The Urban Forum                         Newsletter of The Urban Environment League                                        ...
Trip to the Everglades...magical earth form. This piece of hundred sixty degree view of Shark                  our fresh w...
Dine and Discuss                                              Dine and Discuss                                            ...
the following series of diverse topics      FEBRUARY 15,2005 - The topic           tends to join forces with Dade Heri-tha...
ticipation that they can    glades will become more difficult.    Hold the Line                                        per...
So you think you want                       room allotments with travel provid- is due to the combination of the ter-     ...
earning $8-12 an hour is fully respon-         UEL Featured Article                      cisco and smoggy Los Angeles.sibl...
old schedule has resumed, with thelast train running around midnight.                                                     ...
in any number of friends and rela-tives without the landlord’s knowl-edge and the police have no author-ity to remove the ...
How Do Urban                       scope of work completed on               and creating great gathering spaces           ...
focused on both the Oakland Water- tivities to make the park a destina-           ful, but totally useless.front and the P...
NOTICE:                                                                            The UEL accepts articles/letters       ...
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UEL Newsletter - Issue14

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UEL Newsletter - Issue14

  1. 1. The Urban Forum Newsletter of The Urban Environment League Website: www.uel.org Issue No. 14 Email: uelmiami@bellsouth.net January 2005 “I have lived in Miami since 1959, and –shame on me”–I have never been to the Everglades.” Nancy Liebman A Message from Nancy Liebman - UEL President Photos: Nancy Lee (UEL), Don Finefrock (Executive Director of South History was made on December was a precursory educational foray Florida National Parks Trust) and21. I have lived in Miami since 1959, for the UEL coalition committee to Nancy Liebman in Shark Valley. Nextand “shame on me”, I have never arrange for the upcoming February page: Denis Russ (UEL) joins us.been to the Everglades. I lived on 5th Everglades Trip co-sponsored bythe edge of the Glades when, in the UEL and the South Florida Na-1960, the edge was just west of my tional Parks Trust.home on SW 87th Avenue and Bird As we entered the Park, I was mes-Road. It was really the edge and my merized! After leaving my urbanthree children were born there. habitat, and driving through Miami I have been in the expanded edge Dade County’s sprawl, we reachedwhile visiting Weston. I have driven the natural phenomenon I have al-past the Glades on Alligator Alley. I ways read about. Intellectually, I un-have watched the evolution of the derstand the Everglades as the engineEverglades from the air as little red that enables humanity to survive inrooftops sprawl endlessly westward South Florida. But, seeing it live andand human growth dangerously in- in its spectacular glory was a true in-hibits the freedom of wildlife. As the spiration.Glades are diminished, the traffic I now understand the awesome re-gridlock continues to grow. sponsibility the citizens of Florida The occasion of my historic trip have to maintain the integrity of ev-into the Everglades National Park ery remaining blade of grass in this
  2. 2. Trip to the Everglades...magical earth form. This piece of hundred sixty degree view of Shark our fresh water supply and destroyedland is not only South Florida’s Valley. our wildlife!heartbeat, but it is a truly a spectacu- We were alone with the sound of There is a line in the sand now, alar breath of fresh air. I regret not silence, the expansive vistas, the line that must not move. We call thatbeing part of the nurturing process sawgrass sea moving so slightly, the line the Urban Boundary Line. Itfrom that day in 1959 green “hills” and the hard- was meant to stop the over develop-when I moved to Miami. wood tree islands with a ment, sprawl, lack of schools and ser- Upon entering the Park, few deer, lots of gators, vices and preserve the natural envi-we entered a new world, (some with new babies) ronment.the South Florida of old and fabulous bird life. Every red-blooded Floridian mustwith flocks of beautifully All of this and wher- take the responsibility to hold thatfeathered birds, happily ever I looked for miles and line and stop the little red rooftops,dozing alligators enjoying miles I SAW NO strip malls and other deadly en-the serenity of the quiet BUILDINGS! Yes, the croachments. It is incumbent on themarshes, brilliant sun, Sea of Grass is a natural grassroots citizens of our communityopen air, and doting tour- wonder of the world. to guard this natural resource andists. I thought the vast What pride I had, as a protect the Urban Developmentnumbers of birds that Denis Russ Floridian of forty-six Boundary Line. Continued sprawlgreeted us at the gate was years, who raised three translates to increased trafficincredible. I cringed when the tram Floridian children to realize that the gridlock, polluted air, mercury-filledguide explained there were one hun- citizens of Florida have at last raised water, and decreased water suppliesdred times more in the past. a real challenge to force the preserva- for future Floridians. The Everglades Development into the Everglades, tion of this treasure for future gen- is the heart, soul and engine that willloss of food supply and erations. sustain Florida forever. As the Ever-pollution has driven the A lot of us have been glades go, so goes the future of ur-wildlife away. Will hu- “The River of sleeping at the wheel ban life in our fragile community.man life be next? How while insensitive over- Come hear more about this at thedisappointing will it be Grass has been development com- Everglades Trip, Saturday Februaryfor the folks who movedhere for warm weather diminished by pressed the much more It was a Everglades. 