Regarding Virginia Key and Miami 21

Dear Mayor Diaz:

I am writing regarding the Miami 21 zoning atlas as it relates to proposed zoning for Virginia Key.

Specifically, I am concerned that the environmentally significant North Point area of Virginia Key has been zoned T-6 under Miami 21, (Urban Core), one of the highest and most dense uses in the city. In addition, other environmentally significant and fragile areas are zoned CS, which may allow for considerable commercial development, including all the Marine Stadium Basin lands, which are adjacent to the Bill Sadowski Critical Wildlife Area, and the Virginia Key Park Trust lands, which include restored hammocks, dunes and beaches that are sea-turtle nesting areas.

In light of the extraordinary environmental resources of Virginia Key, I would urge you to consider amending the Miami 21 zoning atlas to a T-1 zone for environmental conservation for Virginia Key, including a majority of uplands, restored dunes and hammocks and land capable of being restored to natural states, as well as the North Point and City Landfill, , and all submerged lands, as well as beaches.

Miami 21 defines T-1 as follows:

“A Natural Transect (T1) Zone is a zone for environmental conservation.

a. A T1 Zone is to be left in an essentially natural state. Modification of the natural conditions shall be according to Local, State and Federal guidelines. Public access to T1 areas may be limited if it presents a threat to wildlife and plant life within the areas.

b. In a T1 Zone, improvements shall serve solely to protect natural elements. Any paved, graveled, mulched, boardwalk or otherwise improved surface or any habitable, enclosed or air conditioned space shall be kept to the minimum scale necessary to fulfill its purpose….. Only activities and improvements which reinforce the natural character shall be allowed and upon a finding that there is no negative effect to the environment based on a study of potential environmental impacts to be provided by the applicant.”

The Miami 21 T-1 natural areas zoning appears to be the “true” Public Parks zoning and consistent with your commitment to protect the natural resources of our community and restore the environmental values of Virginia Key while enhancing public access.

Sincerely,

Blanca Mesa
Friends of Virginia Key

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