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c/o Rosenstiel School
4600 Rickenbacker Cswy,
Miami, Fl. 33149
MONDAY, OCT. 2, 2000
(THIS IS A PUBLIC DOCUMENT)
Chairman Robert Parks called the Miami River Commission
meeting to order at 12:00 noon on Monday, October 2, 2000 at the
Downtown Development Authority, First Union National Bank Building,
Suite 1818, 200 South Biscayne Boulevard in Miami.
Miami River Commission Policy Committee members
L. Parks, Chairperson, Member at Large, appointed by the
Everingham, Vice Chairperson, Chair of the Marine Council
Murley, Governor of the State of Florida, Designee
O’Neil, Mayor Miami-Dade County, Designee
Martin, Neighborhood Rep. appointed by City of Miami Commission
Bunnell, Chair of MRMG, Designee
Bahamoude, Mayor City of Miami, Designee
McDonald, Chair of GMCC, Designee
Member at Large appointed by City of Miami Commission
Long, Rep. of Civic or Environmental Org. appointed by the
Winston, Miami-Dade State Attorney, Designee
Bruno Barreiro, Miami-Dade County Commissioner
J. Gonzalez, Miami-Dade County Commissioner, Designee
Lopez, Executive Director Downtown Development Authority,
Damaso, City of Miami Commissioner, Designee
(non-voting) members: Cdr.
Mike Miles, USCG, MSO Miami, Capt. Larry Bowling, USCG, MSO Miami,
Managing Director: David Miller, M.D. MRC
interested in the River:
Flink, Greenways, Inc.
Sell, Mark Sell Communications
T. Hernstadt, CMO
Johnson, City of Miami/REED
I. CHAIRS REPORT
Approval of Minutes
Parks opened the meeting stating that there is a quorum present.
He asked for the approval of the minutes of the September 11,
2000 meeting. Sandy
O’Neil moved approval, seconded by Jim Murley.
There being no objection, the motion passed unanimously
Parks stated that he had made a special request of the working group
Chairpersons to provide reports only if it is absolutely necessary or if
they needed some kind of action or resolution from the MRC today.
Mr. Parks would like to allow most of the meeting to be spent on
the Greenways project.
provided a report concerning what the Executive Committee did and a
general update of Miami River issues.
We are at the very last step to get the River dredged.
The Miami-Dade Commission will soon review and hopefully approve a
Resolution, which will designate a site for the temporary drying site for
the dredge spoils. This
should be the last official action required by the County Commission for
the dredging project. The
City of Miami, at the Budget hearing last Thursday, approved their
required allocation for the dredging project.
The federal government has recommended $4 million for the project
and awaits final signature by the president.
The State of Florida has allocated $3 million for the project.
O’Neil advised everyone to focus on the merits of the project at the
County Commission meeting. Mr.
Parks stated that they had a meeting of the Community Council whose
District this site is located in and the Council approved the site
Morales has been attempting to get a commitment from the County Manager
that at the conclusion of the dredging project this site could be turned
into a park. That is the
status of the dredging project.
last meeting of the MRC in September, there was a discussion concerning
the use of funds that had been given to the MRC by the Miami River
Coordinating Committee (MRCC). This
discussion involved reallocation of MRCC funds for the purpose of hiring
and continuing to fund our state lobbyist, Doug Bruce.
The MRC passed a motion, which approved using those funds to pay
for a state lobbyist. After
the September MRC meeting, Mr. Parks received a call from Betty Fleming
and Janet Gavarette in which they expressed some dismay concerning the
fact that the MRC had taken that action.
They believed there was a commitment by the MRC to utilize those
funds as requested by the MRCC.
Mr. Parks indicated to her that he had specifically asked David to
contact Betty because Mr. Parks wanted to make sure that bridge was
crossed before the September Resolution.
Betty did not express the dismay or the commitment part to David as
strongly as she did to Mr. Parks and she apologized for that.