5th. See the details in this issue of the Urban Forum. And, get involved.and the ocean to run out little red roof- massive Sea of Grass Read about our new Program Direc-of drinking water? that has been dimin- tor - Gilberto Osorio - on page 5 of Among the high- tops, strip ished by little red roof- this issue. -Nancy Liebmanlights on this trip was a malls and rock tops, strip malls andclimb up a central tower rock quarries. Imagine, Nancy and the Alligator!in the park for a three- quarries.” mankind paved over
  3. 3. Dine and Discuss Dine and Discuss The UEL’s monthly “Dine and FEBRUARY 15 Discuss” evenings have become a well Now That The “New Urbanism - Applied and Misapplied.” known tradition in this community, encouraging public participation in Election is Over, This important matter will be discussed by Charles Bohl, Director,Knight Program in Community Building, author of the book, “Place the electoral process, urban planning From Here?Making.” Herald Reporter, Andres Viglucci, will Moderate. and growth management. These evenings take place on the third Tues- Upcoming: day of each month during the MARCH 15 - An evening with County Clerk Harvey Ruvin months of September through May APRIL 19 - The UEL & Dade Heritage Trust (due to the holidays, we do not sched- Noted Art Deco developer Tony Goldman on the topic, ule one in the month of December). They are held at 6:00 pm at the his- “Preserving the Recent Past.” toric Miami River Inn which is lo- MAY 17 - Our last “Dine and Discuss” of this season cated at 118 S. River Drive, Miami, will feature a discussion on the many efforts and cost $25 each. underway to preserve and enhance the Miami River. The topics scheduled for this year have made the 2004-2005 “Dine and Don’t miss the opportunity to network and share a Discuss” season one of the most ex- delicious meal at the historic Miami River Inn, citing ones that we had in our his- tory. 118 South River Drive. In September, we began with a Wine and Cheese, Dinner and More Wine: $25 bang as legendary public servant, Call for information and to make a reservation: Merrett Stierheim shared many of his unique experiences in public life as Miami River Inn: 305 325-0045 well as views on such current topics as the County’s Bond Program, growth management, the state of the The UEL and South Florida National Parks Trust Present: public school system to the sold out crowd. Everglades Bus Trip The October evening, featured the Honorable State of Florida Represen- Feb. 5th (Saturday) 9AM to 3:30PM tatives Dan Gelber and Julio Robaina on the eight (8) State Constitution A tram tour of the Everglades led by park rangers from Ever- Amendments on the November 2, glades National Park. Lunch included. 2004 ballot. In November, the UEL felt it was Bus will leave for Shark Valley from the steps of Trinity Church important to host a discussion on on North Bayshore Drive, 9AM. Bus leaves promptly!! what many believed could turn out There will be a covered tram ride so you will not be required to to be one of the most important elec- do a lot of walking and there is rain protection. Park in the OMNI tion in our history. As a result, we garage right across the street from the church and meet at the invited nationally known Miami front, near the church entrance. Herald Executive Editor Tom Fiedler to share his views to a capacity crowd DEADLINE FOR BUS TRIP IS FRIDAY, JANUARY 28. on the topic, “Now that the elections SPACE IS LIMITED - first paid, first served. are over, where do we go from here.” RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED - Send us a check for $25 Mark your calendars because the Questions Call: 305 576-2553 2nd half of our 2004-2005 season is generating a lot of excitement due to
  4. 4. the following series of diverse topics FEBRUARY 15,2005 - The topic tends to join forces with Dade Heri-that are scheduled: will be “New Urbanism - Applied and tage Trust and the 2005 Dade Heri- By the time this newsletter is pub- Misapplied.” This important matter tage Days events. As one of the offi-lished we will have had our January will be discussed by Charles Bohl, cial events, we will be featuring noteddinner. The UEL joined forces with Director, Knight Program in Com- Art Deco developer Tony Goldmanthe South Florida National Park Trust munity Building at the University of on the topic, “Preserving the Recentfor a dinner and discussion featuring Miami School of Architecture, au- Past.”two viewpoints on the landmark $8 thor of the book, “Place Making.” We MAY 17, 2005 - Our last “Dinebillion Everglades restoration plan. have also invited Nathaniel