Miami Dade County Community Forum

Friday, August 28, 2009

Decisions on Virginia Key Should Be Postponed

The UEL, Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, MNU and numerous other groups are organizing a public design workshop that is scheduled to be held at the Rusty Pelican on September 26. The idea is to create a positive event, building on the work of EDSA and gathering additional public input in helping to plan the future land uses of the island. We expect at least several hundred people to attend.

Towards that end we request that any action on the EDSA plan or its offspring be deferred by the city commission until at least October if not later. We assume that any revised plans would also have to go before the Waterfront and Planning Advisory Boards again.

In addition, we would like some preliminary discussion about how the fate of this island relates to the financial state of the city. All to often in the past, parks and other public spaces have been set up to alleviate fiscal distress in the city. Beyond the deed restrictions that have seldom been acknowledged by EDSA there are not clear guidelines or principles about the value of public space in Miami. In such a void, it frequently becomes an easy target and then can never be redesigned as a natural or even a public area. We need to continue to have positive public dialogue and think creatively about this island but not waste the public's attention with mixed messages about unwarranted commercial development.

Gregory Bush
Vice President, Urban Environment League

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