GENERAL COMMITTEE MINUTES:
Minutes of meeting
Robert L. Parks, Chairperson, called the Miami River Commission meeting to order at 12:00 noon on Monday, January 7, 2002 at the United Way of Miami-Dade, The Ansin Building, Ryder Conference Room, 3250 S.W. Third Avenue (Coral Way) in Miami.
Miami River Commission Policy Committee members
Officio (non-voting) members:
attending interested in the River:
Parks introduced himself and welcomed everyone to the January 7, 2002
meeting of the Commission. A
quorum was present.
I. CHAIRS REPORT:
Mr. Parks asked for approval of the December 2001 minutes. Sandy OíNeil made the motion to approve the minutes. Sallye Jude seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Parks stated they are still moving along with the dredging.
Letters were written pursuant to your direction to fish and
wildlife concerning the problems that they are having and also
soliciting Senator Graham and some of the other Congressmenís
support to get that minor problem resolved.
Wagner Creek Presentation
Mr. Parks welcomed Betty Fleming who was the Executive Director
for the Miami River Coordinating Committee for a number of years.
Mrs. Fleming made numerous and great contributions to the
Fleming is now with the University of Miami who is one of the sponsors
of this project. Sergio
Rodriguez is head of the Real Estate Department at the University of
Miami. Betty introduced
Jason Uyeda and Oscar Garcia-pons to explained the project. Mr. Uyedaís firm, EDAW, selected this project and has been
working with the University of Miami and others through their summer
student program. This is a student based internship program and a two
week workshop. This
project is close to the River and does connect to it, but doesnít
directly touch the River. Their
objective of the program is to facilitate and lead a community
neighborhood planning workshop through their summer student program.
The project area is an area around the UM Ė Jackson Memorial
Hospital Campus. The
neighborhood has never been studied.
They have 23 offices worldwide and have an office in Miami and
based in San Francisco. They
specialize in land and community based issues; environmental planning,
master planning, land planning and more.
They are going to do this project through an intensive two week
workshop whereby they will select 14 to 16 students from around the
world. He showed the post
card and poster that will go out around the world. The students come
to one central location of for a project.
They have been to other areas around urban water waters with
this program all looking at a problem and come back with alternatives
and ideas. They have
worked with University of Miami.
They are helping with putting up the students for two weeks
with food, transportation, etc.
They want to look at the plans.
This is an educational experience. It is a way for their firm
to give back to their discipline of design and environmental planning
so it is a once in a
cost about $150,000 to do this program.
Between Mr. Rodriguezís group and the University of Miami
providing a lot of the in kind services, that covers about $100,000
and they are left looking for $50,000. They are also looking for knowledge from other studies that
have been done up and down the River incorporating those and bringing
those into the vision. They
would like to take the 14 global students on a River Tour giving the
history. They are looking for an event that would bring the students
together to meet constituents of this project area.
Mr. Parks stated that he met with this group and there was one thing that he wanted resolved. They are talking about the entire hospital area. This project involves much more than the River. They are looking for the MRC to become a partner with them with the MRCís approval. There is a significant portion of their boundary that does touch on the River. The University is going to do this and take in everything but Spring Garden. It seems like a worthwhile project. Mr. Parks concern is with if what they are doing has any impact on the MRCís proposed plans for the Greenway project the MRC is doing in supporting with PPL. It is Mr. Parks understanding is that it will not. They are asking for the MRC to take them on a River trip with some appropriate speakers and provide access of data that the MRC has accumulated. And, possibly become involved in a sponsorship and possibly give some money. At this point, it was opened for questions. Sallye Jude said that some of these areas are within the empowerment zone and as a source of funding to go forward in some segments of it might be a choice. Betty Fleming stated Wagner Creek is within the boundary and a potential for Wagner Creek greenway going side by side. A small pilot project could be done on Wagner Creek to show another type of greenway that could also start stretching up. Janet McAliley made the motion to support EDAW and their community improvement process. The motion was seconded by Sallye Jude/Phil Everingham and passed unanimously. In itís passing, Mr. Parks will have David and Brett coordinate the boat trip and the other part and the Executive Committee will review the finances. There will be a function on June 20th on the River. They are meeting with the Urban Infill Group and have looked at their plans and see where this project location is around the infill study area, but they see that group as a strong partner in this.