Belcher, and Discuss” evening of this seasonScheduled was moderator Martha Assistant Dean and Associate Profes- will feature a discussion on the chal-Musgrove - former Miami Herald sor at FIU’s School of Architecture. lenges and many efforts underway toEditorial Board Member - and speak- The discussion will be moderated by preserve and enhance the Miamiers, Terrance “Rock” Salt, Senior Ev- Herald Reporter Andres Viglucci. River.erglades Policy Advisor, US Dept. of MARCH 15, 2005 - The featured I hope to see you at these events.Interior and Alan Farago, Past Ever- discussion will be “An evening with I guarantee you that not only will youglades Chair for the Florida Chapter Miami Dade County Clerk Harvey find the discussions very informativeof the Sierra Club. Due to the im- Ruvin.” Mr. Ruvin will not only re- but promise you that you will thor-portance of the Everglades as a re- flect on his experiences as a long time oughly enjoy a very delicious mealmarkable natural resource to current public servant but will also discuss a prepared the old fashioned way by theand future generations, the UEL will topic that has always been dear to his Miami River Inn’s proprietor, Ms.also be sponsoring an Everglades bus heart - the environment (including Sallye Jude. -Albert Ruder UEL Boardtour on February 5 (please see Page the challenges of global warming). Member & Chair of the “Dine and Dis-2 for more information). APRIL 19, 2005 - The UEL in- cuss” Evening Series Committee Urban Environment League 2004 Officers, Board Members, and Advisors President: Nancy Liebman Vice-President: Ernie Martin Treasurer: Kay Hancock Apfel Board of Advisors: Secretary: Richard Korman Gregory Bush, Chair Past President: Gregory Bush Sallye Jude Dorothy Fields Dr. Paul George Kay Hancock Apfel Nancy Lee Joe Kohl Judith Berson-Levinson Suan Luck Dan Paul Gioia DeCarlo Ernest Martin Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk John DeLeon Robert McCabe Brenda Marshall Richard Donovan Arsenio Milian Arva Moore Parks McCabe** Robert Flanders Enid Pinkney Gene Tinnie Lori Gold Pedro Quintenalli M. Athalie Range Sage Hoffman Alberto Ruder Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Ruth Jacobs Denis Russ Martha Musgrove Sylvan Jolibois Paul Schwiep George Knox James Jude Howard Slotnick Chairperson of Volunteer Initiatives: Richard Korman Jason Uyeda Amy Paige Condon
  5. 5. ticipation that they can glades will become more difficult. Hold the Line persuade the County With diminishing choices, businesses Campaign Commission to move may look elsewhere to invest in jobs the UDB line. and opportunity. by Gilberto Osorio What If They Are How We Can Win? I am excited to be a part Successful? The Urban Environment Leagueof the Urban Environment You pay. You lose. of Greater Miami is working to buildLeague team. Schools will become a coalition of civic and homeowner My role is to help build more crowded, traffic organizations determined to supporton great work already being will get worse, and in- better choices for Miami Dadedone by the UEL to ensure that Mi- vestments in infrastructure–paid for County residents - taxpayers andami-Dade’s Urban Development by your taxes–will fall further behind. families who want a good quality ofBoundary (UDB) is not extended Remember the half-penny sales tax life, a safe environment, and placesfurther west and further south. passed at the urging of the County to work that are easily accessible to More specifically, my job is to Commission two years ago? It is only home.help build a coalition of homeowner able to pay for a small fraction of the To join this movement and ensureassociations, civic and conservation promised improvements to your that our quality of life does not suf-groups, municipalities, and others to quality of life. fer in Miami-Dade County, call ordemonstrate the massive public sup- More demand will be placed on e-mail: Gilberto Osorio 305-576-port to Hold The Line! overburdened water supply, and pro- 2553, Gil.Osorio@gmail.com We are suggesting that you: tecting Biscayne Bay and the Ever- Help us reach out and educatecounty commissioners, who will vote If you belong to a group that might be interested in this effort, ask them to fill outwhether or not to move the UDB. the form below. Return it to me at: UEL, 212 NE 24th St., Miami, FL 33137 In the recent campaign, MayorAlvarez strongly supported our posi- HOLD THE LINE CAMPAIGNtion to hold the line. He needs to be Resolution:thanked for his commitment then To protect our quality of life, our community, and our environ-and his determination now to see ment, the undersigned organization supports holding the Urbanthrough his pledge to the people. Development Boundary in Miami-Dade County. Why It Matters Existing infrastructure to cope with traffic, congestion, schools, The UDB is a line that was clean and affordable water, and the environment cannot keep paceadopted by county ordinance over 10 with demand. Even the 2002 half-cent tax for transportation is in-years ago to concentrate development adequate to meet a fraction of needs generated by existing develop-within existing service areas, provide ment.adequate infrastructure like roads and We support reasonable development alternatives that provide goodschools, and to protect natural re- choices and places of work closer to homes. Existing impacts to in-sources like Biscayne