Miami Dade County Community Forum

Monday, June 8, 2009

Virginia Key: Open Letter from Judith Sandoval to The City of Miami Commissioners

Re: EDSA Virginia Key Master Plan (Hit on Image to enlarge it)

Speak out at the City of Miami Waterfront Advisory Board Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 9, 2009, Miami City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive, Miami, FL 33133

Last week, I attended the presentation of the final EDSA Virginia Key Master Plan at the Miami Science Museum. Even after the problems with Bicentennial Park , Bryan Park and other city parks being threatened with unsuitable and expensive construction where landscaping is more suitable, I was shocked by the plan for Virginia Key. Also shocking are the claims that this is going to be a green park. Due to Miami's lack of green space and acquisition of park land to keep up with a burgeoning population, counting grass on top of the multitude of parking garages and other buildings instead of more grass on the ground is a joke.

This plan despoils the island and turns it into a commercial sports complex more grandiose and expensive than anything else in the city or the county. There is precious little left that is a park. Four baseball fields? Dormitories for visiting teams? No transportation within the park except for automobiles? Not even a tram to get to the beach? Double the boats at the marina, a very large restaurant and 40,000 of retail stores? This is not a park; it is Disneyland. The purpose indicates crowding as many people and cars into the place as possible. The plan is far worse than the one for Bicentennial Park's 21 acres after two museums are making off with 8 acres, a grave planning error that will be very costly to taxpayers.

The plan is not what the public asked for in three well-attended charettes but in spirit and detail just the opposite. It is the plan or an even more elaborate plan for construction and man-made facilities than was first presented to the public at the beginning of the process. It is a slap in the face of all the organizations and citizens, many of them members of neighborhood organizations and professional environmental agencies who have been involved with protecting and improving the natural areas of the park for many years.

This plan should be ditched straightaway. It is an insult to everyone and will only please sports fans and the construction industry and its friends. Creating an oversight board of just real estate developers is the final straw. Mr. City Manager and City Commissioners, how could you allow the destruction of our last large natural place that could be a paradise of beauty, a model of the preservation of Florida's natural habitat, and tranquility?

And the price tag of $300 to $400 million? The people responsible for this horrible project have no taste and no fiscal responsibility.

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJune 09, 2009

    I agree with the poster. The EDSA Master Plan is just the "open door" so that the City can put the Virginia Key site up to bid through an RFP process.

    The EDSA plan cost $900,000...for what, a power point presentation?