GENERAL COMMITTEE MINUTES:
Minutes of meeting
Phil Everingham, Vice Chairperson, called the Miami River Commission meeting to order at 12:05 p.m. on Monday, January 6, 2003 at the United Way, Ansin Building, 3250 S.W. Third Avenue, Miami, Florida.
Miami River Commission Policy Committee members
Officio (non-voting) members:
attending interested in the River:
I. CHAIRS REPORT:
called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone to the January
meeting. He stated that
there was a quorum present and asked for approval of the December
minutes. Sallye Jude made the motion to approve the December minutes.
Sandy O’Neil seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
David Miller stated that Brett and he attended the Miami-Dade Legislative Delegation meeting on December 17, 2002. They put forth two legislative requests. The first was for a $200,000 appropriation for MRC operating funds. This is the same amount that the MRC asked for and received last year. The second request was to repeal Section 7, Chapter 98-402 the “sunset provision”. Doug Bruce, the MRC lobbyist in Tallahassee, has been key in getting these legislative requests in place. Representative Gus Barreiro and Senator Alex Villalobos have agreed to sponsor both of these bills for the MRC. The sunset bill states “Whereas, the Legislature having reviewed the creation, operation and accomplishments of the Miami River Commission determines that the Commission should be continued and herewith reenacts the provisions providing for its continuation”. David stated that the MRC also worked with Roman Gastesi and Miami-Dade County for their $1.5 million request for the dredging project. The MRC has invited Governor Bush, Senator King and various legislators to go on a boat tour of the River. Dusty Melton asked if the MRC is planning on having a presence at Dade Days (April 2 and 3). He feels that this is an excellent time for our voice to be heard and asked that the dates be circulated among the commission members. Sandy O’Neil asked David if the MRC had submitted its legislative requests to the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce (GMCC). David stated that the MRC had submitted their requests, which were the same as those submitted to the Dade Delegation and the requests were approved and on the GMCC’s legislative list.
stated that he, as acting chair of the MRC, would be presenting a
letter of appreciation and a Miami River Plaque to certain individuals
that have provided exceptional support and assistance to significantly
improve the River. The following people were recognized for all of their
hard work on the Urban Infill Plan:
Mr. Jim Murley, Ms. Sarah Ingle and Ms. Helen Brown.
The next group recognized included Mr. Pablo Cantons, Officer
Michael Reyes and Mr. Bill Borges from the East Little Havana NET
offices for all of their assistance throughout the year including
their hard work on Riverday 2002, the creation of Riverside Garden,
various clean-ups and the adopt-a-tree event.
Mr. Ed Borges and Officer Bill Clayton from the Allapattah NET
offices were recognized for their work on the creation of Action
Sports Park, the volunteer clean up of Wagner Creek and the planting
of 600 trees within the Urban Infill Corridor.
Officer Francisco de la Torre of the Florida Fish &
Wildlife Commission was recognized for all of his successful work to
remove derelict vessels from the River.
Mr. Roberto Gonzalez from the City of Miami Parks Department
was also recognized for all of his work with Lummus Park and his
exceptional help scheduling meetings in the community center.
The final letter of appreciation and plaque was given to Ms.
Hannah Houseman representing Hands-on Miami for their various River
Miami River Bridge Painting
Sallye Jude stated that in the past the Miami River Coordinating Committee had a plan to have each of the bridges along the river corridor painted a unique color with accent lighting to highlight the structure. She feels that now that some of the bridges are being replaced, it would be a good time to act on this issue. Sallye made a motion to make a resolution to coordinate with the Florida Department of Transportation to paint the bridges and to add lighting to make the bridges more aesthetically pleasing to the community. Sandy O’Neil seconded the motion. Tom Parker asked who would designate the colors of the bridges. Sallye stated that there is a list in existence but that we should review it to make sure the colors are appropriate. David stated that this issue should be referred to the Greenways Subcommittee. The motion passed unanimously.
stated that the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County are planning a
marathon and will have a potential impact on the river.