Bay and the frastructure, like roadways, are so overloaded that we fear businessesEverglades. At that time, county gov- will not want to create new jobs in Miami-Dade County. Majorernment prohibited any development developments planned outside the Urban Development Boundarybeyond this boundary. Based on further threaten our quality of life.growth patterns, county staff do not We ask our elected county officials to fix existing problems and toanticipate any need to move the UDB fund adequate infrastructure to protect our communities, Biscayneuntil the 2020’s. Bay, and the Everglades.Who Is Trying to Change the UDB We oppose any alteration of the Urban Development Boundary Recently, major developers and and support the effort to Hold the Line.speculators have bought up land out- Signed:_______________________________side the UDB and started to plan very Group:_______________________________large-scale developments in the an-
  6. 6. So you think you want room allotments with travel provid- is due to the combination of the ter- ers with different cancellation poli- rorist attacks on 9/11 coupled with to own a boutique cies; numerous rates based on time the Internet rate wars. hotel? of year, time of the week, holidays; When the travel industry discov- Here is a behind-the-scenes look contracted rates and discounts based ered the power of the Internet, it was on affiliations such as AARP or AAA; an incredible means for boosting at how a hotel really works. and group room blocks. room occupancy. Hotels developed By Steven Z. Levinson and Judith Hotel rooms are not like other captivating websites to attract guests Berson-Levinson businesses where inventory that is not and were able to gain ranking on the Did you ever think it would be sold today can be sold tomorrow. An search engines by painstaking work.romantic to run a boutique hotel? Or empty bed can never be resold so, like This is no longer possible as a re-think it might be kind of fun to own airlines, hotels must overbook to sult of “sponsored links” and paida bed and breakfast because you en- make up for cancellations and no- placements by discounters who nowjoy entertaining friends in your shows. But, just imagine the pande- monopolize the search engines andhome? Think again, because the re- monium that occurs when everyone have virtually wiped out a smallality of being a hotelier is nothing like does show up and there are not hotel’s ability to be found by a pro-the fantasy! enough rooms. spective guest surfing From the outside, owning an The hotel operator must the Internet.Ocean Drive hotel in South Beach is also deal with guests who Monopolisticvery prestigious and somewhat of anego trip, especially when the owner think that being away from home gives them license to O ne guest middlemen such as used a Hotels.com, Expedia,is a hands-on operator. But when it act like barbarians. Guests Travelocity and Orbitz,comes to the hotel business, all that get drunk, steal and dam- sprinkler line that don’t contributeglitters in definitely not gold. age hotel property. to do chin-ups anything to the indus- Here is a behind-the-scenes look There are many guests, and flooded try, have systematicallyat how a hotel really works: especially those who visit destroyed the ability of First there is marketing, advertis- South Beach, who feel ob- the hotel. a small hotel to make aing and dealing with travel provid- ligated to get wild, act out profit by abusing anders. There are “back of the house” op- scenes from “Animal House” or cre- humiliating hotel operators, demand-erations such as housekeeping, ate chaos by making mischief. ing unreasonably low rates on largemaintenance, and repairs; and “front One guest used a fire extinguisher allotments of deeply discountedof the house” operations including to spray foam throughout an entire rooms, limiting black-out dates, andreservations, front desk, accounting, floor. Another set off the fire alarm controlling cut-off dates while theypurchasing and other administrative on New Year’s Eve forcing an evacu- pocket a hefty percentage. This hasduties. ation. Another used a sprinkler line cut profitability to the point where There are no breaks in a 24/7 busi- to do chin-ups and flooded the ho- many hotels cannot afford to stay inness and a small number of rooms tel. Another thought it would be business.does not necessarily equate to smaller amusing to call every room pretend- In addition, there are the day-to-overhead costs because the same ing to call from the front desk and day uncertainties of an unstable worknumber of front desk staff are needed invited everyone to a non-existent force; the mostly inexperienced orfor 50 rooms or 100 rooms. It is al- complimentary breakfast in the transient workers who are more in-most impossible to achieve any lobby. Sounds funny until you imag- terested in having a good time thaneconomy of scale with hotels with less ine the fury of aggravated guests who working, that make it difficult forthan 100 rooms. rushed downstairs and found no hotel managers to maintain round A critical function is reservations, food. the clock coverage of the front desk,which is not simply booking rooms. All this aside, the main reason so dependable housekeepers, and main-It takes the skills of an air traffic con- many hotels such as the Edison and tenance staff.troller to balance such variables as Royal are converting to condo-hotels On certain shifts a front desk agent
