Wavna – Mayor Candidates, Air Show 10/22/2015

WAvNA Meeting Minutes

October 22, 2015, 6:00pm, The Mirador, 1200 West Ave

Chair: Gayle Durham, President, WAvNA

Guests: Philip Levine, mayoral candidate

                David Wieder, mayoral candidate

    Michael Grieco, commissioner

 

I.                    Call to order and introductory remarks, Gayle Durham, 6:05pm.

II.                  Mayoral candidates speak

a.       David Wieder [challenger]

i.      Background: Trial attorney, chair of Historic Preservation Board, grew up in Miami Beach

ii.      “I want to restore integrity, trust, and responsiveness to City Hall.”

iii.      Criticized Levine’s ties to Relentless for Progress PAC

iv.      Opposes upzoning city

v.      Wants to tackle congestion and traffic problems

vi.      Wants to “clean up corruption in City Hall”

vii.      Protect homes

viii.      Pursue completion of Baywalk

b.      Philip Levine [incumbent]

i.      First foray into politics was two years ago when he ran for and won mayoralty

ii.      Accomplishments:

1.       Flooding abatement on West Ave, Alton Road, and Sunset Harbor, touting success of pumping stations (a project which is only 10% completed)

2.       Reining in Miami Beach Police Department with new Chief (Dan Oates) and Deputy Chief, changing majors and captains, resulting in a culture change within MBPD

3.       New convention center plan after scrapping previous agreement, smaller scale, breaking ground in December, including a six-acre park

4.       North Beach economic stimulation, including Ocean Terrace, which he claims locals support

5.       Preservation ordinance, stop McMansions

6.       Doesn’t collect salary or request reimbursement of expenses

c.       Audience questions:

i.      Flooding:

1.       Levine: Still at work, long way to go. What’s in place is successful. State-owned roads (Indian Creek, Collins, etc) require State solutions, which he’s asked the State for

ii.      Raised streets flooding private property:

1.       Wieder: Pumps are polluting Biscayne Bay, pump project was rushed, resulting in bad placement, pledges to “listen to everyone” regarding flooding problems and solutions.

2.       Levine: Better to move forward with something than fall victim to analysis paralysis

iii.      Baywalk:

1.       Both candidates support it

III.                Memorial Day air show – Michael Grieco

a.       “Memorial Day sucks – it’s sucked for years.”

b.      Arrests have been quartered over last two years, but still unpleasant

c.       Need to discuss now, and still wouldn’t take effect until 2017 – still in early planning stages, wants to gauge support – if residents were completely opposed, he wouldn’t even continue pursuing the idea

d.      Why an air & sea show?

i.      Appropriate for Memorial Day holiday

ii.      Displace current Memorial Day crowd

iii.      Residents support it

e.      Has met with the organizer who put on the Fort Lauderdale shows

f.        Assures against two complaints:

i.      “Traffic is a non-issue.”

ii.      Noise will only be for a few hours a day, for a few days.

g.       Adds that Urban Beach Weekend is not sponsored by the city.

h.      City currently spends $1 million in police and fire Memorial Day weekend

i.         Crowds – “here anyway,” but a designated, official event will give the crowds a destination rather than wandering all of Miami Beach

j.        No additional costs to city – the show would be paid for entirely through sponsors

k.       Fort Lauderdale ended the shows because they were unwilling to pay for police/fire personnel, not because of any accidents or unpopularity

l.         Parking: Utilize mainland lots and run shuttles

m.    Unrelated questions:

i.      Alton Road building demolition: The building (near Alton and Lincoln) was structurally unsound and had to be demolished

ii.      Audience member thanks Grieco for his work in removing dinghy docking along the seawall, particularly near Lincoln Road/Lincoln Court

IV.                Zoning – Michael Grieco

a.       Grieco rejects claims of overdevelopment, stating that the population of Miami Beach is effectively unchanged in the last six years, and notes that many luxury buildings (Icon, Portofino) are largely absentee owners

b.      Alton Road – 10 additional feet of height for new construction under certain circumstances, and will be used to make taller floors, not add an additional story

c.       Ocean Terrace: Grieco won’t endorse or oppose current proposition, but says that something needs to be done

d.      Washington Ave upzoning: Really only applies to one specific property, and increases height, not FAR.

e.      Grieco opposes such upzoning (10’ height increases) on West Avenue

f.        Says neighborhood associations are our best source of power in getting rules and regulations passed by the city

g.       He has not seen any requests for zoning or variances for the Monad Terrace project

V.                  West Avenue construction progress – Travis Copeland (Co-Chair Streetscape)

a.       Travis read an e-mail sent by the City: “West Avenue project currently under construction is on schedule to the best of my knowledge. Once all of the underground items are completed on the side streets, paving will be completed.    To date, the base lift of asphalt is complete on 17th Street and on West Ave from Lincoln Road to 17th Street.  Asphalt paving is still underway on West Avenue from 5th to 6th Street.  Shortly, the contractor will be starting Alton Court reconstruction north of 17th Avenue. I have not been made aware of any unforeseen issues on this site.

b.      Question about the removal of Post Office boxes; Gayle suggests we request drive-by boxes

c.       Question about intersection closings: City says to expect at least a month closure for each intersection

d.      Ron asks for clarification on Mayor Levine’s response to the question regarding raised streets flooding private property; Gayle responds that the City has essentially said it’s a problem for the private property owners, and suggests every building meet with the City’s engineer, who will discuss site-specific issues

VI.                Streetscape update: Tree selections – Travis Copeland (Co-Chair Streetscape)

a.       Present the list of trees for West Ave that WAvNA will present to the City

b.      Our list with pictures can be found here: http://wavna305.com/bike-lane/trees/

VII.              Miscellaneous

a.       “Curbed” article on Monad Terrace development – linked at bottom; notes proposal is for 18-story building though only zoned for 16; architect is of some renown in NYC

b.      Streetscape will meet with City RE trees next week

c.       Question regarding zoning on West Ave

i.      East Side is mostly RM1 (five stories) and RM2 (six stories

ii.      West Side is generally RM3 (16 stories)

d.      Lincoln Road Master Plan has been release by the City and is available at our web site: http://wavna305.com/bike-lane/lincoln-rd-master-plan/

e.      Red Sidewalks in Sunset Harbor? Possibly – State has installed some. Gayle says we’re not getting them on West because commissioners and designers no longer support them

VIII.            Announcement: Neighborhood Walk, November 18, 5pm-7pm, meet in Bank of America parking lot (approx. 14th and West), will walk north, terminating at Gaythering

IX.                Adjournment

 

For more information:

For more information:

Mayoral Candidates:       David Wieder – http://wiederformayor.com/

Philip Levine – http://levineformayor.com/

Ocean Terrace ballot initiative: http://docmgmt.miamibeachfl.gov/WebLink/DocView.aspx?dbid=0&id=140709&page=1&cr=1

Election information: http://miamibeachfl.gov/cityclerk/elections/scroll.aspx?id=69656

Office of the City Engineer: http://www.miamibeachfl.gov/publicworks/scroll.aspx?id=25112

Tree suggestions: http://wavna305.com/bike-lane/trees/

Curbed Miami article on Monad Terrace: http://curbed.com/archives/2015/10/20/miami-beach-real-estate-elite-luxury-jean-nouvel-boutique-building-boom.php

Curbed Miami article on Lincoln Road Master Plan: http://miami.curbed.com/archives/2015/09/29/lincoln-road-masterplan-james-corner-field-operations.php