GENERAL COMMITTEE MINUTES:
Minutes of meeting
(Important note: The audio tapes of the April 1, 2002 MRC meeting were lost in the mail and these minutes are based solely on the written notes of MRC staff.)
Robert L. Parks, Chairperson, called the Miami River Commission meeting to order at 12:30 pm on Monday, April 1, 2002 at the United Way of Miami-Dade, The Ansin Building, Ryder Conference Room, 3250 S.W. Third Avenue (Coral Way) in Miami.
Miami River Commission Policy Committee members
Officio (non-voting) members:
Staff: , Brett Bibeau, Assistant Managing
, Brett Bibeau, Assistant Managing Director
attending interested in the River:
I. CHAIRS REPORT:
Parks introduced himself and welcomed everyone to the April 1, 2002
meeting of the MRC.
Mr. Parks asked for approval of the March 4, 2002 minutes.
Phil Everingham made the motion to approve the minutes,
Megan Kelly seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Parks stated that he is very excited
and encouraged by the response and interest of City officials and City
Commissioners with the Urban Infill Plan.
Over the last several weeks the draft Urban Infill Plan was
presented to the Mayor and all City Commissioners.
The presentation updated them with the status of the plan,
requested their comments and advised them of the intent to create a
Tax Increment Finance District for the River corridor.
Proposed Residential Development by NEO
Mr. Frank Guerra, of NEO, made the
The building is 21 stories tall and will have 199 loft type
The NEO ”loft lovers condominium” is located between the
First Street and Flagler Street Bridges in East Little Havana.
The building is not directly on the River, but is on the
southwestern side of South River Drive.
NEO does own a small property on the River that they intend to
develop at a future date. Loft residences are very popular and
according to Mr. Guerra almost 70% of the units are sold already.
Prices start from $118,000 and NEO offers more than 15 loft
They expect to attract young professionals and the building
will have resort style amenities including:
a beach entry pool, urban garden retreats, meditation garden
and an oriental soak bath.
NEO is walking distance to downtown and will also have a
fitness center and conference room, which is designed for today’s
Mr. Parks opened the floor for questions and Sallye Jude
expressed concern that a 21-story building was too large a scale for
It was noted that this proposal meets all zoning criteria.
Mr. Guerra indicated that construction would start in June 2002
and would take 18 months to complete.
Lavinia Freeman of TPL stated she would like to meet with the
NEO owners and discuss the development of the Riverwalk in this area
and Mr. Guerra concurred stating that the Greenway development is
important to his project.
Mr. Parks thanked Mr. Guerra for his presentation.
Urban Infill Plan and Tax Increment District
Mr. Parks introduced Jim Murley and Steve
Lefton of Kimly-Horn.
Jim Murley also stated that the meetings and presentations to
the City Mayor and Commissioners went very well.
Steve Lefton presented the plan and provided updated
Jim Murley advised the MRC of the timeline for plan approval.
A second draft plan will be presented at the May meeting and
the MRC should approve the Urban Infill Plan at the June MRC meeting.
After the MRC approves the plan, then it will be taken before
the city and county commissions for approval.
After the city and county approve the plan, then the proposal
for the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District and the governance
structure will go forward to the MRC and then to the city and county.
Mr. Parks advised all MRC members to closely review this next
draft and bring comments and suggestion to the May MRC meeting.
He wants to hear MRC member issues, problems, comments, etc.
with the plan in May and not have major issues come to the table at
the last minute in June.
Ernie Martin commented that this would be the first
multi-jurisdictional TIF District as this proposed district includes
property in both the city and the county.
Janet McAlily commented that additional environmental
information is needed; however, she concurred that this is a very
vital plan and praised the work of Jim Murley.
Jim Murley advised the MRC that the next meeting of the Urban
Infill Working Group is April 10, 2002 at 9 am at the City of
Miami’s Riverside Center, third floor.
Dredging Working Group
Dick Bunnell advised the group that on
April 17 2002 a public meeting is scheduled for the Melrose Community
and Commissioner Rolle to hear about the updated dredging plan that
prohibits open air-drying of the sediments on the property adjacent to
the Miami Jai Alai.
At the first public hearing the community was very much opposed
to what they determined would be a problem with sediment odor and bird
Next, Dick discussed that there is a problem with obtaining
permits for utility companies that need to relocate cables or
pipelines that run under the River, but do not meet Corps criteria of
being at least 6 feet below the Rivers bottom.
Dick and David Miller are scheduled to meet with Ms. Melissa
Meeker of the FDEP office in West Palm Beach to help streamline
permitting of utility relocations.
Dick also advised the MRC that the project cooperation
agreement (PCA) is back with the county for final review and hopefully
The PCA must be approved before the Corps can issue the RFP.
Dr. Martin reported that there would be a
July bidding date for improvements to sections of North and South
River Drives that he hopes would include roadway improvements that
would accommodate the Greenway.
Economic Development & Commerce
Kelly reported that the Small Business Administration has stated that
the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUB Zone) is now in
place on North River Drive in the marine industrial area.
This HUBZone designation now gives businesses an advantage when
bidding on federal contracts.
Also she advised that the “Miami River Economic Study 2001”
report is completed and was provided to all MRC members.
Since most members just recently received the report, she will
hold off on a motion for this meeting and will bring this item forth
at the May meeting.
Brett Bibeau advised the MRC that there is a proposal to put police horse stables, canine training facilities and a boat slip for marine patrol in Sewell Park. Discussion ensued. Phil Everingham made a motion that MRC Chairman Bob Parks write a letter to City Commissioner Gonzalez stating that the MRC has not received any information on this issue and per the City Resolution the MRC must provide a recommendation concerning items that go before the City Commission that impact the River. The motion was seconded by Sallye Jude and passed unanimously.
There being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m