  7. 7. earning $8-12 an hour is fully respon- UEL Featured Article cisco and smoggy Los Angeles.sible for a multi-million dollar enter- In Miami, however, I have experi-prise and must make critical decisions Walking in South Florida enced many challenges to gettingin the absence of senior management. By R. Franco Durán around. It is difficult to find willing, quali- The song goes, “Nobody walks in Miami was founded after the in-fied workers who are legally in the LA.” That may be so, but people do vention of the automobile, and thisU.S., can be depended on to come walk in Miami. That is, there are is evident by how difficult it is to getto work every day on time, and pro- thousands – if not tens of thou- around here on foot. Despite the sea-vide courteous service to guests. sands—of adults in Miami who get sonal hurricanes, heat, and humidity, Most of the time with close super- around without a car. I’m one of there are other barriers to walking (forvision, the workers give a fair day’s them. purpose, not exercise) in Miami.work, however unlike most other Certainly, the majority of us are If you look carefully, Miami is ajobs, hotels operate every day 24 seniors or individuals who can’t af- Maurice Sendak nightmare – side-hours a day and, like an airliner mak- ford a car or the hefty insurance pre- walks, where available, end here. Thising a transatlantic crossing, there can- miums of a large city. However, there is especially apparent a block or twonot be any lapse of coverage between are the few of who choose not to away from any major thoroughfare.shifts. drive. Now, I need to clarify that I For example, when I asked a long- don’t drive, but that doesn’t mean I time inhabitant of Coconut Grove If all this were not enough, there why there were few sidewalks in the don’t know how to maneuver a car.are so many systems in a hotel that residential areas, she explained that I just think that owning somethingcan malfunction—and usually at the their intended absence helped main- that costs a lot of money when itmost inconvenient moment—from tain the city’s charm. breaks, paying for insurance (note: acomputers, Internet connections, Charm or not, walking from U.S. large percentage of Miami driversnetworks, electric, telephones, toilets, 1 to the heart of the Grove is risky believe insurance is optional), andhot water, cable TV, fire alarm, smoke business for a person on foot. Maybe dealing with big city traffic are bigdetectors to pools, bars, restaurants this is why there’s a shuttle that will stressors that I would rather avoid.and special events. take you from the Coconut Grove So, I walk and use public trans- All of these potential problems are portation wherever I live. Metro station to the shops at themultiplied by as many rooms there This amazes a social psychologist Grove and back for free. It’s nifty,are in the hotel. So, in the final analy- friend of mine who studies how and it saves me from dodging carssis, for us, the pleasures of owning a people plan. Certainly, before I leave after watching a movie at CocoWalk.small hotel were far outweighed by the house, I have to determine what The Miami-Dade Metro systemthe headaches, and we don’t miss it a to carry for the day (no car, no trunk), has many faces. Well, two at least.bit! estimate how and when to get from The Metro Train is great. The cars After four years operating two here to there, and allocate extra time run regularly along the limited 20-South Beach hotels, we converted the for any problems that may happen mile stretch from South Dadeland toRoyal Hotel on Washington and 8th along the way. the Palmetto. The Wachenhut guardsStreet into a condo-hotel. We still When I go grocery shopping, I (especially at University Station) areown several units but a management have to determine exactly how much cordial and knowledgeable.company is now running the hotel I can carry home in the various A half-cent sales tax was added arental program. weather conditions we experience in couple of years ago, in part, to allow We sold our Edison Hotel on Miami. This keeps my diet free from the train to run 24-hours a day. ThatOcean Drive & 10th Street to a group ice cream and most frozen foods. was a great time for me– I was able tothat is converting it into a luxury Planning is old hat for me, but I’ll stay late at work, I was never in a rushcondo-hotel. - Judith Berson-Levinson let my friend stay in awe. I have never to leave the beach by midnight, andand her husband Steven Z. Levinson had problems getting around by foot I felt a little safer and freer knowingown and operate rental and commer- or by public transportation in any of that the trains were running 24-7.cial properties in South Beach, North the five major cities in which I’ve Unfortunately, that extended runBeach and Miami lived. This includes hilly San Fran- lasted only about half a year, and the
