Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Village of Palmetto Bay - Materials are available to prepare for June 2, Parks Master Plan Visioning Session

Are you ready to participate in the update to our Palmetto Bay Parks Master Plan? I am providing a link to the current Village of Palmetto Bay Parks Master Plan (CLICK HERE).  This is a detailed (57 page) strategic document that took years to complete and involved significant public participation. Creation of this Master Plan involved surveys, onsite interviews, stakeholder meetings, analysis involving consultants, staff and council members as well as many, many town hall and Village Council Meetings.

Government Operations versus political campaigns.  Facts verses #FakeNews.  Palmetto Bay has a Parks Master Plan - as evidenced by the document I have just provided.  I keep hearing of village candidates who complain that we need a parks master plan, alleging that they have been waiting for one for years.  This is simply incorrect. Palmetto Bay adopted a formal Parks Master Plan in 2007. It was designed to be a 10 year plan. "Planning" is one of my "Palmetto Bay 'Ps'."  (As well as P for "Positive" - let's keep it POSITIVE here in Palmetto Bay).  Our Village has many active plans, including a Comp Plan, as well as Transportation and Bicycle / Pedestrian master plans (CLICK HERE).  There are many, many strategic plans in existence here in Palmetto Bay (including our annual budgets). The Parks Master Plan is just one of many documents used to guide the village.

Access and providing accurate information is just one of the many reasons why I continue to push for ALL DOCUMENTS to be posted on line. A simple visit to our Village website should be able to resolve any issues.  The Parks Master Plan is, and has been, a living document that has been updated when due.  A single (of several) examples of modification of our Parks Master Plan can be seen in Resolution 2013-44, passed and adopted on May 6, 2013 [but note that the approved site plan referred to as "exhibit 1" is NOT attached and therefore cannot be reviewed through viewing this resolution online. (referred to in Section 3., page 2, lines 29-30). This resolution and the exhibit are, however, attached to the Parks Master plan (page 40 of 57 of the online .PDF)].

Note that these studies are not done simply to sit on the shelf. They are useful tools to take the next steps forward.  These documents are a big part of Palmetto Bay's success in obtaining tens of millions of dollars in grants under my administrations.

How does Palmetto Bay compare in parks?  Palmetto Bay is truly the Village of Parks.  Palmetto Bay, itself, has 104.2 acres of developed Parkland that was accessible to its residents for recreational use. The population at that time was 24,903.  This provided that Palmetto Bay had 4.18 acres of developed parklands per 1,000 residents.  At the time this Parks Master Plan was completed in 2007.  This far exceeds the Miami-Dade County requirements of 2.75 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. The comparable (July 2007) were (LOS Standard): 2.9 for Pinecrest, 6.2 for Coral Gables, 3.7 for South Miami and 4.63 for Miami Lakes.

Palmetto Bay has additional park land potential that I have identified, including the Woods at SW 168/88th Court, 160th/89th, the Palmetto Bay Village Center site as well as potential lands consisting of FPL easement.

I strongly recommend that readers review the "Goals, Objectives, and Policies page - our Comprehensive Plan Recreation and Open Space Element, Section VIII, document numbered pages 28-29.

Please take the time to review and prepare.  I am proud of how we have created the "Village of Parks" which includes more than just the LOS of parkland set aside, it includes our people and our programming.  

[Please note that all photos placed on this blog post are part of the actual published parks master plan. These photos can be viewed full size by reviewing the complete document online (CLICK HERE)]

Of Palmetto Bay's Parks

THE FACTS: In the Beginning, the Village of Palmetto Bay was founded with one regional park, one small neighborhood park, and a virtually unused lake park that we assumed from Miami-Dade County.  I am proud to have led the original Master Plan process (completed as some of the changes were being implemented) as well as the fundraising in the form of seeking grants and appropriations for our Parks plan/efforts. 

Coral Reef Park
 - was cleaned up and rehabilitated from its pre-incorporation state. It hosts or has hosted Family Movie nights, 2Ks, 5Ks, youth sports, beach volleyball, tennis, walking, tot lot, (to name just a few of the activities) and is home to a small (5 acre +/-) native pineland area. This park is one of the gems of Palmetto Bay.

Palmetto Bay Park, did not come to us in the size or existing amenities from Miami-Dade County as Coral Reef Park. This has been a big work in progress. We took the original Perrine Park land (5 acres), plus an expansion area, negotiated with the County for the adjacent seven acres, paying fair-market value, and expanded it... transforming it into Palmetto Bay Park, a state-of-the-art venue offering a wonderful diversity of activities and attractions for boys and girls, young and not so young, including the largest boundless playground in South Florida where children of all abilities can play together. It also offers well-lit walking paths used by joggers and walkers; and a fully renovated community room for parties, ballet and meetings.

Perrine Wayside / Dog Park. We took a former quarry and turned it from a run down, neglected "park" - in name only and turned it into something special. Listed as one of the 10 best dog parks!
Thalatta Estate and Ludiovici Parks have put the "Bay" back in Palmetto Bay. Thalatta Estate remains one of the most serene parks in Miami-Dade County. Ludovici Park is home to passive areas as well as an amphitheater, a community-based library and community room providing activities for our youngest to the oldest residents of the Village and home to the Palmetto Bay Garden Club.

Libraries are awesome facilities - they not only encourage children to get excited about reading, but they are also great learning and social environments for adults. We enjoy an outstanding partnership with the Miami-Dade County Public Library system. 
Costs of the initial phase of the Palmetto Bay Parks Master Plan: Of interest, the total amount Palmetto Bay spent on the initial investment to make Palmetto Bay the most family friendly community in South Florida was $16.8 million dollars, not including dollars spent on such items as landscaping, signage, plumbing, electrical, and the like. That's right - almost $17 million dollars has been spent or budgeted on parks improvements between 2002 and the 2008-09 fiscal year. And no taxes were raised to make this happen!

That's the equivalent of more than $350 dollars per-year, per-household, over the initial six years - a small amount, considering the large reward.

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