III. Discussion of Proposed Bridge Crossing of the Upper Miami River
Mr. Parks stated
at the last meeting they had a presentation by a number of people who
were involved with the government side of the new proposal for the
bridges that are proposed to happen at the west of River in the
shipping area. The
Commission would like to hear from everybody who was involved or had
an interest in that. Since
the Commission represents all of the constituencies who make up the
Commission, including shippers, business people, homeowners, etc. They
want to hear from everyone regarding the reference to the location of
Mr. Parks asked
Megan Kelly to give the group an idea of where the Economic
Development Working Group is with reference to that.
Ms. Kelly said they had been trying to understand the
multiplicity of River crossings that may or may not occur in
connection with the Miami Inter Modal Center.
David Miller said he placed a hand out containing some general
information about the upper end of the River.
There is a list of the resolutions of Economic Development
Committee has passed in connection with the MIX project and the River
crossings and the impact that will have on the working River.
Their specific concern is that this concern is that this
concept of multi-modal transit has not been extended to the River
crossing per se. Each of
these projects needs to proceed on a separate track each with its
individual environmental impact and land acquisition program.
The opportunity to look at the location -- either bridge or
tunnel -- and minimize some of the likely
economic and environmental impact to the working River just on
the curve. Megan said
there would be a presentation from the Coast Guard and from the Marine
Coast Guard Bridge Branch
Mr. Greg Shapley from the Coast Guard explained the Coast
Guardís role. They are
the permitting agency for bridge construction, modification, or
alteration over navigable water of the United States as defined in law
and federal regulation Title 33.
They are also the regulatory agency responsible for scheduling,
maintaining the schedules and altering the schedules of openings for
movable bridges. They are
wearing both hats. They
are also a cooperating federal agency since the project involves
federal highway dollars. They
will be reviewing the environmental document associated
with this before they issue a permit.
One of the key elements of any anticipated problems is
jurisdiction. When does
the Coast Guard exercise its jurisdiction in terms of requiring a
permit for bridges over navigable waters and thatís when those
waters meet the definition described in 33© of the United States
Code. If the waterway is
a federal project channel, then it is a key term in dealing with this.
Federal project channel can only be created authorized by
Congress and in turn that is the only body that change it.
One else has that authority.
Since the Miami River from its mouth is a federal project
channel. The Coast Guard
will have jurisdiction and will exercise jurisdiction in all these
matters regarding regulations and permits.
Mr. Shapley said that one of the things that will come into
play as they are approached for a permit is some discussion as to what
the appropriate vertical and horizontal clearances for navigation are
going to be with these structures.
To achieve this, they have published guide clearances since
they do so much of it. The
width of the bridge would correspond to the width of the project
channel. That is the
jumping off point. Vertical
clearance based on current waterway surveys is set at 65í. There is
75í for the people mover and metro-mover or fixed bridges that are
there. This is a guide. They Coast Guard would be receptive to hear arguments for
more or less. At this
point in time, they have a final environmental impact statement by the
Miami-Dade Expressway Authority and Federal Highway Administration.
The purpose is to describe what is being done and identify all
its potential impact to the environment.
That would include property values, businesses, minority
communities and so forth. Each
one of these has to be mitigated before the permit can be signed.
The shelf life for an environmental impact statement is four or
five years. This
particular signed environmental impact statement is very near the
point where it will require an updated supplement before it can serve
as the final environmental impact statement in this case.
That will be federal highway doing that.
Other issues Mr. Shapley said they are concerned with is that
all of this could be going on with another 9 to 10 major projects
along this five mile stretch of waterway.
They are concerned about cumulative impact.
It is a very confined body of water to have that much going on
at once. The Coast Guard
is planning to chair a comprehensive public meeting in the next 60 to
90 days to address this issue separately.
