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c/o Rosenstiel School
4600 Rickenbacker Cswy,
Miami, Fl. 33149
MONDAY, DEC. 4, 2000
(THIS IS A PUBLIC DOCUMENT)
Phil Everingham, Vice Chairperson,
called the Miami River Commission meeting to order at 12:10 p.m. on
Monday, December 4, 2000, at the Downtown Development Authority, First
Union National Bank Building, Suite 1818, 200 South Biscayne Boulevard
Miami River Commission Policy Committee members
L.Parks, Chairperson, Member at Large, appointed by the Governor
Phil Everingham, Vice Chairperson, Chair of
the Marine Council
Jim Murley, Governor of the State of Florida,
Sandy O'Neil, Mayor Miami-Dade County,
Ernie Martin, Neighborhood Rep. appointed by
City of Miami Commission
Janet McAliley, Rep. of Civic or
Environmental Org., appointed by the Governor
Bruno A. Barreiro, Miami-Dade County
Richard Bunnell, Chair of MRMG, Designee
Sallye Jude, Neighborhood Rep., appointed by
the Miami-Dade Commission
Gary Winston, Miami-Dade State Attorney's
Eileen Damaso, City of Miami Commissioner,
Christina Bahamoude, Mayor City of Miami,
James McDonald, Chair of the GMCC, Designee
Frank Lopez, Executive Director DDA, Designee
Sara Babun, Member at Large, appointed by the
(non-voting) members: Captain
Larry Bowling, USCG, MSO Miami
Cdr. Mike Miles, USCG,
, Ellen Roth, Senator
Bob Graham’s Office
Managing Director: David Miller, M.D. MRC,
Bibeau, Assistant Managing Director
interested in the River:
Marrero, Miami City Attorney’s Office
Sell, Mark Sell Communications
Haynes, Miami-Dade County Coop. Extension Service
C. Strickroot, Folwer White Burnett Hurley Banick & Strickroot,
Yanes, El Diario newspaper
Marrero-Priegues, Akermen Senterfitt
Yue, Dorsky Hodgson & Partners
Markley, Miami-Dade DERM
F. Pardo, Esq., Greenberg, Traurig
Louis St. Clair, AIA, Arquitectonica
Approval of Minutes
Phil Everingham opened the meeting and stated
that a quorum is present. Phil
amended the agenda to allow for presentations on river development
RIVER DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS -
Miami Project - Adrienne
F. Pardo, an attorney with the firm of Greenberg, Traurig, introduced
herself and stated that she was attending on behalf of the Related
Companies that have an application with the City of Miami for an amendment
to a major use special permit (MUSP).
She had a rendering of the project and said that it is located on
the north bank of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay.
Currently it is a vacant 3-acre tract of property.
They have proposed a residential building with 425 units and a
second building, which is an office tower with approximately 700,000 gross
square feet of floor area. Ms.
Pardo explained it was an amendment to the MUSP, because the original MUSP
submission included the entire project, specifically the 3-acre waterfront
site and the development of the acreage currently covered by two large
parking lots just north of the Dupont Plaza.
The project developers have taken their plans for approval to the
City of Miami and the Shore Lands Zoning Board of Miami-Dade County
(because of the Biscayne Bay frontage).
She explained in detail the plans for the proposal.
They are providing a public River and Bay walkway, with the walkway
being 14 feet wide. The
project architect, B. Louis St. Clair, AIA of Arquitectonica, explained
the plan to the MRC and discussed the project.
Discussion was held.
decision by the MRC needs to be made, as this project goes before the City
of Miami Commission on December 14, 2000.
Mr. Parks asked the MRC to discuss this and make a formal
recommendation to the City Commission on this project.
Mr. Parks wants to make sure that all MRC members have their
questions answered by Ms. Pardo and Mr. St. Clair prior to a MRC motion.
The group asked numerous questions and extensive discussion took
discussion took place regarding the developer’s request to reduce the
50-foot setback requirement for the buildings from the River and the width
of the clear pathway available for the Riverwalk.
Parks asked whether the MRC wants to be involved in the hearing on the 14th
and if so, the position of the MRC.
