Master Plan:
The GSC discussed the following riverfront Parks with Ms. De Souza:
Lummus Park - Ms. De Souza stated within a couple weeks the City of Miami will install benches, sod and an irrigation system on the Riverfront portion of Lummus Park otherwise known as Lummus Landing. City will then host an event to commemorate the history of Lummus Park and Lummus Landing. Ms. Ashley Chase, MRC Assistant Managing Director, suggested utilizing that opportunity to unveil the two Miami River Greenway historic markers, created by the MRC thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Villagers, Inc., for the 1844 Fort Dallas and the 1856 Wagner Homestead.
Jose Marti Park – Mr. Kevin Brown stated the planned and funded Miami River Greenway Section G will enter the south east side of the park and then proceed as a riverwalk beneath I-95 to connect with the existing riverwalk near the park's pool. Mr. Brown asked Ms. De Souza if the City is still considering placing a skate park facility beneath I-95 just upland of the planned and funded riverwalk which is about to break ground, aand she replied it remains under consideration. Ms. De Souza stated the indoor Gym the City is building in Jose Marti Park will be completed by the 2008 summer.
Sewell Park – The GSC noted the City Commission MUSP for the adjacent Terrazas River Park Village included a gate in the fence to allow public access along the Terrazas riverwalk when Sewell Park is open. The GSC noted sections of the existing asphault path around Sewell Park is in disrepair, and should be either removed or repaired. Mr. Bibeau asked for the status of creating a canoe/kayak launch and public restrooms, and Ms. De Souza agreed to provide that information; The GSC noted there is one fence around the entire fence, yet when the park is open there is a second fence which blocks public access to a significant portion of the aprk which the MRC recommends removal of along with public access at the adjacent historic limestone caves across the South South River Drive, which is owned by the Miccosukkee.
Curtis Park – Ms. De Souza stated the Curtis Park pool which had only been opened during the summer will be open year round and a water heater will be installed for use during winters.
Fern Isle Park (south shore of South Fork ) – Ms. De Souza stated construction will commence on the cleared site. The GSC commended the City for removing the significant debris which had accumulated within the western portion of Fern Isle, and recommended the park improvements include a riverwalk along the extended South Fork waterfront.
Ms. De Souza and the GSC discussed the Parks Master Plan recommended “Central Park” atmosphere via a navigational and pedestrian connection between the Curtis Park, Sewell Park, Fern Isle Park, and the City's recently acuired park site on the opposite side of the South Fork from Fern Isle Park. Ms. De Souza reported the City of Miami is planning on clearing the site, and installing a dock for kayaking; Dr Martin noted the MRC recommended replacing the Tamiami Swing Bridge and using the current historic bridge structure as a pedestrian bridge over the South Fork to connect Fern Isle Park and with the new Park exetnsion on the north shore of the South Fork.
Mr. Brett Bibeau, MRC Managing Director, noted the MRC's Urban Infill Working Group had received a presentation regarding plans for the preservation of the historic East Coast Fisheries, and a new adjacent multi restaurant development entitled “East Coast Fisheries”. Mr. Bibeau noted the potential developers offered to essentially create a riverfront pocket park on the unimproved City of Miami owned public right of way between the Flagler Bridge and the East Coast Fisheries. In addition, the FDOT owned riverfront public right of way beneath the adjacent 1 st ST Bridge is ideal for a riverfront pocket park adjacent to a section of the on-road Miami River Greenway currently under construction along North River Drive .
Ms de Souza stated the City had created a new park facility on North River Drive and NW 19 Ave, called Unity Park , which is equipped with a playground.
II. Discuss Future Miami River Greenway Governance – Dr. Martin noted Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff had discussed the future governance of the Miami River Greenway at the September 27 City Commission hearing. Mr. Bibeau noted that subsequent to this discussion, Mr. Roger Hernstadt, Assistant City Manager, had requested a meeting with Mr. Bibeau to discuss this ongoing issue on Tuesday, October 19, 9 am, with Mr. Orlando Toledo and Ms. Ana Gelabert, City of Miami Planning Department, Mr. Robert Weinreb , Office of the City Manager and Mr. Ron Nelson, Office of Commissioner Sarnoff, MRC GSC Chair Dr. Martin and Ms. Chase.