She did advise Mr. Parks that the MRCC funds had come to the MRCC
through a similar grant process as those funds of the MRC and have the
same legal impediment as those of the MRC.
If you are funded by the State, you cannot use State funds to lobby
the State. Mr. Parks made the decision that he would not put the MRC in
any funding situation that was the least bit controversial.
Mr. Parks told the Executive Committee what he had done and the
committee fully concurred. Mr. Parks stated that based on this decision, the MRC
needs to raise about $12 to $15,000 in order to obtain the services of a
lobbyist in Tallahassee.
In addition to the Greenway and dredging
projects, there is another very serious issue with the State legislation
concerning the sun setting of the MRC in July 2003.
This issue needs to have a lobbyist’s attention in Tallahassee to
start laying the groundwork for extending the sunset date. The MRC has decided that it is critical to remain in place
for the continued improvement of the river.
Mr. Parks asked for thoughts and suggestions. Discussion ensued.
There remains a serious funding problem in that the MRC needs a
lobbyist in Tallahassee, so we need to raise funds from a source that
allows funding of a Tallahassee lobbyist.
Parks stated that the Ethics Committee met and former Chief Justice Kogan
was present to provide his professional comments.
David Miller said that the essence of the Ethics Committee meeting
discussion dealt with the dredging project and companies that would
benefit from dredging. The
basic issue is that Dick Bunnell has a marine construction company and his
company may receive sub-contractor work to assist in the dredging project.
Since Dick is the MRC’s Dredging Working Group Co-Chairperson,
there may be a perception of a conflict of interest.
The matter was discussed in detail with Justice Kogan.
Initially Justice Kogan felt this could be a conflict, but after a
detailed explanation of how the project would be bid and contracted solely
by the Army Corps as the project officer, Justice Kogan was less
concerned. He suggested
that the MRC write a letter to the State of Florida, Commission on Ethics
and get a determination concerning this specific issue.
The Army Corps of Engineers was approached when this issue first
came up in early 1999 and the Corps’ legal department verbally advised
the MRC that they did not have a problem because all of the Dredging
Working Group meetings are operating under the Sunshine Law and open to
the public. Mr. Parks would
like David to “draft” a letter to the Ethics Commission and provide
this draft to all MRC members for discussion at the next meeting of the
Greenway “Draft” Master
Flink stated that a draft plan was provided to MRC members.
Mr. Flink explained how the draft was put together and its purpose. It is important to cover all the major subjects that would
surround the creation and development of a River Greenway system.
He wants to present a complete train of thought from beginning to
end. At the same time, he
wants to create a geographic information system (GIS) data set
specifically for this project. Obtaining
this GIS data took 7-8 months due to the complicated procedures in place
to obtain GIS data in Miami-Dade County.
draft report is broken out into different chapters.
Mr. Flink sent a memo with 10 major questions that needs to be
addressed by the MRC that pertain to the overall greenways concept that is
represented in the report. Mr.
Flink stated that they needed the MRC and the Greenway Subcommittee to
focus on the major concepts of the plan.
Over the next 30 to 60 days they are going through a thorough
public review of this plan. There
will be a substantial review period of a draft document and after
mid-November, they are going to go back in and make revisions and compose
a final plan and a set of initial steps.
The main questions are: Have
all the major design elements that the MRC wants to see in a greenway been
addressed and how does the MRC envision handling certain long-term
functions such as maintenance, police protection and safety issues?
Flink stated that there is a concept for a tax increment finance (TIF)
district, which has been discussed with other River improvement proposals.
The question is should this TIF be represented in the greenways
plan as a funding strategy and if so, to what level.
There are other questions concerning specific funding sources and
Chuck hopes that more sources will become available.
This is their first attempt to put costs to the development of the
greenway system. They are
hoping to have significant local input, which will refine the costs and
provide a much more realistic and accurate cost estimate.
they have suggested in terms of the lead facilitator and operator of the
Greenway System that this would be the MRC, and this is an important
question the MRC must answer. If
yes, what are the needs that the MRC would have in order to take on this
role in terms of staffing and operational needs, funding issues, etc. Mr.