Frankie Ruiz, the organizer of the marathon spoke about the
event. He stated that it
is taking place on February 2, 2003.
It will be 26.1 miles and they are expecting 5,000 runners.
The organizers have requested that the Coast Guard have both
the Miami Avenue Bridge and the Brickell Avenue Bridge locked down and
closed for a portion of the morning.
The runners will be going over the Miami Avenue Bridge between
6:30 am to 10 am and the Brickell Avenue Bridge between 7:10 am and
11:59 am. David stated
that the Coast Guard would attempt to coordinate these bridge closures
with the Second Avenue Bridge closing so as not to put any further
burden on the marine industry and boating community.
The marine industry members present felt that this would have a
minimal impact, if any, on river commerce.
Seybold Pointe Development Discussion
Ernie Martin passed around a fact sheet prepared by the Spring Garden Civic Association (SGCA) about the proposed 12-story building located at NW 8th Street Road and 11th Street across from the Culmer Metrorail Station on property still owned by David Lynn Catering. He stated that the Economic Development & Commerce Subcommittee voted to oppose this project. The property is within the boundary of the SGCA but it is not within the historic boundary, it is across the street. The proposed location is surrounded by habitat for humanity single-family homes. The developer of the property is Albert Milo, Jr. of the Urban Development Group (UDG), who was invited, but unable to attend this MRC meeting. The UDG has set up a non-profit organization to apply for and receive $500,000 in County surtax funding for mortgages for lower income buyers. There have been no public meetings regarding this project because the developer is not asking for any variances of any kind. Ernie stated that this building is out of character with the surrounding area since it is a 12-story building surrounded by single-family homes. Ernie also maintained that this project is not consistent with the Urban Infill Plan, which was adopted by the MRC as our strategic plan. Ernie further stated that the University of Miami School of Architecture conducted a study and they found that it would be better if the property would be developed to a maximum of 6-stories. He stated that the SGCA is opposed to the density of people that this development would bring to the area. He closed his comments by stating that habitat for humanity has built 29 low-income homes in the area that are zoned R-4. These first time homebuyers have to pay taxes on R-4 property, which is putting a burden on them. The Urban Infill Plan proposed to change this zoning designation, but until that happens we will keep running into situations like this one. With the R-4 zoning designation, the developers are well within their rights to build a 12-story residential building.
Ernie Martin introduced Jim Broton the president of SGCA. He passed out a hand out with diagrams showing where the
proposed building will be located to the board members.
Jim stated that although this building looks nice, they are
opposed to it because it is not in keeping with the character and
scale of the neighborhood. He
stated that this building would be detrimental to the area from
possible pollution from the building, increased traffic, parking
problems and increase in population.
Jim stated that there are 344 vacant units in the area out of a
total of 1,345 units; approximately 25% of the available housing is
vacant. He stated that
due to this fact there would not be a large demand for the additional
110 units. Phil
Everingham stated that the developer was invited to the meeting but he
could not make it. All of
the MRC members received a statement from the developer in their
monthly information packets for consideration.
Ernie stated that this development is opposed not for the fact
that it is low income, but because of the density.
Gary Winston asked Ernie under the law how he planned on
stopping this development when it seems that they have everything in
place to move forward with this process.
Ernie stated that very little could be done, but it is the
principle of the matter. He
said that until the City implements the Urban Infill Plan,
specifically land use and zoning section, there is nothing that could
really be done. Commissioner
Barreiro advised the group that the developer stated that the project
would go forward even if they do not receive the County surtax
$500,000 funding. This development is near the Metrorail, which is what the
City & County want in order to cut down on traffic and utilize
public transportation. Megan
Kelly stated that the Economic Development & Commerce Subcommittee
recommended against the expenditure of funds due to the project’s
direct conflict with the Urban Infill Plan and they did fully
understand the benefits that Commissioner Barreiro stated.
