Sunday, September 16, 2018

Get the Facts - a detailed read documenting that I have been the advocate for reducing growth in Palmetto Bay - and I have succeeded!

A shining example of politics gone too far! My opponent is rewriting her record of pro-development votes - 4 years of support for projects in the Downtown Palmetto Bay (DUV) area and is now trying to claim that she is "anti-development".  It is good for the voters that records are kept that prove otherwise.  Don't be fooled. She has voted for each and every zoning application in the downtown area (multi-story buildings) and she voted, without objection, for the downtown zoning code (DUV) that all applications are based upon.  

Development is not an issue that can be discussed in 100 words or less. I am therefore providing you with substantial information documenting the development issues in Palmetto Bay.  I invite you to review past articles posted throughout my blog where I keep a running log of information relating to our area.

General Issues relating to development:

I am proud of my record of actually REDUCING the potential density which has saved this village from the substantial growth that has been occurring to the south of us.  The Downtown Urban Village Code (hereafter DUV) started as an initiative of then Mayor Stanczyk. Read the article online, Oct. 29, 2013: Palmetto Bay Mayor Calls For Redevelopment. Read the full article which provides a great background for the why and for what reason the DUV code rewrite was sought.

“Palmetto Bay Mayor Shelley Stanczyk delivered her annual state of the village address Wednesday night to an audience of about 170 people. Stanczyk said this year’s theme for the village is ‘charting the course.’

That ‘course’ is the village’s new goal: An initiative to revitalize its downtown by creating a residential and business community in a relatively undeveloped district.

The project aims to improve the infrastructure and landscape of an area known as the Franjo Triangle – from Southwest 184th Street north to 168th Street and from the southbound lanes of U.S. 1 east to Franjo Road – to provide incentives for companies to open shop there.”

The record is clear on Palmetto Bay (and you can find many, many examples on my blog for your review) – I have led a real reduction in density here in Palmetto Bay as cited below. Much of this has involved residents who recognize that growth will happen, but that we need to have smart controlled growth. Resident input has allowed me to work to reduce density, while other municipalities have promoted increased growth, much of which we now see driving through our community.

The details on the full breakdown for the downtown area are posted below: 

Pre-incorporation/Miami-Dade County   -- This is what we could have in development had we remained unincorporated: 32,722,560 Square feet total in the downtown, DUV area,  a huge number: 23,000 residential units plus commercial of 12,022,560 square feet.

FT&I  -- This is the code that I worked hard to create, but was called “too restrictive” while I was out of office.  The possible buildout under this code reduced to: 9,935,000 Square feet (reducing nearly 23 million SF from the prior 33 million square feet), 4,360 Residential (18,640 potential units eliminated) plus commercial of 6,000,000 square feet.

DUV – in its current form: 6,850,000 Square feet (reducing nearly 25,872,560 SF from the prior 33 million square feet),  5,661 Residential units (17,339 potential units eliminated) plus commercial of 2,000,000 square feet. – the residential did slightly increase, but the commercial space was dropped by 2/3rds.

And, this council, dropped the prior council’s plan to increase building height to a possible 12 - 25 stories which, thankfully, did not get much traction and was rejected by me and this current council. 

Note the truth - the growth projected is substantially less than what was proposed by the original County code.  And we can't simply vote no on everything.  Any politician who tells you we can is either lying or fails to understand property rights.  Property owners have the right to build what the code allows, not what currently stands on the property.

And take note, our 'growth' is less, much less, than the increase that has occurred in Cutler Bay and points south.

I offer up the following population comparison growth numbers to demonstrate the real source of the current traffic, removing the hyperbole placed out there, presenting facts, not fiction (and note that I do not have the comparable for the corresponding Unincorporated area to the south):

Palmetto Bay: a less than 2% increase of only 454 people  
24,116 in 2002 to 24,570 in 2016
Cutler Bay: a 27.5% increase of 14,400 people
30,307 in 2002 to 44,707 in 2016     

Homestead: a 103% increase of 34,464 people
33,532 in 2002 to 67,996 in 2016

Palmetto Bay has planned.  We have studied.  We have completed transportation and traffic calming master plans.

Recent Downtown votes:

Record distortion is a horrible thing. I am posting the actual voting record for the entire council in order to demonstrate that an opponent claiming to be "anti-development" is distorting the truth. Her votes, on the record, contradict the statements made in private when she goes 'door to door'. 

Where are these "anti-development" votes? 

She has actually voted more often for development in the downtown district than I have.  The truth matters. 

The following documents the votes taken on downtown zoning matters - these are votes that result in actual approval, providing authorization to build.

I also ask that you read the Miami Herald articles for more background, applicable links and quotes cited at the end of this post.  

5 important votes have occurred in the Palmetto Bay downtown area:

Atlantico      passed  4-0 (Vice Mayor absent)
Parkview      passed  4-1 (Flinn voted NO – Karyn voted to APPROVE)
Sandpiper    passed  5-0
Soleste         passed  5-0
Shores          passed  4-0 (Vice Mayor absent)

Karyn voted for each and every development - 5-0 - 100% for development!

I own up to my voting record, 4 in favor and one very loud NO vote for the rental projects, but I also argued for substantial reduction in overall height and other extractions applied to each and every property that did in fact reduce height and density.

I also recommend that you review the Miami Herald, April 20, 2017: 300 apartments on U.S. 1? Palmetto Bay tells developers to think again, by Monique O. Madan.  My comments made at this hearing are indicative of how I manage development. 
In this case, the development would be LEED certified. Developers of the project currently have the right to 74 units, and were asking for 226 bonus apartments — a number that the mayor called “obscene.”

“Your entire project is car-based. I haven’t heard any mention of trying to get people to the rail, no stops, circulators to come pick people up. Everything is about cars and parking spaces, as far as you’re concerned,” Mayor Eugene Flinn said.
Opponents argued that the development would inundate roads with traffic on streets that are already congested during rush hour.
          ***   ***   ***
Planners offered to donate $100,000 to the city, contingent on the plans being passed. Councilman David Singer asked the number be bumped up to $250,000. The mayor joked and suggested $1 million. At the end, talks about $2 million were on the table.
“You know what? I’d rather you keep your $2 million and scale down this project,” Flinn said. “And I really don’t buy the traffic studies. It lead to the conclusion that the traffic issue alone is enough to reject this project. I strongly recommend that you come back and rethink this thing.”
This project did come back for hearing in June. The glaring deficiencies were not sufficiently addressed in my opinion, so I voted "NO".  My opponent voted IN FAVOR.

Is she "anti-development"?  Hardly. 

Palmetto Bay's DUV Development Code (Downtown district)

The zoning votes were based upon the DUV code written and passed unanimously by the Village Council.  Please see my blog post of August 29, 2018, Correcting the record. My opponent continues to dodge her votes in creating our downtown code. She owns a 100% approval record for creating it (as do I), but she also voted against extending the moratorium.  This post provides a very long explanation.

And here is the accurate history of the DUV code and the steps I have taken to actually reduced the density here in Palmetto Bay, See: August 3, 2018, Councilman David Singer's History of DUV Presentation Posted online.

Much more can be viewed on my blog by following this link to all the articles involving the DUV Code (CLICK HERE).

I remain available to discuss in any greater detail or to address any specifics.  I have not even begun to address the Pine Rocklands located along Old Cutler Road at the Palmetto Bay Village Center, but I will provide a link to the general articles (CLICK HERE)

Thank you for your time and willingness to research the facts.

Very truly yours,

Eugene Flinn

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