Dr. Martin stated that the MRC’s position should be to maintain
the minimum standards of a 16-foot clear pathway, not including the
landscaping, required by the Greenways draft action plan.
Discussion took place. Mr.
Parks stated the MRC has been very vocal and up front with reference to
the Riverwalk criteria and the MRC has been unanimous on this point.
This Riverwalk design standard has been presented in over 10 public
hearings and numerous meetings with individual developers.
The MRC has always maintained the position that if you are going to
build on the River, you have to put the face of the building on the River
and have the structure interact with the River.
McAliley moved that the MRC express to the City of Miami Commission that
the broadest open space possible should be required referencing the City
Charter on the 50-foot setback between the building and the waterfront and
emphasizing that this is a signature property at the mouth of the Miami
River, which is the major gateway to the City of Miami.
Anything that is built on the River should maintain this minimum
open space as referenced in the Charter irrespective of the mistakes made
in past riverside developments.
Dr. Ernie Martin seconded the motion.
Parks stated that this motion was resolution like in form.
Janet made a general statement of principle without the MRC taking
a position specifically on this particular plan. Janet feels that the City
of Miami is part of the MRC and our mission is to try to clean up the
River and make it more attractive and friendly to the public and more
accessible to marine interest.
She stated this is the first major project in downtown Miami in 15
years and it is not consistent with the philosophy expressed in the
City’s own Charter.
Discussion took place.
restated her motion that the MRC is opposed to a plan for Riverfront or
waterfront development that is not consistent with the City Charter
calling for 50-foot setback from the building to the waters edge.
The MRC should point out to the City fathers that this is a concern
that is in the Charter and it is recommendation of the MRC that they
maintain it as a standard. If a development does not meet the minimum
standard that is stated in the Charter, the MRC is recommending to the
City Commission that they do not approve this plan and require the
developers to come back with a better design for the Riverwalk and the
Mr. Parks stated that Janet’s motion says that the Commission
would request the City Commission to enforce the Charter position as to
the 50-foot set back.
This motion died for lack of a second.
The other motion was withdrawn and there is no motion on the floor.
A. Barreiro made the motion to recommend approval of the project with the
provision that the developers meet the minimum standards of a Riverwalk
described in the Draft Greenways Action Plan of at least 16 feet of clear
Dr. Martin seconded that motion.
Discussion took place on this motion.
The motion is that the MRC approve the development plan as
submitted with the condition that two additional feet be added to the
Riverwalk to make it 16 feet wide, exclusive of the sea wall.
The motion passed with a majority vote including one abstention and
Janet voted negative.
Riverview Square - Ms.
Ines Marrero-Priegues, an attorney with Akermen, Senterfitt , and Mr.
Victor K.L. Yue, AIA, with the firm of Dorsky Hodgson, asked to make a
presentation about a riverside development project, which is also going
before the City Commission on December 14th and the developers
will also be asking for a waiver of the 50-foot setback requirement.
Phil Everingham granted their request.
development is an office building of 211,000 sq. feet with 7 floors.
The developers already underwent review and received unanimously
approval from the Urban Development Review Board.
They are required to obtain a Class II Permit to build on the River
and the City of Miami administrative staff has already required them to
re-design the project to improve their pedestrian access and meet
Riverwalk requirements. The
updated plans, now before the MRC, include plazas for people to congregate
with improved pedestrian access. They
are providing a 20-foot Riverwalk and an additional 10 feet of open
seating for a restaurant. There
will now be access to the River when you are walking on South Miami Avenue
Victor K.L. Yue explained how they came up with their solution in
regard to the design standpoint. One
of the tenants requested that the parking be away from the building and
not under the building. This
parking restriction has created a need to request a waiver of the 50-foot
setback. After Mr. Yue gave a
detailed presentation, discussion was held.
Mr. Everingham asked for more information concerning their waiver
request. The reason they are
asking for the waiver is the design criteria of the building and parking
space. They are creating
additional plaza space and improving public access from Miami Avenue as
well as S. E. 4th Street.
They have room on the two ends of the building, but they do not
have sufficient property depth. This
is the first major development in this part of town for many years.
The building actually sits 20 feet from the edge of the River.
