a.Approval of April
Dr. Ernest Martin moved to approve the minutes of the MRC’s
April 5, 2004
meeting. Ms. Sallye Jude seconded the motion.
Ms. Janet McAliley stated she had informed the MRC Managing
Director of a few minor typos in the minutes.
The corrected minutes were unanimously approved.
announced that Yadira Pulido is the new Assistant Managing Director of
Miami River Commission
. Mr. Parks welcomed Ms.
Betty Gutierrez as the new designee for County Commissioner Bruno
Barreiro. Mr. Parks
announced the birth of Commissioner Barreiro’s daughter, Bianca
Barreiro. Parks directed MRC
staff to send an appropriate card on behalf of the MRC to Mr. and Mrs.
Barreiro, congratulating them on the birth of their daughter.
Mr. Parks thanked Brett Bibeau, Managing Director of the
Miami River Commission
, his former assistant, Adriana Cabrera, all sponsors and participants
for the successful eighth Annual Miami Riverday festival, held
April 10, 2004
. Parks asked for anyone to
provide MRC staff any suggestions in writing to improve the annual Miami
Riverday, taking into consideration the restricted budget for this free
and open festival.
Mr. Parks stated
he wanted to make sure that everyone knew that the day before Miami
Friday, April 9, 2004
, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers formally signed the contract to
. Parks noted it is an
accomplished fact, and thanked Dick Bunnell and Scott Mitchell,
co-chairs of the MRC’s Dredging subcommittee, for keeping the
subcommittee working on this long-awaited project. Parks stated Bunnell
and Mitchell would provide a full report under the Dredging Subcommittee
agenda item. Parks stated
that the announcement brightened the spirit at Miami Riverday, where the
Honorable Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen joined by various City and
County elected officials and the MRC announced the Miami River Dredging
contract execution. Parks
stated the MRC should be proud because the reason the Miami River
Dredging Project is happening is because of the MRC’s collective
efforts. Parks thanked
everyone who made the project a reality.
Mr. Parks stated
plaques thanking Miami Riverday sponsors were presented at Miami
Riverday, and presented one to Lavinia Freeman, Trust for
Mr. Parks read a
letter addressed to the MRC from the Urban Environment League, “We
cordially invite you as an honored guest to this ceremony, so that we
may present you with an Urban Environment League Orchid Award, and pay
tribute to your work with the Miami River Plan.
The League salutes you as The Most Positive Development of the
Year.” Mr. Parks invited the MRC to attend the ceremony to accept the
kind and gratifying recognition. Parks
noted he will be out of town on the May 20 ceremony, and encouraged
other members to attend, as the invitation and award are addressed to
the entire MRC.
Applications to Amend The Zoning and Land Use at
1622 NW 22nd Ave
From R2 to R4
Mr. Bob Parks
asked for all speakers to identify themselves and whom they represent
for the record. Parks stated
the MRC would follow the same procedure as always, unless directed
otherwise by a MRC member, to hear first from the applicant, take
comments from the public at large, and anyone wanting to speak on the
issue, and then close the public comments.
The MRC will then discuss the issue and make any motions they see
Fernandez, Bercow Radell,
200 S. Biscayne Blvd.
, representing EF Builders, presented the application to amend the
zoning and land use at
1622 NW 22nd Ave
, from Duplex Residential (R-2) to Multi-Family High-Density Residential
(R-4). Fernandez stated he
forwarded all MRC members and designee’s the application to amend the
zoning and land use at this riverfront property, located on the North
shore, immediately west of the NW 22 Ave Bridge, to assist the MRC
members in the evaluation of their proposal.
Fernandez noted the application is in its embryonic stage, which
will be flushed out throughout the application process, as riverfront
projects require a City of
Miami Class II Special Permit
. Mr. Fernandez stated the
area has existing non-conforming apartment structures, which are built
in nearby Duplex Residential zoned lots.
Fernandez stated this residential area to the east of Curtis
Park, is different from the area west of Curtis Park, because it does
not have single-family residential homes on the riverfront.
Fernandez stated the subject property is on the west of the
Bridge, and the applicant owns the Marine Industrial zoned (SD-4)
property to the east of the
Bridge, and plans on maintaining its existing marina.
Fernandez stated they do not believe that developing the
currently allowable Duplex Residential on this site is appropriate due
to the character of the surrounding area, including R-3 to the north of
the site and Marine Industrial to the East.
Fernandez stated if the property were rezoned to R-4, it would
allow for a taller residential development with a narrower footprint,
possibly allowing for the MRC supported Miami River Greenway to have a
riverwalk at this location, while allowing the structure to be taller
Bridge, to create views for the proposed residential units.
Fernandez noted that R-3 allows for a maximum height of 50 feet,
which would not clear the
Bridge, therefore blocking views, in addition to creating a broader
footprint, which may prevent a riverwalk.