  8. 8. old schedule has resumed, with thelast train running around midnight. Stop Blaming the Developers! What happened? Insiders say that It is very easy to blame developers continue to operate multi-familyno one was using the trains at night, for overbuilding as we view the ex- buildings when they cannot gener-except the homeless to stay safe, cool, plosion of condos rapidly changing ate enough income to cover basicand dry. I guess nobody noticed that the skyline, but there is another side overhead costs (and old buildingsthe thousands of people who work to the story—escalating property need more repairs).on the beach were no longer able to taxes. Architects hired to build afterwork swing or graveyard shifts. Our cities, county and school WWII recall directives to design Apparently, the half-cent sales tax board set their annual budget with housing that could be completed ashike has been used to improve and virtually no incentive for holding quickly and cheaply as possible.expand the Metro Bus system, or down costs. Many buildings have already outlivedwhat I like to refer to as the ugly step- Then the millage rate is set to cover their expected life and have fewsister of the Metro Train. the budgets. Tax assessors are hesitant amenities desired by buyers. In a word, the bus system in Mi- to raise millage rates so, since suffi- This leaves a landlord no choiceami sucks. cient increases in assessments of than to convert their aging buildings Buses run late like clockwork. As single-family homes are capped as a into condos or demolish them anda regular rider of Bus 8, I can tell you result of Florida’s Save Our replace them withthat people have stories of waiting Home amendment, the ris- modern condos builtover an hour and having four 8’s (go- ing cost of government must Throughout to today’s codes.ing in the same direction) arrive si- be borne by commercial and Florida, it is Developers shouldmultaneously. I thought it was bit of multi-family buildings. not be criticized foran exaggeration until it happened to Instead of being assessed becoming using the maximumme. I carry my cellular, and I use it on the basis of their current, economic FAR (floor area ratio) value or actual return on in- and height available,regularly to complain about the buses vestment, they are now as- suicide to as they must cover the(and the drivers). About 40% of thetime I get an argument: “Well, maybe sessed on “highest and best maintain aging inflated price of thethe bus is late for a reason. Maybe use,” defined as “what a will- rental land, incur construc-there was traffic or an accident.” ing buyer would pay a will- tion and marketing ing seller.” buildings... costs, and assume In such cases, I kindly remind theoperator that his or her job is to con- Today this translates to great risk.vey my complaint to someone who “potential” value not current value, Another impediment to operatingcares – not to argue with me or de- even though this has no effect on the rentals is that laws created to protectfend the system. About a third of the current owner’s bottom line. the rights of law-abiding tenants whotime the operator, by way of policy, As an example, the taxes on a typi- pay their rent, can place landlords atgives me a reference number for my cal 1950s waterfront garden apart- the mercy of those who take advan-complaint. The rest of the time I ment complex in North Beach in- tage of the legal system, adding stillknow the complaint falls on deaf ears. creased by 194 percent between 1997 another operating expense.I have yet to receive a response about and 2004. How much did rents in- A tenant can invite anyone into hisany of my complaints. crease? Only 23 percent! unit, move out and stop paying the Despite the problems, I get around When a rental building with a electric bill, but despite the fact thatpretty well in Miami without a car. I negative cash flow is taxed as if it were the squatter has neither a lease norregularly weigh the costs and benefits a luxury condominium, there is no permission to live there, and otherof being without wheels, and I’m choice but to become one! residents are threatening to move out,pretty happy to maintain status quo. Throughout Florida, it is becom- the only way the squatter can be re-Certainly, it’s not a life-style for ev- ing economic suicide to maintain moved is through a legal eviction.eryone. I guess you wouldn’t be sur- aging rental buildings that offer lim- A landlord can rent to one or twoprised to know that the most popu- ited amenities while paying astro- tenants and, despite a stipulation inlar reading materials on the bus and nomical tax increases. It has become the lease limiting the number of per-train are advertisements for used cars. just about impossible for landlords to sons in the unit, the tenant can move
  9. 9. in any number of friends and rela-tives without the landlord’s knowl-edge and the police have no author-ity to remove the unauthorizedpersons. This adds the burden of increasedexpenses such as water that were notfactored into the rent, yet the prop-erty owner has no choice other thanlengthy and expensive eviction pro-cedures. For residents who are concernedthat the proliferation of high-risecondos will cause increased densityand traffic, this is not necessarily true. Many condo buyers live elsewhere Terrance "Rock" Salt, Seniorand will not be full-time residents. Everglades Policy Advisor -Furthermore, there is a vast difference fittingly sat below a photo ofbetween a single buyer or couple liv- Marjory Stoneman Douglasing in a luxury condo as opposed to celebrating her 100th birthdaythe current over-occupancy of under- party (photo below).sized efficiencies and one-bedroom When asked about the politicalapartments where the tenant invites will to hold the UDB line, Col.in countless