Megan Kelly made a motion to oppose the current version of the Seybold
Pointe Development Plan in principle because it is not consistent with
the Urban Infill Plan. Sallye
Jude seconded the motion. Discussion
ensued. During discussion
the motion was redrafted in a manner acceptable to the motion makers
as follows: Motion to oppose the Seybold Pointe Development Plan as
it is not consistent with the Urban Infill Plan; however, the MRC does
support the subsidy for low income housing.
The MRC is also
strongly recommending that the developer meet with the local
neighborhood residents to hear their concerns with the intent to
develop a plan to mitigate the potential problems.
The redrafted motion
passed unanimously. The general feeling of the MRC
members was that the problem lies with the City zoning and the City
should adopt the urban infill plan, particularly with respect to
recommended zoning changes, to prevent the continuing problems
occurring with the high-density development next to single-family
group met on December 18, 2002. The
dredging project is on schedule.
The Request for Proposals (RFP) is scheduled for release on
January 30, 2003. Roman stated that the County’s required land certification
would go out to the Corps by the 30th of January.
The property that is in limbo is not absolutely necessary for
the Corps to go ahead with the dredging project.
The bank-to-bank letter went out and they have started to
receive some responses. The
letter contained a diagram and explanation of the project.
David stated that the letter said that they would be removing
contaminated sediments from their property and some owners are a
little worried about how the letter is worded because it seems like
the contamination is coming from the particular property owner.
The next dredging working group meeting is January 15, 2003 at
11 am at the Rosenstiel School and the Department of Environmental
Protection is invited to attend to discuss the Water Quality
Safety and Security
Winston stated that the Miami-Dade Police Department Intergovernmental
Bureau would now be regularly involved with the MRC thanks to Bruno
Barreiro and Capt. Jim Watson. Robert
Berris and Marco Pascual were
introduced to the MRC as representatives of the
River Corridor Urban Infill Plan
stated that in December three items went before the City Commission.
Two of the items passed and the third resolution, which
pertains to the economic study, will go back before the City
Commission in January. Brett
thought that Fran Bohnsack made a good point at the Urban Infill
meeting. She had stated
that the data looked at should be from 2000 since the data collected
since then was affected by 9/11.
Dianne Johnson stated that the RFP for the economic analysis
will go out within a couple of weeks and they are primarily looking
for economists with a partner or a background in land use planning.
Sandy O’Neil stated that she felt that an MRC staff member
should sit on the proposal review committee rather than Dick Bunnell,
who was selected by the executive committee.
She thought his participation could be perceived as a conflict
of interest and may hinder his future dealings with the City.
Dick stated that he did not feel that he would have a conflict
in any way.
There is a
meeting tomorrow at 9 am and it is important for the marine industry
to attend in relation to the work that FDOT is going to be doing on
the greenway underneath I-95 near Jose Marti Park.
The ground breaking of this project should be in the near
future. The Lummus
Landing RFP was awarded in December.
At the December meeting of the City Commission a directive for
an expedited greenway development plan was issued and due back before
the City within 30 days. The
MRC is working with the City, specifically Dianne Johnson to
accomplish this task.
Development & Commerce
There is an affordable housing project proposed on the River’s northwest bank just west of the 27th Avenue Bridge, which is where the marine industry is firmly entrenched. The developer thinks that their design would be somewhat compatible with a marine industrial use. The Miami River Marine Group will be meeting with the developer to discuss the potential development of this site and how it will impact the marine industry. Currently, this site has an active marine operator permit.
FDOT has scheduled a community meeting on January 9 concerning
the PD& E study for the 5th Street Bridge.
It will be held at the Lummus Park Community Center at two
separate times: 10 am or
Brett stated that
the MRC was awarded a $5000 grant from Miami-Dade County for Riverday.
All members please
note that Riverday 2003 is at Jose Marti Park on April 5, 2003 from 11
am to 5 pm.
There being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting adjourned at 1:50 pm