Mr. Fernandez noted that additional access to the proposed
development would be available off of
NW North River Drive
, on the roadway beneath the
Bridge. Mr. Fernandez asked
if the MRC members had any questions.
Mr. Parks asked,
first, for any comments from anyone in the general public whom may be
opposed to the application to amend the land use and zoning.
Hearing none, Parks asked if there were any questions or comments
on the proposal from anyone at all in the General Public.
Hearing none, Parks asked if there were any comments or questions
from the MRC members. Parks
stated he wanted to make sure Mr. Fernandez and his clients understood
that the MRC has no regulatory authority, and is only requested by City
Commission resolution to provide the City Commission with a strictly
advisory recommendation on City Commission Agenda Items pertaining to
. Parks noted that the
MRC’s requested advisory opinion is guided by the MRC’s adopted
strategic plan, the Miami River Corridor Urban Infill Plan, which was
created in conjunction with the City of
Ms. Jude asked
what the ratio of number of people allowed in the proposed R-4 zoning
per acre. Mr. Fernandez
replied R-4 zoning allows for a maximum of 150 units per acre, however
it isn’t the potential developers intention to develop to that extent.
Jude asked how many units they were planning, and Fernandez
replied that was not determined because there is no site plan designed
for the subject property, yet it would be considerably less than 150
units per acre.
McAliley asked why Fernandez was presenting the Zoning and Land Use
amendment applications at this time, with so many unknown factors,
including Riverwalk plans. Fernandez stated that the property owner
decided to wait for the City Commission’s ruling on the Zoning and
Land Use Amendments, which require the MRC’s advisory recommendation,
before investing the additional “soft-costs” of preparing a site
plan, architectural renderings, etc., which are a requirement of the
Class II Special Permit. Fernandez
stated he would be happy to present the designed project to the MRC at a
later date, when the design is completed with the final zoning and land
use parameters in place.
Beau Payne asked
if the single family homes located adjacent to the property were part of
the application. Fernandez replied that one of the homes is part of the
pending application, and one is not.
asked about the status of the
to the East of the
Bridge. The owner stated the
was occupied, permitted, and will be maintained as such.
Beau Payne clarified it was formerly known as the Poland Yacht
Basin, and asked if any extension of the Marine Industrial use had been
contemplated for the subject property to the west of the 22nd Ave
Bridge. Fernandez replied
that they would apply to extend the dock along the shoreline to the
western property boundary, yet neither the existing, nor proposed
residential land uses, allow for the extension of Marine Industrial uses
to the west.
Mr. Jim Murley,
Chair of the MRC’s Urban Infill Working Group, referenced MRC members
to the subcommittee’s April 16, 2004 meeting minutes regarding this
item, which were mailed in their packets and available at the meeting.
The subcommittee found the proposed increase in zoning and land
use density, from Duplex Residential to Multi-Family High Density
Residential, to be inconsistent with the Miami River Corridor Urban
Infill Plan, and therefore advised the MRC recommend the City Commission
deny the applications. Dr.
Ernie Martin read the attached MRC Urban Infill Working Group’s
Technical Report, which cited the Miami River Corridor Urban Infill Plan
pages 34-35, “Residential Allapattah is predominately low in density,
with older single family homes and newer duplexes interspersed.”
Martin referred to the pictures of the neighborhood provided by Mr.
Fernandez to the MRC members, and noted the Duplex Residential character
of the surrounding neighborhood. Dr.
Martin stated the proposed amendment to maximize the allowable
residential density is out of scale and inappropriate for the
surrounding neighborhood. Martin
stated a new residential development on this vacant “upper river”
site, consistent with the present Duplex Residential zoning and land
use, would be more consistent with the surrounding neighborhood and the
Miami River Corridor Urban Infill Plan, which further states on pages
34-35, “The appropriateness of high density residential located
directly on the River is highly questionable and should be
stated the application was essentially to “spot zone” one parcel
R-4, in an area surrounded by lower density R-2 and R-3.
Martin stated he believes a recommendation of denial is also
consistent with a new movement from Mayor Diaz and the City Commission
to amend the zoning code and City of
Miami Comprehensive Master Plan
to protect low density neighborhoods from the encroachment of increased
high-density developments. Dr.
Martin made a motion that the application to amend the Land Use and
Zoning at 1622 NW 22nd Ave, from Duplex Residential to Multi-Family High
Density Residential, is inconsistent with the Miami River Corridor Urban
Infill Plan, therefore the MRC recommends the City Commission deny the
applications. Ms. Janet
McAliley seconded the motion. Mr.
Fernandez replied to Dr. Martin’s statements and motion by noting that
the adjacent parcels are zoned Marine Industrial, allowing 10 stories,
and R-3, and the only reason they didn’t apply for R-3 was it would
limit the height and opportunity for residential views over the
Bridge. Mr. Parks asked if
there were any additional questions or comments, and hearing none called
the question. The motion was
unanimously approved. Parks
thanked Fernandez for his presentation, and Fernandez thanked the MRC.