Flink did a very informal public opinion pole throughout this process and
received about 120 responses. One
of the survey questions was what organization or government agency should
be the overall facilitator or developer of the Greenway.
The answer came back as primarily two groups, first the MRC and
second was to create a new public/private partnership with greenway
development and management as their primary mission.
Chuck’s plan recommends that the MRC be the greenway manager and
operator. Mr. Flink then
asked: What would be the role
of state and local government and other organizations with regard to
development and operation of the Greenway System and facilities?
Are there any additional implementation steps that should be added
to the Plan? What about
the notion of creating a Miami River Greenway Trust?
This would be an independent trust fund to generate dollars from
both the pubic and private sector for development, operation and
management over the life of the project.
A lot of details and fine-tuning still remain to complete the Plan.
Is the MRC comfortable with the document in particular the concepts
outlined in the Plan? Are
there some things that should not be represented until additional
discussion has taken place?
Mr. Flink completed his presentation and
asked for questions. Mr.
Parks asked what is the timeline for implementation.
Mr. Flink stated that they would have a plan of action to take
before city, county and state approval agencies at the first of the year. Mr. Flink asked if they could work with Jim Murley to
formulate the various options to make a clear presentation to the public.
was held concerning the funding issue and the TIF.
Mr. Parks suggested that the TIF concept be put out to different
groups and hear what they have to say.
Ernie Martin described the MRC’s approach to the TIF and that was
to have the Chairs of the various sub-committees determine their funding
needs for River improvement projects. The intention was to first determine what the capital budget
is for redevelopment and capital projects. When that is totaled, they can
figure out how much of a tax increment is necessary, which could make it
clear and hopefully more palatable to the various governments involved.
The total funding of this Greenway Plan is currently estimated at a
little over $3 million. Mr. Parks stated that the MRC must get a handle on the costs
associated with River improvement from the Stormwater Committee and other
Working Groups to determine the amount of funds necessary for River
improvement and to determine the feasibility of a TIF district.
If you have an estimated cost to get these projects done then there
is more credibility to the whole TIF concept.
Flink wanted the plan to show the specific nature by which they can create
those costs by a detailed spreadsheet.
The cost estimate will increase as they receive more information.
Mr. Parks stated that they are going to have to police the
greenway, along with safety call stations.
Mr. Flink is looking at different Riverwalks in Florida and other
places to get a sense of the operating costs, how areas are patrolled, the
intensity of management, and more.
Flink said they are trying to create a physical identity on the River,
which becomes identifiable as the Miami River Greenway.
They have specific recommendations and would love to hear from MRC
members as they review the document.
Mr. Flink wants to give the MRC plenty of time to review the
document, but needs comments by the end of October.
In mid-November, Chuck will complete a second draft, which will be
distributed for review. Mr.
Flink asked that the comments be made directly on the document or provided
to Lavinia at the Trust for Public Land.
Riverfront Zoning Discussion
Jim Murley explained the Riverfront Zoning issue at 1951 NW South River
Drive. There are two actions pending before the City Commission.
The first is a request to do a land use change from
“Industrial” to “High Density Multifamily Residential” and that is
followed by a zoning request from “SD-4 Waterfront Industrial” to
“R-4 High Density Residential”. Mr.
Murley feels it is more appropriate for the MRC to look at the land use
change in the comprehensive plan, which is a policy decision of the City.
New projects have been occurring on the River and they either meet
the zoning requirements or require relatively minor zoning changes or
development review decisions. This
issue is the first change in the City’s Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan,
which is required by State law. With
reference to this property at 1951 NW South River Drive, if you don’t
have a land use change, you cannot even apply for the zoning change.