Mr. Shapley said that at the meeting that Sandy OíNeil put
together for them in the County offices, they agreed that the issues
that the Admiral laid out in his letter were these valid issues and
they shared a consensus sense of priority for attacking these issues
and agreed to meet again in the near future to talk about how to do
this. The record shows
that the Coast Guard met with the Expressway Authority back in the
1994 and they had preliminary discussions.
Mr. Shapley has met with them again.
In regard to the 65í and 75í this would hinge on the nature
and volume of navigation that would have to access that reach of the
Mr. Parks began the discussion with Phil Everingham with the
Marine Council. Phil
Everingham said the Marine Council represents the whole marine
interest and Miami-Dade County and South Florida, but their thrust is
more toward the recreational side than commercial.
Phil Everingham said the Marine Council fully supports the
concept of the working River and supports the interest of commerce on
the River. From the
recreational side, they have three concerns.
The first is the boat yards that serve the recreational
industry in Dade County and several other facilities located on the
Miami River. Any impact
that restricts access to the Miami River any section of it in their
view creates a bad precedent. The
marine industry is concern that their role on the River is maintained.
They have a concern that even 2400 or 1600 square linear feet
on a bridge of the River could vote poorly for the industry.
They are concerned about a bad precedent. The second, in line with that, the Marine Council fully
supports proper access to their waterways for boaters.
And last, they have a great concern that the Miami River has
not been given proper consideration in a large project that impacts
all of Dade County and the River.
They would like to see the MRC play the role of the River to
have a prominent place in all of the planning in these projects.
Mr. Everingham said that the marine industry concerns have not
been properly addressed and would like to see a supplemental statement
be brought forth. Mr.
Parks said that if anyone wishes to place a position with the
Commission, they would welcome that they do that in writing and send
it to David Miller. Mr.
Parks asked Phil to get a letter to them so that they can have that in
his capacity as President of the Marine Council so they know were they
stood as a matter of record.
Fran Bohnsack said they became aware of this a long time ago. They were surprised to realize that all of these projects that were going to curtail part of the channel. The documents, she feels, were somewhat misleading. Fran went to Mr. Price and asked for his help. He said that when Fran came to him and outlined what the concerns were, he tried to outline for her what the valued points were related to this matter. When the EIS was created, it was created well in advance of the $80 million commitment by the Federal Government to dredge the River. The EIS statement is totally silent as to that as it would be because it is four years old. One of the problems with the EIS is that they become dated based upon changed circumstances and new facts. He respectfully asked the MRC on behalf of the Miami River Marine Group is to created an additional dialogue with the Expressway Authority to determine whether the $80 million federal government commitment to dredge the River has created a new factor which was not contemplated in the EIS report and that they issue a supplemental report and re-study the area. He knows there are a lot of factors involved but feels the government should cooperate with one another and they should try to come up with a consistent plan for the future development of Dade County in this area. He asked the MRC to encourage supplemental view by the Expressway Authority.
Commissioner Barreiro asked why the issue of doing the bridge
in that area is to connect 112 to 836.
The expansion between 112 and the airport is extremely
underutilized in his opinion. If
that road going to the airport connected to 836, it would be much
shorter and much less costly. It
doesnít make sense. Jesus
Sanchez from the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority stated that because
of the glide path next to the airport, the Airport Representatives
wanted it to be removed from there.
The ramp that goes from S.R. 112 to the airport was done a few
years ago as a temporary or until this inter connector came in. They
would construct the inter connector to connect from the airport or 836
to S.R. 112 and once that is connected that would remove the other
ramp. The glide path is
way too close. That ramp
encroaches into the existing glide path today.
Discussion took place. It
was done as a temporary. Mr.
Parks asked if the Expressway Authority has any present plans in light
of the dredging project has come on since the original EIS was done to
look at that again and do a supplement EIS.
This is a substantial change from when the first one was done.
They acquired roadway from DOT.
They have not had any thought of re-addressing the EIS issue.
