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Minutes of meeting

MAY 6, 2002
12:30 PM

Robert L. Parks, Chairperson, called the Miami River Commission meeting to order at 12:30 pm  on Monday, May 6, 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 and/or Designees attending were:
  • Robert Parks, Chairperson, Member at Large, appointed by the Governor

  • Phil Everingham, Vice Chairperson, Chair of the Marine Council

  • Jim Wellington, Chair of Marine Council, Designee

  • Sandy O'Neil, Mayor of Miami-Dade, Designee

  • Janet McAliley, Rep. Environmental or Civic Org., appointed by the Governor

  • Megan Kelly, President, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Designee

  • Ernie Martin, Neighborhood Rep. appointed by City of Miami Commission

  • Commissioner Bruno A. Barreiro, Miami-Dade Commissioner

  • Alfredo Gonzales, MDC Commissioner, Designee

  • Richard Bunnell, Chair of MRMG, Designee

  • Javier Fernandez, Mayor of Miami, Designee

  • Sara Babun, Member-at-Large, appointed by Miami-Dade Commission

  • Thomas Parker, Member at Large, appointed by MDC, Designee

  • Cleve Jones, Member at Large, appointed by City of Miami Commission

  • Capt. Beau Payne, Member at Large, appointed by City of Miami Commission, Designee

  • Gerardo Fernandez, Chair of Governing Board of SFWMD, Designee

  • Jane Caporelli, Neighborhood Rep., appointed by MDC Commission, Designee

Ex Officio (non-voting) members:  Ellen Roth, Senator Bob Graham’s Office

MRC Staff: David Miller, Managing Director, Brett Bibeau, Assistant Managing Director

Others attending interested in the River:

  • Daniel Ricker, Watchdog Report

  • Carlos Espinosa, DERM

  • Fran Bohnsack, MRMG

  • Dianne Johnson, City of Miami/REED

  • Roman Gastesi, Miami-Dade County

  • Jim Murley, FAU

  • Richard Rogers, Curtis & Rogers

  • Juan Camilo Diez, Arquitectonica

  • Jacqueline Gonzalez, Adquitectonica

  • Cindy Meyer-Webb, Related Group of Florida

  • Mark R. Woerner, Miami-Dade Co. Planning & Zoning

  • Helen A. Brown, Miami-Dade Co. Planning & Zoning

  • Brett Doster, Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade & F.D.

  • Steve Lefton, Kimbley-Horn

  • Adrienne Pardo, Greenberg, Traurig

  • Capt. John Smith, Bojean Boat Yard

  • Eduardo Rodriguez, Antillean Marine

  • Victor Barod, Airops

  • Otto Boudet, City of Miami

  • Bernice Butler, Collins Center

  • Lavinia Freeman, TLP

  • David Kutner, Glatting Jackson

  • Chuck Faden, The Miami Herald

  • Terry Griffin, City of Miami Parks & Recreation

  • Sarah Ingle, City of Miami Planning and Zoning

  • Yamile Marróro, City of Miami

  • Carol Fenner, property owner

  • Susan Markley, DERM

  • Elio Romero, JJ Sosa

  • Mary Castro, QORE, Inc.

  • Bruce Souder, Xenco Labs

  • Mark Sell, Mark Sell Communications

  • Oscar Corral, The Miami Herald

  • Marino Rodriguez, Antillean Marine

  • Sara Muselier-Babun, Antillean

  • Moshe Cosicher, Architect, River Run South

  • Antonio Muniz, Architect, River Run South

  • Jorge B. Muniz River Run South 



Mr. Parks introduced himself and welcomed everyone to the May 6, 2002 meeting of the Commission.   Mr. Parks asked for approval of the April 1, 2002 minutes.  Janet McAliley made the motion to approve the minutes. Javier Fernandez seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

                Mr. Parks stated that the meeting in June is going to be changed from June 3rd to June 10th.    The next MRC meeting will be held on Monday, June 10, 2002.

                At the Executive Committee, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Goals Conference was discussed.  This year it will be held at the Breakers in Palm Beach.  The Executive Committee urges all the members of the MRC, if they can, to try to attend and play a role in setting the Chamber’s Goals.  River items will be discussed and the River is a significant topic with the Chamber.  It would be helpful to have as much support and involvement with the Goals activities as possible.

                The Executive Committee did vote to send David and Brett to the Breakers on Friday evening through Sunday, so those two would be there to assist in any way they can. 

II.        Proposed One Miami Development

                Mr. Parks introduced and welcomed Ms. Adrian Pardo who attended on behalf of the Related Group of Florida proposing the One Miami Plaza.  Ms. Pardo introduced Cindy Meyer-Webb, Vice President of Development and the project director for this project.  Also attending are Jacqueline Gonzalez and Juan Camilo Diez, Architects on the project. 