When this land use and zoning change was first proposed, the
landowner initiated it and the City decided to make an initial transmittal
decision and send it to the Department of Community Affairs. The City also had pending an amendment to designate a large
part of Miami as an urban infill area.
They eventually got that approved.
One of the benefits of the approval to the City is that it enlarges
the areas within the City that do not require State of Florida land use
review and approval. They are
called small-scale amendments. Now
this land use change will go forward under the City’s small-scale review
process and does not require any State of Florida approval.
This proposed change has a second reading before the City
Commission on October 26th.
The City and County have signed a joint planning resolution to work
on the Miami River Corridor Urban Infill Plan.
Mr. Murley recommends that the MRC request that the City and County
not change their comprehensive plans in the Miami River corridor until
completion of the joint MRC, City and County Miami River Corridor Urban
Infill Plan. It will not tie
up other zoning issues along the River only the larger land use issues.
Dr. Martin felt that the recommendation would support the public
interest in that local public hearings could be held and involve the
was held. Mr. Murley
felt that it was time for the MRC to make its opinion known.
Dr. Martin feels the neighborhoods would have a strong objection if
the change brings in another high-rise proposal.
Mr. Murley made the motion that the MRC recommend to the City that
they do not approve the land use change at this time and defer decision
until such time as the MRC, County and City jointly complete the Miami
River Corridor Urban Infill Plan, which will specify how that property
will be affected. Dr. Martin
seconded the motion. Sandy
O’Neil suggested an amendment for a maximum time frame of 6 months so
that the land use decision is not placed in limbo for a prolonged period
of time. Dr. Martin did
not accept the amendment for a time frame.
Discussion ensued. Mr.
Parks stated that the Motion, as he understands it, is that the MRC take a
position to oppose the City Resolution or the land use change proposal as
it is presently framed until such time as the MRC and the City have had an
opportunity to determine what the Miami River Corridor Urban Infill Plan
is going to accomplish concerning amending the current comprehensive plan
in the Miami River corridor.
The motion passed 8 for and 2 against.
Parks asked Jim Murley to draft a position paper on why the MRC is making
this recommendation and include the positive issues that a good urban
infill plan would solve these land use problems.
Committee Reports -
Impact Study - David
Miller stated the Miami River Economic Impact Study was lacking
information for the recreational boating industry.
The committee has data for all other major industries.
They have recently more data on the recreational boating industry
and this updated information has been passed to Dr. Lipner and he is going
to re-examine the additional data and update his statistics.
The plan is to have a draft report at the next Economic Development
& Commerce meeting which is toward the end of October and hopefully
have a draft report available at the November MRC meeting.
It was brought up by Fran
Bohnsack that an article in the Miami Dailey Business Review suggested
that a new development project south of the Intercontinental Hotel by The
Related Group of Florida is asking the City to scrap the 50-foot set
back required by the city code along waterfront properties.
Mr. Parks stated that the MRC has an unyielding position that the
Riverwalk criteria be required of all new developments.
Mr. Parks stated that every developer has come and said that
they would keep the Riverwalk and try to build it out around bridges, etc.
Mr. Parks will write a letter on this.
The Riverwalk is supposed to be 20 feet wide per the City zoning
requirement. This article is
talking about encroaching on the 50-foot setback, which may or may not
affect the Riverwalk. Mr.
Miller will obtain additional information on this and bring it up for
David Miller said that Diane Johnson is going to be the
liaison between the City of Miami and the Miami River Commission.
This is a result of the City Commission passing Resolution #00-320
on April 13 2000. This
Resolution requires all issues affecting the River to be reviewed by the
MRC first and then the MRC would provide a written recommendation to the
City Commission. The City
Commissioners would then have the benefit of the MRC recommendation to
help in making their decision. Mr.
Parks thanked Ms. Johnson.
being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting
adjourned at 1:45 p.m.
ABOUT THE RIVER
THE COMMISSION DREDGING
RETROFITTING MINUTES OF MEETINGS