III. Status of Miami River Greenway Historic Markers – Ms. Ashley Chase, MRC Managing Director, noted that after Mr. Bibeau discovered that the left vertical border of the frame for the “E.G. Sewell Memorial Park” historic marker at Sewell Park had mysteriously fallen - leaving the porcelain enamel panel exposed - she immediately emailed Mr. Bryan Vasser, Baron Sign Manufacturing reminding him of the guarantee and warranty guidelines of the Miami River Greenways Historical Markers Contract: Section “the contractor will provide full guarantee of all workmanship, materials, equipment, etc. of this installation for a period of five years after owner acceptance. Contractor shall replace/repair any defective work within an agreed upon timeframe after notification by owner, throughout the duration of this period.” (3.2, Task 7, and Section 3.3, Task 7). Ms. Chase added that on behalf of the Miami River Commission, she respectfully requested that the historic marker be repaired as soon as possible to avoid any potential future damage, yet the manufacturers replied they would bill the MRC to repair the marker if the damage was caused by others, i.e. vandals, etc. Mr. Bibeau noted he had contacted Mr. Chris Rogers, Yazi, whom had agreed to inspect the sign and provide his opinion regarding the cause of the damage, before Baron Signs visits the site. Ms. Chase suggested that in the meantime, MRC staff should email Mr. Vasser pictures of the marker's current condition.
IV. Discuss Status of Miami River Greenway Development – Mr. Kevin Brown , Consul-Tech / City of Miami Capital Improvement , provided the status on the City's construction of the following Miami River Greenway sections:
Segment B (NW North River Drive, NW 2 nd ST to Flagler ST) & Segment C (NW North River Drive, Flagler to Miami Riverside Center's Riverwalk / existing riverwalk beneath I-95) – Landscaping will be performed within two weeks and resurfacing will be completed within two weeks; expected completion of project is one to two months. Mr. Bibeau noted the MRC had recently purchased 133 new schieflera trinettes, which University of Miami volunteers planted to re-landscape where the smaller type of plants had failed. The GSC recommended using more schiflerra trinettes which seem to require less maintenance and grow better in the previously completed City sections of on-road greenway, rather than the smaller plants used in portions of the previously constructed Greenway sections. Mr. Brown noted FP & L has yet to install lighting in decorative lighting on the on-road greenway finished over a year ago along North River Drive , yet he planned to address this item with an FP & L representative at a meeting scheduled for tomorrow. Discussion of on-road greenway connection under I-95 through the Miami Riverside Center parking lot, as well as the possibility of extending the riverwalk further west through the professional commercial fishing business site they lease to Garcia's, is still ongoing because they are considering an office development on the site which would include a publicly accessible riverwalk. Mr. Brown noted the city continues to express concern regarding creating a tunnel effect, yet has agreed to construct a sidewalk type connection. Mr. Bibeau asked if the parking facility would remain open on the weekends to provide a continuous publicly accessible Miami River Greenway route, and Mr. Brown replied no.
Segment G (José Martí Park Riverwalk east beneath I-95, south along SW 3 Ave, east along SW 6 ST to SW 2 nd Avenue Bridge)- paperwork for the purchase order is being processed and should be completed within two weeks, therefore construction will commence this month; City intends to have Segment G and gymnasium completed simultaneously by summer 2008.
North Spring Garden Greenway Project - Mr. Brown noted a meeting between the CIP Department and the Planning Director to discuss the project had been rescheduled. Mr. Bibeau asked who is currently providing the match for the FDOT grant, and Mr. Brown agreed to obtain that information. Dr. Martin stated the Spring Garden Civic Association is collecting petition signatures from the majority of property owners adjacent to the “North Spring Garden Greenway” route to present during the Historic and Environmental Preservation Board's deferred hearing. Dr. Martin stated the historic flooding of the City owned North River Drive within Spring Garden will be fixed by the Greenway project. Dr. Martin stated a Mercedes recently reported $3,000 of damage caused in recent flooding in the subject area. Dr. Martin commended Mr. Bibeau for taking 5 hours on a recent Saturday to meet with Spring Garden residents, and noted he was able to answer several questions and resolve some of the concerns.
Segment D, “Little Havana Greenway”, South River Drive NW 1 ST to the NW 5 ST Bridge – Mr. Brown stated he had submitted the paperwork for the LAP agreement required for the awarded $1,000,000 FDOT grant for both design and construction.