numbers of unautho- Salt said that those on the otherrized “guests” to split the rent and UEL & South Florida National side of the UDB line don’t voteshare their dwelling space. Parks Trust Dinner (referring to the birds, and Part-time residents do not add to other wildlife). He said Terrance "Rock" Salt, U.S. Dept. ofthe overcrowding of our public personally, he thought it a good the Interior and Alan Farago, Past idea to hold the line.schools and new luxury condos pro- Everglades Chair for Sierravide garage parking thus alleviating Club Florida Chapter debatedthe current shortage of on-street the success of the $8 billionparking spaces. dollar Everglades Plan at the For those who think that restric- Historic Miami River Inn.tive zoning will curtail density, think Martha Musgrove, Formeragain. Miami Herald Editorial As long as there are buyers and Board Member, moderated.costs keep rising, buildings will be Over 80 people attended thebuilt. As more and more rental prop- dinner panel.erty owners are forced to sell or con- Both speakers distilled thevert their properties, there will be less recovery to: Water Storage.affordable housing units available. How can they store water in Throughout the nation, in cities the wet season and get it in thethat allow this to happen, the result dry season when it is needed?is an increase in homelessness. With more land still needed for storage, What can help? Maybe Miami- escalating land costs was seen as a problem to theDade’s citizens can stop the bulldoz- restoration effort by both speakers.ers by challenging excessive, inequi- Col. Salt also said that more will betable taxation.-Judith Berson-Levinsonowns and operate rental and commercial prop- happening in Miami Dade County thenerties in South Beach, N. Beach and Miami. anywhere else during the next 5 years.
  10. 10. How Do Urban scope of work completed on and creating great gathering spaces Portland’s Parks 2020 Vision which 7. Ensuring that there would be Waterfronts Transform was a community driven master plan creative parking solutions. Cities? for parks projects into the year 2020. 8. Finding a political champion Edward Uhlir, Chicago’s Millen- (The Mayor of Chicago). UEL Summary Report nium Park Project Design Director 9. Rezoning the perimeter to en- The UEL held a Park Forum on spoke about the park which is con- courage residential development sur-Friday, November 5, 2004 at the sidered Chicago’s “Postcard of the rounding the park.Miami City Hall. Twenty-first Century” and was cre- At noon, the panelists and partici- The theme of the Forum was ated on an abandoned railroad site. pants had lunch on Scotty’s Landing“How do Urban Waterfronts Trans- According to Mr. Uhlir, Millenniums followed by a boat tour of Miami’sform Cities.” Park’s success was the result of the downtown waterfront, keying in on The opening panel, moderated by following: the areas from the mouth of the Mi-Jason Uyeda (UEL board member 1. Establishing connections be- ami River to the Omni Area.and principal with EDAW, design, tween the surrounding business com- Highlights and discussions in-planning and specialists in environ- munity, the waterfront access and the cluded a look at the port, the ob-ments), included: City of Miami introduction of cultural activity stacles of connecting the waterfrontCommissioner Joe Sanchez who gave 2. Hiring a world-class architect at Port Road, the overdevelopmentwelcoming remarks, Greg Bush, Uni- and public facilitator of the waterfront, the mix of publicversity of Miami history professor 3. developing a “forward thinking and private uplands, the connectionsand former UEL President, who dis- vision” rather than traditional park between Parcel B, Bicentennial Park,cussed the history of Miami’s water- planning Bayside, Bayfront Park and the largefront, Amy Condon, Senior Project 4. Working to make a “world boat slip dividing Bicentennial ParkManager with the Trust for Public model” for a successful park from Parcel B.Land who gave an updated report 5. Creating a public/private fund- At the afternoon session, Nancyabout TPL’s study of Miami’s water- ing mechanism following an eco- Liebman introduced Miami Mayorfront access, and Bob Weinreb, con- nomic feasibility study for the parks’ Manny Diaz who welcomed the par-sultant for the City of Miami who construction, maintenance, and the ticipants and told the audience he willdid a powerpoint presentation of impact on the surrounding neighbor- be very interested in hearing the con-Miami’s downtown waterfront that hoods. cluding commentary from the guestwas the focus of the UEL’s park fo- 6. Establishing that the park would panelists as the City of Miami movesrum. be a major destination for both forward with the city’s masterplan The presentations became the people watching and people mixing being created by the firm of Duanybackdrop for the day’s panel dis- Plater-Zyberk.cussions and mid-day boat tour Following theof the downtown waterfront. Mayor’s remarks, The morning panel entitled: Liebman introduced“Successful Waterfront Parks and Jacinta McCann, prin-Analogues from Around the cipal with EDAW.U.S.” began with a presentation Ms. McCann hasby Zari Santner, Parks and Rec- had 22 years experiencereation Director for the City of in landscape masterPortland. planning, urban design Ms. Santner has refocused and landscape architec-Portland’s park development ture in cities such as Sanstrategy through strategic busi- Francisco, Portland,ness plans such as the Parks 2020 Sydney and Los Ange-Vision. les. Ms. Santner presented the Jacinta’s presentation
