City of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff sent out a newsletter to his constituents today responding to public outcry over the recent 2-2 vote on Miami 21. He hints that another vote could be held before the election.  Check out what the Commissioner had to say about the future of Miami 21 and his thoughts on potential property rights litigation:

There is a strong possibility Commissioners may get a second chance to make a decision at an upcoming meeting, where hopefully all five Commissioners will be present to vote.  The plan, while not perfect, offers a unique opportunity to redesign Miami into the pedestrian friendly community with wide walkways, and large green spaces that so many of our residents desire….

I do not simply accept what Development lawyers claim the law to be, that any change in the code which lessens their client’s development rights, results in an effective taking of property by the City. This is commonly referred to as a Bert Harris property compensation. The recent 3rd District Court of Appeals decision in Monroe County versus Ambrose, holds: “the mere purchase of land did not create a right (by the owner or developer) to rely upon existing zoning”. Equally, our City Attorney has opined there is no Bert Harris issue for height limitations. I have performed my due diligence. The threat of litigation and being sued is an omni present threat in Miami.  Most importantly I understand that we are no longer in the building craze and land values are depressed. The Bert Harris argument is least effective during these times. We have more lawyers per square foot than anywhere in the United States. I will never govern nor cast my vote because of a threat. I stood my ground when personally sued by the Mercy Developer for my vote against its massive 36 story, 3 tower project in the Grove, despite 2 other Commissioners and the Chairman voting over the District Commissioner.

We hope that he is right and that Commission Chairman Joe Sanchez brings the code back for a vote. The Chairman has a big opportunity to redeem himself with potential voters. He needs to do this soon, or lose any chance of becoming Mayor. I’m sure by now he has realized how big a mistake he made, and what it might cost him. It’s not too late Joe, do the right thing.

6 Responses to Miami 21 Update

  1. Vicki Mallette says:

    The Port Tunnel is not fading away. To the contrary, there was a commercial close in June and all parties are working toward a financial close by October 1st.

    Tunnel alternatives are being discussed as though no other options have been explored. Port Access alternatives have been studied for decades. In fact, it was the full and complete analysis of the rail alternative that led to the tunnel solution. Using rail as a stand alone shuttling system for cargo has never been shown to make cost sense.


    Vicki Mallette
    Communications Director
    Miami-Dade County


  2. Felipe Azenha says:

    In ten years, when gas is at $6.00/gallon, shuttling cargo via rail is going to make a lot of cost sense. Its really just a matter of time.


  3. TM says:

    The area Mr. Sarnoff refuses to admit is that his admendments to “give away” density in Edgewater and “take” density away along MiMo and Coral Way (part of Sanchez’s district) led to the no vote by Sanchez protecting Miami’s future budgets.


  4. Jerry Lewis says:

    Dr. Harry Gottlieb of Coconut Grove is a City Planner for many years, but he is really off-base when he backs Commissioner Sarnoff on keeping the 35ft. limit on Biscayne Blvd. It is not only wrong it is irresponsible. Dr. Gottlief refuses to reveal his studies. Why?



  5. Richard says:

    It apparently cost $50K for outreach for that last meeting. All commissioners were asked and refused to postpone the meeting for the various reasons requested: it was august, gonzales wasn’t there, legal issues, etc. So, they had hundreds at least of residents stay for eight hours to argue for and against the plan and make a final vote, The mayor, consultants and others lost. They know residents won’t return for a meeting anytime soon. We don’t get paid for our time to care about Miami. So, they will sneak in a discussion and revote, with little to no public comment, to over-ride the final Aug 6th vote. It’s a disrespect of the public’s time, and our money and using a loophole to get around doing what is right. For those who dislike the vote, almost everyone agrees, 11,000 needs to and will be changed and that after detailed reworking for a totally new proposal (maybe transects? maybe Miami 21? ,,,), that there should be a new and unlike this one, transparent process. What’s planned for next month is more of the same, politicians being sneaky - disrespecting residents, if that is the route they go.


  6. Adam says:

    I wonder if they will manage to properly post notice of the meeting next time…


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