Dredging Working Group
Dredging Working Group, co-chair Dick Bunnell, stated on April 9, 2004
the U.S. Army Corps on Engineers executed an $11.8 million base bid
contract with Weston / Bean, to dredge the Miami River.
Mr. Bunnell stated the full MRC should schedule to receive a
presentation on the project’s status, possibly as soon as the
MRC’s June 7, 2004 meeting. Bunnell
stated the Miami River Dredging project would go before the Board of
County Commissioners one final time as well.
MRC Dredging Working Group Co-Chair, Mr. Scott Mitchell,
explained the project’s required Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s is pending
approval. Parks asked
County Commissioner Barreiro’s designee, Ms. Betty Gutierrez, to
inquire as to the status of the required MOA.
Liz Abbott, South Florida Water Management District, noted a
condition of the submitted Florida Inland Navigational District (FIND)
$6,000,000 grant application, which requires
permits to be issued in order to be awarded, therefore the
final permits for dredging the
would need to be approved prior to
September 26, 2004
for the grant application to be considered.
Mr. Parks noted the MRC remains available to assist all of the
Miami River Dredging project’s related agencies and partners in
commencing the long-awaited project.
Miami River Safety and Security Committee – Deferred,
co-chairs not present.
Corridor Urban Infill Plan Working Group
noted the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has requested a
presentation planned for the MRC’s
June 7, 2004
meeting, regarding the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) and all the
proposed bridges crossing the River to the planned facility.
Mr. Parks noted the importance of hearing from the River’s
Marine Industry regarding the proposals, which may affect the
River’s Federal Navigable Channel.
Mr. Jim Murley, Chair of the Urban Infill Working Group, stated
they were working on having a comprehensive transportation study
conducted on the
corridor. In addition,
Murley reported that consistent with the Miami River Corridor Urban
is preparing to present a new Marine Industrial Zoning Overlay
District for the riverfront property in unincorporated
, west of the
Bridge, in the “upper river” area.
co-chair of the MRC’s Greenways Subcommittee, stated they are
continuing to monitor the development of the Miami River Greenway.
Mr. Bibeau noted that per the MRC’s April 5 request, Lavinia
Freeman, Trust for
, provided MRC staff with Bill H3550, Line Items 1115 & 1745,
which was included in the MRC package.
Jim Murley reported that the Bill was recently deferred until
Co-Chair of the MRC’s Stormwater Subcommittee, reported that the
additional information requested by DERM on the submitted “Wagner
Creek Dredging Corrective Action Plan” was scheduled to be fully
responded to by the City of Miami’s consultant before April 15,
the Stormwater subcommittee has agreed to the Florida Department of
Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) request to have a monthly agenda
item on creating the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) water quality
parameters, for Wagner Creek. A
consent decree requires the Wagner Creek TMDL’s to be established by
July 2005, and they will be the first water body in Miami-Dade County
to have a set TMDL. The
Miami River is required to have individual TMDL’s set in 2007-2008.
“Upper Wagner Creek Isolation Survey” Request for Proposals
Evaluation Committee, consisting of one voting member from the City of
Miami, FDEP, DERM, Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) and
the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), have selected to
negotiate a contract for the MRC’s consideration with the successful
bidder, Camp Dresser McKee. The
contract will be for an amount not to exceed the previously awarded
SFWMD grant, intended for this particular project, which was designed
by the SSC’s environmental agencies to seek to identify the e-coli
contamination source in Wagner Creek.
that the WASD tested the Miami-Dade County jail facility adjacent to
Wagner Creek, yet found no indication that it was a pollution source
in Wagner Creek. In
addition, the SSC is working on the final selection of storm drain
“stencil” materials to apply environmental messages adjacent to
Miami River inlets and outfalls, using funding from a grant awarded to
the MRC from the City of Miami.
Economic Development and Commerce Subcommittee –
Ms. Megan Kelly, co-chair of the MRC’s Economic Development and
Commerce subcommittee, reported on the progress of the Miami River
Marine Industries Symposium, planned for September 27, 2004.
Kelly stated that MRC staff had created a database for mailing
invitations. Kelly explained the subcommittee would like to secure an
additional $10,000 in sponsorships, to guarantee a first-rate event.
Kelly noted that $10,000 in sponsorships for the Symposium has
been received thus far, with an additional in-kind donation from the
riverfront Hyatt Regency. Ms.
Janet McAliley asked if the MRC may extend a special invitation to MRC
board member Mayor Manny Diaz to the symposium, and noted the
Mayor’s recent “State of the City” address had five paragraphs
about the improvements to the Miami River, yet neglected to mention
the MRC and its collective efforts.
Parks stated the MRC would invite Mayor Diaz to attend and
address the symposium.
Parks asked for any new business. Mr. Bibeau stated a pair of reading
glasses were left in the MRC’s informational booth at Miami Riverday,
and to contact MRC staff to claim them.