  11. 11. focused on both the Oakland Water- tivities to make the park a destina- ful, but totally useless.front and the Port of Los Angeles, two tion that will get people to the wa- 17. There must be a clear and cre-urban public, waterfront park spaces. terfront. ative governance of parks and water- These urban waterfront parks were 3. There needs to be a master plan- fronts.well thought out and programmed to ning process between the public and 18. It is good to have economicthe needs of various user groups. The private sector. The business commu- development in parks.operations and management consid- nity needs to be involved to help es- 19. Parks can be good partnerserations involved city agencies as well tablish private funding sources. with the whole city.as design decisions to extend the life 4. Miami needs to have a clear vi- 20. Endowments for parks canof materials, etc. During the sion for its downtown park. come from impact fees.design process, important Miami’s The park will need a sense 21. There should be a design re-considerations were security, waterfront of identity. Visioning must view process for development ofsustainability, numerous be a transparent and open parks and waterfronts.connections from the pub- needs process. The Forum concluded with alic park space to the water- public land 5. Develop new zoning cocktail reception for informal dis-front, and placement of for the waterfront area. Re- cussions with the speakers and audi-icons/memorials to create a protection. quire developers to fund ence.sense of place and identity. walkways and park develop- Ernest Burkeen, City of Miami ment.Parks and Recreation director hired 6. Establish preservation and land-last year with 31 years of park and use easements with non-profit Have you beenrecreation experience in Detroit and groups.Ft. Lauderdale, spoke of his vision to 7. Create a special taxing district enjoying thisclean up and restore all of Miami’s to fund the park. newsletter?park system. He said the Park and 8. Experiencing parks needs to beRecreation budget has been increased less about “looking at the park” and Let us know.and he wants to make all of the parks more about “getting to the park”.accessible and useful spaces for the This is done with clearly defined ac- This might be yourcitizens. cess points and connections. Water last issue if you are The key point of Ernest’s message is a great attraction through whichwas focused on operations and main- to engage the public. not a member oftenance of the City’s parks. The man- 9. Establish destinations on the the UEL.agement of public parks, no matter waterfront and encourage water taxiwhere they are located, is as impor- service. Help us do our worktant to the overall success as the de- 10. Miami’s waterfront needs pub- with yoursign and planning. lic land protection. The final panel consisted of Mr. 11. Bicentennial and Bayfront membershipBurkeen, Ms. McCann, Ms. Zantner Parks have great potential and must support.and Mr. Uhlir. Each gave their ob- be connected and balanced betweenservations about Miami’s urban wa- development and open greenspace. If you have notterfront and the lessons learned 12. There needs to be a variety ofwithin their experiences about creat- activities in parks. renewed youring a park as a destination. 13. Civic buildings could be adja- membership, do so The message from the panelists cent to Bicentennial Park.included: 14. The identity of a park comes today, the form is 1. Create guidelines for the char- from the history of the place. on the back cover.acter of the park, including signage 15. There must be a compellingand gateways. reason to go to a park 2. Combine passive and active ac- 16. Parks can be visually beauti-
  12. 12. NOTICE: The UEL accepts articles/letters from its members and members of the public. These articles/letters do not always reflect the views of the Members of the UEL, or its Board, or the views UEL Advisors. To submit articles/letters, contact: nancy88@ bellsouth.net The editor takes full responsibility for botching articles during cuts. URBAN ENVIRONMENT LEAGUE OF GREATER MIAMI MEMBERSHIP & RENEWAL APPLICATIONNAME________________________________________________________________________________________________ADDRESS____________________________________CITY___________________ST.______ZIP______________________DAY PHONE____________________EVE. PHONE__________________________FAX_____________________________E-MAIL___________________________ OCCUP._________________INTEREST__________________________________ Signature__________________________________Date______________ (All fees are tax deductible.) Membership $35 Preferred Mem. $50 Board Members and Sponsors of UEL $100 Donations: Students: $15 Urban Environment League of Greater Miami 212 N.E. 24 Street Everglades Bus Trip Miami, Fl. 33137 Feb. 5th (Saturday) 9AM to 3:30PM Phone: 305 576-2553 Reserve Today! Fax: 305 576-2530 Website: www.uel.org Dine and Discuss FEBRUARY 15,2005 E Mail Address: uelmiami@bellsouth.net “New Urbanism - Applied and Misapplied.” Get on our dinner mailing list: uelmiami@bellsouth.net • 305-576-2553

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