Because of funding Mr. Sanchez stated that it might be
difficult. Mr. Foutz
stated that there is a crossing with CFX Railroad at the lowest point
on the glide slope and that cannot be grade separate, so having a
freeway to freeway inter connector with a railroad grade causing
across it makes the area problematic. That was in response to Commissioner Barreiroís comment.
Sandy OíNeil asked if the funds could be found how long would
it take. Mr. Sanchez
stated that it would probably take a copy of years. Frank Zeinali
representing the MDX project explained his views (couldnít hear).
Dick Bunnell stated that the Miami River Marine Group also
wants to explain that this is just one project of many of six
crossings over the River that are contemplated and he feels that it is
important that the MDX do a supplemental EIS before advancing further.
The River, after dredging, use will be used even more than at
present and a very big impact on industry.
He would like to MRC back the proposal to perform a
supplemental EIS. Cleve
Jones said there is a decision being made on the CSX bridge which is
totally opposite of Miami Dade Expressway.
They are looking to widen the current bridge and it would be
currently a 10í clearance. That would hamper the whole rest of the
River and that is what MDX was looking at.
He feels a presentation should be done by Corridor??
(couldnít hear). Jim
Murley said that the County Commission voted not to expand S.R. 112.
There is still a toll because MDX has not raised the toll in
that corridor because there are no plans to improve.
If the road is not going to be improved that is receiving the
north/south corridor, it is not like the east/west corridor is
under-utilized, there is going to be more traffic put into a corridor
that the County has already voted not to expand.
It is not even taking money up for it.
He feels there is some sequence that can be clarified.
He feels all this happened before MDX or in some sequence that
happened. Discussion was
held about District 4. Mr.
Parks asked if a District 4 FDOT representative could be in attendance
at the next meeting. Tri-rail
was unable to attend the meeting but a member of their staff who said
that after September, they had no plans for needing to tie down or
widening the bridge over the Miami River.
Mr. Parks stated the MRC needs to find out specifically whether
they do or they donít. Mr.
Parks asked what the wishes were of the MRC regarding this issue.
It was discussed and will be placed on the agenda for next
Sandy OíNeil said it was discussed about one of the agencies
of the private and public sector that would be effected by the bridge
work that was going to be on going for the next decade.
What is coming from the Coast Guard is basically a proposal
that will ask Representatives from Coast Guard, City of Miami,
Miami-Dade County, and any of the various agencies that would be
affected within those respective government agencies.
They plan to meet once a month and look at whatís out there
and map a schedule the various projects and how they are going to be
coming on line and make sure that all of the agencies that are
involved in these construction activities can meet also and they are
not caught short on whatís happening, but can proceed in an
appropriate direction. They
are waiting for that proposal to come forth from the Coast Guard.
Mr. Parks understands that there is some move to have the MRC
act as the coordinating authority of all these other groups which the
Executive Committee is going to get some information together on and
look at because there are so many issues before they can make any
recommendation. Mr. Parks hope they can do that and bring it back for the
next meeting agenda. Mr.
Parks asked Megan if her group could come back considering the things
discussed at this meeting which would be (a) the supplemental EIS
statement, the CSX matter and with some guidelines and definitive
statement as to what they are thinking about so the MRC can take a
IV. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Bunnell stated that at the last meeting December 18th , the
County informed them that Dade County is still reviewing the PGA
agreement between the local sponsor and the Corps.
There are some issues regarding the PGA as far as the County is
concerned. They are
moving on it as quickly as possible. Tom Goldstein is the County Attorney who has been assigned to
get the problems of the PGA agreed to.
It is his understanding that Mr. Goldstein is hard at work on
this. The conceptual
Water Quality permit was issued on December 5th and they
are very happy that the Florida Department Environmental Protection
did that. There are some
issues regarding the sediments in the River as to what is in the
federal channel and what is not in the federal channel.
The Corps has been using an estimate of 450,000 yards which is
approximately half of the million yards that they estimated necessary
to dredge out the River corridor. They are hoping that their new survey will indicate how much
of the material along the edges are solid rock and how much is
actually sediment because the permit to dredge the River will not
include virgin rock and will not be part of the dredging.
It may be half the 450,000.
