Miami Dade County Community Forum

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Settlement Over “Port of Miami River” Policies Approved.

Since 2004, the Miami River Marine Group, a non-profit trade organization that advocates for the Port of Miami River working waterfront, along with the Durham Park Neighborhood Association, has battled the City’s relentless pursuit to replace marine and shipping businesses with high-end condominium towers. Attorney Andrew Dickman, successfully filed suits against the City in 2004 and 2006 to stop three massive condo projects that would have eliminated nearly 25 acres of critical marine industrial lands on the River. The City responded by rewriting its policies, and again the Miami Group appealed.

In 2009, the Florida Department of Community Affairs agreed with the Marine Group, and rejected the City’s new pro-condo friendly policies for the River, and subsequently filed its own law suit against the City. The Marine Group intervened on the side of the state.

Yesterday, the new City Commission made known its commitment to embrace the working waterfront on the River, working in concert with the Marine Group and other stakeholders to promote the Port of Miami River as a world class destination for shallow draft shipping, mega yacht repairs, local marinas, and the host of related businesses that support a working waterfront of this caliber.

Three suites, however, remain pending in the Third District Court of Appeal related to the Hurricane Cove, Coastal on the River, and Brisas del Rio condominium projects from 2004 and 2006. The Court issued harsh opinions against the City’s prior policies and its decisions regarding land use and zoning on the River. Those opinions are not final because the developers filed motions for rehearings. The prior leadership joined in with the developers on this delay tactic, but the new leadership withdrew its support of that motion and notified the Court it no longer opposes the opinions.

The settlement, and a favorable decision by the District Court, will drop all legal roadblocks from a public and private collaboration to stimulate economic growth on the Miami River. We are pleased that the Mayor and City Commission are now focused on marine economic development on the Miami River rather than condominium developments that disrupt the continuity of the Port of Miami River.

Press Contacts:

Fran Bohnsack
3033 NW North River Drive, 2nd FL
Miami, Florida 33142
T: 305-637-7977 ~ C: 305- 345-1011

Andrew Dickman, Esq.
P.O. Box 771390
Naples, FL 34107
T: 305-758-3621 ~ C: 305-335-1303

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