On the ground floor level, they have pushed the ground floor back
10 feet, which creates 30 feet of open space, with 10 feet under the roof
line. Janet McAliley asked
about the width of the Riverwalk and it was explained that there is only 8
feet of clear pathway. She
felt that the MRC should recommend against the planning of such a narrow
Riverwalk. If the
building does provide immigration services, there will be many people on
foot in that area trying to get access to the Courts, etc.
Mr. Yue addressed Janet’s concern explaining that it is not a
major civic building.
McAliley moved that the MRC recommend disapproval of this plan, as it has
only an 8-foot clear path Riverwalk and minimal public space with only a
20-foot building setback. Mr.
Bunnell seconded the motion. Discussion
was held. Dr. Martin stated
the minimal standard that the MRC has adopted is a 16-foot clear riverwalk,
so it would require doubling of the paved area in this particular
proposal. Ernie stated that
if they could accommodate the 16-foot Riverwalk, it would be more
favorably reviewed. Janet
suggested that the City fathers would come up with a decision somewhere in
between what the extreme environmentalist want and what the developers
want. Janet suggested that
unless the bar is raised for the City of Miami Commission and state that
the old way of doing business is not acceptable, then no progress would be
made. Sandy stated that the
developers try to meet the requirements.
She stated that word needs to get to the developers that they
should come to the MRC first and get a sense of where the MRC stands for
all riverside developments. Dr.
Martin stated that the Greenways sub-committee talked to various City
Departments about getting the Greenways/Riverwalk criteria on the City
Commission agenda. That
clearly needs to be done so these details will become part of the City
riverside development requirements. In
addition, developers should present their project before the MRC.
More discussion took place. Dr.
Martin suggested an amendment to the motion that the MRC does not approve
it as presented, but the MRC would be comfortable with the proposal if it
could include the minimum 16-foot clear path Riverwalk.
Janet accepted the amendment.
Mr. Everingham asked for a vote on the motion as amended.
The motion as amended passed with a unanimous vote and two
II. CHAIRS REPORT
Parks wanted to bring the MRC up-to-date on what has been done in the last
few months. Between the
September meeting and the December meeting, Mr. Parks and others met with
senior management of the Florida Marlins concerning the baseball stadium
being sited on the River. Everything
was put on the table with reference to plans and what could be done and
could not be done. Mr. Parks
came away with the clear feeling that the Marlins want this stadium put in
Bicentennial Park. They want
a very large stadium with a retractable roof and they are not willing to
build a stadium without a retractable roof.
If the ballpark is built as envisioned by the Marlins, this will
put a 260-foot high structure in Bicentennial Park.
The top of the stadium will be 26 stories tall.
There is a meeting of the newly formed “Community Improvement
Authority” on Friday at 3:00 p.m. State
Legislation established the “Community Improvement Authority”.
The members are to develop a funding plan and a site location for a
baseball stadium at a site in downtown Miami.
It is Mr. Parks’ position, unless directed otherwise by the MRC
members, to submit a letter to the Authority indicating that the MRC
firmly stands by our original resolution that if a new stadium is placed
downtown or in the greater Miami area that the proper site would be on the
River. There was no
objection to Mr. Parks’ submitting a letter to the Authority.
Parks turned the meeting over the Phil Everingham, as he had to leave.
Mr. Miller stated that Mr. Padilla had to leave and there will not
be a presentation on the downtown transportation issue.
They will try to re-schedule Mr. Padilla for the next meeting.
Miller requested MRC members input for the development of the MRC’s
State Legislative requests. Currently,
the only requests are to support the County’s request of $2.25 million
from the State for dredging project and a request for $150,000 to continue
the operation of the Miami River Commission.
Beyond the aforementioned, the MRC does not have any other
legislative issues on the table.
David suggested other issues such as the Greenways/Riverwalk
development, Design Center development, etc.
Mr. Miller requested that all working groups and committees act
quickly on their legislative requests to improve the River.
Discussion took place. No
new legislative requests were made at this time.
There being no further business to come before the
meeting, the meeting adjourned at 2:10
ABOUT THE RIVER
THE COMMISSION DREDGING
RETROFITTING MINUTES OF MEETINGS