I attended the presentation on the Virginia Key master plan last night at the Museum of Science. My measure of the crowd was that folks there weren't too pleased with the intensity of what is suggested in the EDSA design.
Virtually every square inch of the Key is programmed with some sport activity or event venue that takes away from the natural beauty of the place and threatens to overcrowd with parking garages (at least 6!), walkways, pavers, playing fields, campsites, dormitories, a mountain bike path and traffic. Eco trails seem more intrusive than quiet, the waterfront "promenade" is lined with a commercial "village" (read Bayside) and its grand design cuts off car access to Hobie Beach. There is inappropriately placed major public event space and several unnecessary buildings. Even the proposed gardens seem stilted and programmed. In a phrase, it was over the top!
True, the boat launch proposed for environmentally sensitive land is gone, as is the proposed school, and it does seem as if the Marine Stadium has a chance to stay, but these concessions do not compensate for the overcrowded upscale design that incensed several in the audience. Even the "quiet" area for observing nature caught some criticism from a biologist who pointed out that the path designed to reach this spot could damage sensitive flora. At least a compromise of sorts among marine users came about in plans for using the large slip, although power boaters were left unhappy and plans for an enlarged marina limit the slip's boundaries.
The presenter, when pressed, said that the plans could potentially cost $400 million (read more). I was left with the overall impression that virtually every amenity of the design was planned to create a revenue stream to pay this expensive price tag and to assure maintenance -- but this is a pipedream, of course. So folks, if you care about this last remnant of beauty in our midst, please get involved. Attend the City of Miami's Planning Advisory Board on June 17 and the City Commission on June 25th. Speak your mind. We deserve a better plan for our precious barrier island.
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