They are hoping that the Corps and the full impact of the MRC
behind them on this and Dade County wants the Corps to actually
include all of the dredging of the Miami River Corridor in their
federally sponsored dredging program.
They are trying to convince the Corps to dredge the entire
Nancy Good Ridge with the USCG reported for Capt. Watson.
(canít hear) Mr. Parks wants this to be followed up on.
Miami River Corridor Urban Infill Plan
Murley had a hand out. They have the lower, middle and upper (canít hear). They
met at UM last month. They
plan to do a workshop in March or April.
Martin stated that in regard to the issue brought up at the last
meeting, he is unaware of any progress.
They had one meeting. They
received word that they may be losing some of the federal money as a
result of the number of years it has taken for the City to implement
to the two different projects. They heard that they were looking at alternatives or ways
they could respond to Mr. Parksí December 5th letter
asking for an explanation of might be the best way they could move out
of this quandary of losing the money if they donít spend it.
They asked for a meeting through MRC to meet with City Manager.
Mr. Parks has heard nothing further about it.
Dianne Johnson has been in regular contact with the people.
(canít hear) They
have discussed some alternatives. They are looking into spending the
money on public rights of way or possibly Dallas Park.
She is attending another meeting regarding this. Dr. Martin
said they have always known that this money had been applied for the
purpose of building the Greenway on the north side of the River from
the metro-rail to the metro-mover.
They prepared a strategy adopted by the City and the County and
with the guidance of the Trust for Public Land; the first major
construction of a Riverwalk will be a continuous path from the mouth
of the River up to the Lummus Park area, and hopefully to the Fifth
Street Bridge. In the
heart of this was this money that was earmarked for this purpose. They
are now being told the money cannot be used for this purpose.
Mr. Parks is the money is available will it be received for
that project? That is the
bottom line. Dianne
Johnson explained it further. Mr.
Parks said they need a meeting with the City Manager and perhaps Mr.
Sanchezí office could assist and Mayor Diaz.
Mr. Parks is concerned that it is not going to go on the River.
Private property owners are required to put in a Riverwalk at
their own expense. There is also ample precedence for Greenway being
done as a public/private venture.
In order to encourage economic development on the surrounding
property, if the property owner would be willing to dedicate the
permanent use of that for the public for 50í deep or so and have it
built by the funds that are currently available.
That would help that individual market their property and would
also serve a public purpose of completing the Greenway. They need to be flexible and not have a rigid principle.
There is a precedent from the DuPont Plaza to the Inter
Continental Hotel built by the City on private property.
Mr. Parks said that he would like to make this a priority item
before the next meeting.
reported that Department of Cultural Affairs
(canít hear) on a grant award for $4,5000.00.
They still have _______________ before River Day.
Jude said that next month the final report should be ready.
Economic Development and
Kelly reported that did make some progress on the item voted on at the
last meeting. They did not
have the designation because of an error with the FDA.
OíNeil said that January 25th all day at the American
Airlines Arena, the Mayor is having his Economic Summit no. 2.
It has been put together to help better understand what they need
to do to strengthen the economy. There
are two separate workshops that River Commission members may be
interested in attending. They have a Transportation Workshop and have an International
Trade and Commerce workshop. Call Sandy if you would like to attend or
be on a panel. There are
four other workshops in addition to that.
Miller introduced Officer Bill Clayton who has been the driving force in
cleaning up the Allapattah area as far as drug usage, people in jail so
they do not have the pollution that they use to have at Wagner Creek.
He has done a fantastic job.
January 9th everyone is welcome to attend that meeting
Parks told Ellen Roth that he wrote a letter to Senator Graham that went
out last week which was asking Senator Grahamís office to assist with
getting the Fish and Wildlife Commission at Vero Beach to kind of move.
For some reason, they have got the Corps frozen on this dredging
project. They need to find
out specifically what is wrong so it can be addressed.
Barreiro stated that they re-drew the district lines.
He now goes up to almost the length of the River.
The new district boundaries were effective January 1st.
There being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting adjourned at 1:45 p.m