                The property is located at 205 South Biscayne Boulevard.  The project today is for two 45 story residential towers with 896 units of one, two and three bedroom residences and parking.  Additionally, there will be a four-story building which will have a 7500 sq. ft. restaurant on the ground and three stories above that will be office space.  The plan provides for a River and Bay walkway along the entire frontage of the project.  She explained the walkway in further detail.  She also explained the four-story building.

                Jacqueline Gonzalez wanted to walk the Commission through the design, as it relates specifically to the river walk.  Plans were distributed for the MRC members to review.  They explained the two residential towers and their plans.  They tried to address what one would see from the Riverwalk and from the City.  She went into detail about the plans for the tower. 

                It was pointed out the western edge of the site of Biscayne Boulevard and the existing parking garage is a public zone.  At the eastern end, the area is secure.  The eastern end area design was explained.  Discussion took place.  The restaurant and river walk landscape is intended to benefit both the public side and the private side.  Mr. Parks asked where the Dupont Plaza Hotel would be and this was explained.  Mr. Parks inquired about the parking garage.  This was explained and the intention is that the parking garage will not look like a garage and does not face the River.  Further discussion took place.  The existing waterfront bulkhead would not be moved and would remain in the same location as it is today.  The group still needs to go before the City’s Planning and Advisory Board and the City Commission for approval.  Mr. Parks asked about the timing on this project.  They hope that by the end of July they will have gone before all the Boards and Commissions.  Mr. Parks wanted the MRC to look at this before it goes before the City Commission.  Sandy O’Neil made a motion to defer a decision on this subject until the final design is ready for approval of the City of Miami Commission.  This motion did not receive a second and failed.  Janet McAliley recommended that the developers respect the River and strictly observe the City Charter concerning building setback and river walk design criteria.  She also expressed concerned that the current landscaping does not provide for suitable shade trees. 

                It was noted that the residential buildings are the first major residential development on the north bank of the river in the downtown area in 20-30 years. 

                After extensive discussion took place, Commissioner Barreiro made the motion to approve the One Miami project subject to strict adherence to the Riverwalk design provisions.  The motion was seconded by Jerry Fernandez and passed 7 to 5.  .

                It was noted that the Marina facility with One Miami is a separate issue and is not included as part of this motion. 

III.   Urban Infill Plan & Tax Increment District

                Mr. Parks introduced Jim Murley who stated that there has been much progress with the Plan.  Jim thanked all individuals for their comments and they are in the process of modifying the plan.  Next week will be the last three public hearings on the plan.  Mr. Murley made the motion that the deadline for all comments of the MRC and Working Groups for the Urban Infill Plan be May 15, 2002. The motion was seconded by Jerry Fernandez and passed unanimously.  Mr. Parks suggested that any Working Groups that want to have any input do it before May 15th. 

                Steve Lefton with Kimley-Horn stated there were four very specific areas the plan will cover.  Those are investment in the River, transportation along the River, neighborhood and environment.  In regard to investment in the River, it is a very important topic with regard to designing public space.  Steve explained that it is critical for public entities to raise the bar and that all public facilities along the River should be designed and constructed in the best manner possible.  Public facilities should lead by example, so private developments will also adhere to high standards.  He explained the plans for these areas and opened the presentation for questions. 

                Mr. Murley said that we they entered into this plan development several years ago, and it is very important to recommend a governance structure to implement the plan.  This is an essential part of the State Statute that dealt with the construction of the Infill Plan.  Mr. Murley explained that they are proposing is to use 75% of the structure that they have today.  The Infill Working Group would have two subdivisions or committees, one for Greenway and one called Infrastructure.  This would pick up the responsibility for a consolidated financial plan by enrolling five-year increments.  The Infrastructure Committee would actually build the annual financial plan.  This Infrastructure Committee would utilize the Tax Increment Financing and other funding to develop a financial plan.  Mr. Murley’s recommendation is that there needs to be one entity which he calls the Joint City-County-Miami River Improvement Corporation which will have to be created by joint agreement of the City and County.  He proposes that this Corporation will only have to sit once a year, primarily to review and approve the annual financial plan.  This group would act almost like a fiscal review board, reviewing the detailed work that’s done at the Infrastructure Committee. 

                The last important feature of the government’s proposal comes under the discussions of Greenway.  They recommended a Greenway’s Trust similar to the Bay Front Trust be developed to handle the day-to-day responsibilities of maintaining the Greenway.  In order to do this plan and governance structure, the MRC will have to ask the Legislature (in the next session) to remove the sunset provision of the MRC ‘s current enabling legislation.

