There Goes the Neighborhood?

18 Wheeler, Making Deliveries to the Mondrian on West Avenue, Nearly Collides with a City Bus

If you don’t read this article, look at the pictures and ask yourself if this is how you want to live?  If not, make plans to attend an important City committee meeting on October 30.  Keep up with updates here or by reading the newsletter..

To learn more about the issue, read the rest of this article.

The City of Miami Beach Planning Board will decide if the should recommend to the Commission to approve an ordinance that cuts the number of parking spaces hotels must provide for their guests.  Currently, hotels provide one space per room.  If the ordinance is approved, hotels will only need to have one parking space for every two rooms.

Nighttime, daytime….always with engines running for the comfort of the returning passengers. Result….pollution, noise, and congestion, and danger in this residential neighborhood.

The hotel industry says the new ordinance  promotes hotel development on Miami Beach.  We know tourism has been good for us but hotels are not good for every part of South Beach. In this post are pictures from different parts of the Beach including West Avenue that show impacts of hotels with increased traffic and visitors.

Tour Buses Blocking Lanes on West Avenue

Mondrian Hotel Tour Buses Blocking Lanes on West Avenue

The very reason it is important to defeat the ordinance is  the zoning in the West Avenue Corridor permits hotels but since there is a limit on building heights, hotels aren’t very economical.  If hotels don’t have to build as many parking spaces, it is much more economical to turn a rental property into a hotel or to build a new hotel.  If a hotel adds a restaurant or a bar, the hotel is even more profitable.

WAvNA, the Lincoln West Residents Association,  the South of Fifth Neighborhood Association and residents from around the Beach are against the ordinance.

There is no reason to change the ordinance. Miami Beach is a VERY HOT market for hotels.  The cost of providing parking has NOT stopped hotels coming there.  WAvNA members counted 21 hotels planned or under construction just from searching online news articles.

Truck Making Deliveries to the Mondrian, Blocks a Turning Lane on West Avenue

There are many rental buildings here that can become hotels in a in no time at all.  It wouldn’t be difficult to imagine West Avenue Corridor becoming another Ocean Drive.  Many of us moved to this neighborhood because it is close to a very good elementary school; others because it is a neighborhood that is safe, walkable and close to shops, the beach or other attractions; and many more liked the quiet pace, away from the noise and crowds of the Washington Street.

Other reasons for concern are:

  • Ocean Drive residents have suffered enormously over the years as the City has allowed hotels to receive variances and to allow them to open restaurants without proper provisions for parking.
  • West Avenue Corridor residents see the ordinance change as part of an overall plan to bring hotels to the west side of the Beach.  This area has many amenities that are attractive to visitors;  it is not on the ocean so some hotels will be less expensive than those on the ocean; and it is close to the MacArthur and convenient to Lincoln Road.

    Garbage Trucks in front of the Hilton Bentley

    Tour Bus Accident on Ocean Drive

  • Hotel development in the West Avenue Corridor will have impacts beyond West Avenue.  Already traffic is very bad on Alton Road.  Traffic feeding into Alton to get to the West Avenue Corridor, 17th Street, Dade Blvd, Venetian, Bay Roads, etc will get even worse if more hotels are the Corridor.

    18 Wheeler, Making Deliveries to the Mondrian on West Avenue, Nearly Collides with a City Bus

  • The ordinance is too broad. Not every area of the Beach has the same needs or characteristics.  The West Avenue Corridor is highly residential and residents want it to stay that way.
  • The ordinance would mean the City loses some of the parking fees paid by hotels not providing all the required parking spaces.  These fees  CAN BE USED for alternative transportation projects not just building garages.  This fact is overlooked by many.
  • The ordinance would make hotels in areas like West Avenue Corridor  very attractive because of the number of rental properties.
  • In areas like the West Ave Corridor, with 41 condo buildings and almost 10K residents, the rental properties will practically have no restrictions to becoming a hotel other than local/state/federal licenses or code requirements.  The residents will have no way to fight the proliferation of hotels.  Only new construction  provides some opportunities for residents to express their opinion.

    A Regular Day of Traffic on Ocean Drive

6 thoughts on “There Goes the Neighborhood?

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