Board denies zoning change on Virginia St property
On Wednesday night, the City of Miami Planning and Zoning and Appeals Board denied the application for the zoning change at 2890 Virginia Street. A developer wanted to change the zoning from "medium density multi-family/duplex residential" to "medium density restricted commercial." At one point, the developer's attorney slipped and called the property a "hotel," showing their real intentions.
It is an apartment building now right on US1 and Virginia. Once a hotel or commercial project is allowed in, there would be a whole domino effect. Affordable housing is the goal now in Coconut Grove. The current property houses 65 apartments.
By a vote of 6-4, the planning board denied the zoning change.
Neighbors had two minutes each to speak at the hearing and cohesively they explained their case against the change. They had presentations and the petition and neighbors from Village West showed up to tell of their displacement by unscrupulous slumlords on their end of town.
NCD3 was a big factor in the decision. The boards must stand up to zoning codes and when developers come in, they need to adhere to the codes, not the other way around. As it is now, a developer comes in, fights to change the code to meet their needs and it destroys the whole puprose of Miami21 and the NCD which is the Neighborhood Conservation District. The Grove has two, NCD3 is for all of the Grove and NCD2 is the Village West. NCD3 overlays NCD2. It is a protected area and must remain protected.
This shows that if neighbors stand up and work together and present the facts, that things can work in their favor. The goal is to protect the neighborhood and stave off greedy developers who don't care about the history or quality of life here or anywhere. This was called a "One Grove" protest, where all of the Grove banned together to get something done. This is what is needed, one property at a time if need be.
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