                Mr. Parks said that they are going to vote on the final approval of the plan on the 10th of June.  There are still a number of things happening and he doesn’t want to get into re-drafting this plan today.  Those who wish to make specific changes need to contact Jim and Steve and advocate their position.  Mr. Parks wants to get an idea of how the MRC feels about this.  Mr. Parks hopes that in the plan they ultimately approve, that the MRC takes the responsibility for making a very specific recommendation as to how it should be governed and not just conceptual guidance.  Mr. Parks feels that it is the MRC’s responsibility.  Mr. Parks likes the idea with reference to the joint improvement City-County Commission.  Mr. Everingham feels that an Advisory Board should have access to legal advice from the City Attorney’s office or some other recognized legal authority.  As a part of this, he feels that this should be a strong recommendation. Discussion took place regarding boundaries and proposed staffing.  Mr. Parks said that they are looking forward to seeing the final report.  Comments need to be in by the May 15th.  It was suggested that the comments would be put on a web page, but it must be conducted in strict adherence to the Sunshine Laws.

                Mr. Parks asked Megan Kelly to make sure, as the Chambers Representative, that  they receive a copy of this draft and tell them about May 15th.  Mr. Parks would like their comments.  He would like it discussed at the goals conference, if possible. 

                Mr. Parks asked the Staff to set the next Executive Committee on May 15th (publicly noticed) so they can review whatever comments have been submitted. 

V.  Committee Reports

                Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Investigation Committee

                Dr. Martin stated as his report that the TIF boundary line work done by the Committee included a map of the proposed boundary in the information provided to the group.  The County and City were represented in developing the proposed boundary.  County staff is now working on the financial analysis to determine what is the expected amount of funds that would be generated by this TIF boundary.

.                Stormwater Subcommittee

                Sandy O’Neil stated that there is a resolution on the County Commission’s agenda tomorrow that ratifies the County Manager’s action in accepting a grant award to study and execute certain County stormwater improvements.  It does have a lot to do with studies of land and the River.  Sandy O’Neil moved for a motion of support for the County Resolution.  Dick Bunnell seconded the motion.  Discussion was held.  Mr. Miller said that Staff was going to go ahead and write the letter of support because the MRC has already approved the Stormwater report and the contents of the Resolution is part of the Stormwater report. The motion passed unanimously. 

                Economic Development & Commerce 

                Phil Everingham reported that their last meeting was a special meeting of the Economic Development & Commerce Working Group to consider several items.  The item at present is a proposed residential development called River Run South on 2415 NW 16th Street Road.  This is a low to moderate-income housing project with 174 units on the Miami River.  Phil explained there was a great deal of discussion at the Working Group special meeting.  The main question regards zoning.  The property is currently dual zoned with the portion nearest the River as marine industrial and the property near the roadway residential.  The question before them was changing the zoning to an all-residential area.  The Working Group did not gain consensus, nor does it have a recommendation for the MRC on this matter.

                Mr. Everingham introduced Mr. Moshe Cosicher, Architect for River Run South, who gave a presentation to the MRC.   Mr. Cosicher explained the property and the unusual dual zoning with basically half as residential and half as industrial.  He explains that this property has been vacant for many years.  His client would be happy to offer a commercial business, perhaps a restaurant and an easement for boats, hotels, and restaurants.  The fact is that these facilities in that zoning are not available at this time.  Therefore, he proposes to extend the R3 residential for the entire property.  In discussions with the City of Miami Planning Department, they proposed to have open spaces along the River and his client will maintain the spirit of the discussions with the Planning Department.  Discussion was held.  Mr. Parks asked the MRC to look at page 103 of their Urban Infill Plan, the old Florida Yacht Basin is the property adjacent to this property to the east.  That is part of the case study that is being recommended by the Commission to create a mega yacht mooring and repair facility with a neighborhood park and taking into consideration the residential aspects of the community.  This is part of the plan that the MRC will be approving next month.  Mr. Parks stated that the MRC is not into zoning.  The question is whether the MRC believes this development it is a good idea for the River.  At this point on the River, the Greenway is not expected to be on the River’s bank and will actually be on the roadway.  Janet McAliley was unhappy with the proposed plan for placing parking stalls on the River and she questioned the plans for a proposed marina or resident boat docking facility.  Further discussion took place.

                Janet McAliley made a motion to reject the plan as presented, as it does not comply with the concepts being set forth under the Miami River Corridor Urban Infill Plan.  Cleve Jones seconded the motion and it passed 7 to 3.       

                Also presented at the special meeting of the Economic Development and Commerce Working Group was a proposal by the City of Miami to construct a multi-purpose Community Center in Jose Marti Park.  The Working Group did recommend approval of the community center.  Phil Everingham made a motion to accept plans and construction of new community center in Jose Marti Park.  Sandy O’Neil seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

                Dredging Working Group

                Dick Bunnell advised the MRC that the key legal document for the dredging project, the Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) would go before the Miami-Dade County Transportation, Environment and Infrastructure Committee on May 14 and before the County Commission on May 21.  Dick requested the MRC provide support letters and personal appearances for both the Committee and Commission meetings.  All concurred.

IV. Adjournment 


There being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting adjourned at  2:00 p.m

_______________________________Recording Secretary