V. Review of Miami River Greenway Riverwalk Cross Section – MRC staff distributed copies of the following:
Miami River Development Riverwalk Cross Sections
Per the request of the Miami River Commission (MRC), the City of Miami Planning Department and the City of Miami Building Department are continuing to provide MRC staff with the approved plans, dimensions / cross sections for publicly accessible riverwalk sections proposed or already constructed at Miami River development projects. Per the direction of the MRC's Greenways Subcommittee (GSC), two sets of received approved publicly accessible riverwalk cross sections will be reviewed during each monthly public noticed GSC meeting. For your consideration during the October 10, 2007 GSC meeting, please find the following summaries of the approved plans for “Epic” and “Reflections on the Miami River .”
“Epic” (former Dupont Plaza site and former City of Miami Application titled “Miami Hotel and Residences”, 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way, east of the Brickell Avenue Bridge on the River's north shore)
City of Miami Office of Hearing Boards Approved MUSP Rendition of Riverwalk, “Riverwalk Plan Enlargement”, “Riverwalk Cross Section”, (Sheet Number LA-3) created by Revuelta Vega Leon P.A. for the project entitled “Miami Condominium – Hotel” – Renditions depict and state min. 16-foot-wide unobstructed pedestrian path with an additional min. 4 feet of passive zone for landscaping, decorative lighting, etc. are included along entire length of the publicly accessible riverwalk as recommended by the Miami River Greenway Action Plan . The City Charter requires a 50-foot setback for new developments along the Miami River to the east of the Fifth Street Bridge , unless the parcel is less than 200 feet wide, as is the presented development site. Therefore, the City Charter requires a minimum waterfront building setback equal to 25% of the property depth, which in this case equates to a 41-foot required setback. Although the project's average riverfront building setback was 41-feet, the project will require a waiver to the charter setback requirement, because sections of the building have a setback less than 41-feet. The City Commission approved a waiver, reducing the required setback. MRC staff is unable to determine if the City Commission approved building setback from the riverfront is depicted in the rendition, or is being provided in the current state of construction. The rendition depicts an additional area slightly elevated from the riverwalk for “outdoor dinning” and a slightly lowered additional dock area (unable to determine additional dock width).
Presented to MRC on February 2, 2004 and the Urban Infill Working Group on November 18, 2003 ; Items of interest during both meetings:
Issues for follow up :
“Reflections on the Miami River” (201-261 SW 6 th Street, immediately west of the 2 nd Avenue Bridge, east of I-95 and directly across from the City of Miami Administration Building on the river's north shore)
“City of Miami Office of Hearing Boards Plans Review” document signed by City of Miami Planning Department on 4/14/05 and Public Works Department on 5/20/05 –Planning Department renditions/Landscape Plan include a 50-foot building setback from the riverfront. MRC staff is unable to determine if the dimensions within the area marked as “riverwalk” contains the pledged min. 20 foot wide area consisting of a min. 16-foot-wide unobstructed pedestrian path and additional min. 4 feet wide passive zone for landscaping, decorative lighting, benches, etc. A “continuation of riverwalk on adjacent property” is illustrated twice in Landscape Plan (towards the existing two story building to the west with minimum setbacks and beneath the 2 nd Avenue Bridge to the east) On May 20, 2005, Mr. Leonard Helmers, City of Miami Public Works , wrote the following comment in the Planning Department renditions that “Development of the Greenway Cross Section for SW 6 th Street subject to review and approval of the Public Works Department.” Stairs are depicted on 1 st bridge connection to SW 2 nd Ave , is there a ramp as well?
Presented to MRC on September 13, 2004 and the Urban Infill Working Group on July 13, 2004 ; Items of interest during both meetings:
Additional Issues :
VI. Discussion of Greenway Connectors Needed on County owned North Shore Beneath the South Miami Avenue Bridge, Metro-Rail, and WASD Pump Station and the South Shore Beneath the Metro-Rail, Metro-Mover, and SW 2 Ave Bridge – Mr. Bibeau noted the Miami-Dade Public Works Department is moving forward with the process to construct publicly accessible riverwalks at these county-owned parcels with County bond funding.
VII. New Business – Mr. Bibeau noted the next MRC coordinated and funded volunteer clean up event of City owned on-road Greenway sections will take place during the University of Miami's “Hurricanes Help the Hometown” on October 27, 2007.
The GSC confirmed their next regularly scheduled second Wednesday of the month meeting on November 14, 2007, 2 PM .
The meeting adjourned.