The Abraham Tract got all the action at last Monday’s Miami Springs council meeting, some good and some not so good. The area just east of the airport, including the Embassy Suites and formerly Shoney’s and Bennigan’s, is known as the Abraham Tract.
The Abraham Tract was annexed by Miami Springs in 1984 and is now a district within the city; it has its own zoning and usage regulations. It is a district that allows adult-related businesses and has several properties with tax revenue potential for Miami Springs.
At Monday’s meeting, the council approved two ordinances on first reading that establish current regulations of adult businesses that are protected by the freedom of expression requirement of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
They also approved a site plan at the old Shoney’s location for a 135-room Hyatt Place Hotel that is expected to be completed within the next 18 months. The developer, Travelers Group, recently built the Comfort Suites on 36th Street, which was named by Trip Advisor as one of the top 10 airport hotels in the country.
The council had to adjourn to act as the Local Planning Agency and recommend to itself that the two ordinances regarding zoning and regulation of adult businesses were appropriate. An expert law firm, represented at the meeting by attorney Susan Trevarthen, had been paid a fee to make sure Miami Springs would comply with all laws regarding adult-related businesses.
After re-opening the meeting, the council quickly passed both ordinances unanimously and praised Trevarthen and her firm for their excellent work. They also indicated it was not necessary that she return to the next meeting, Monday, Feb. 25, when the two ordinances are expected to pass on second reading and officially become part of the boundary regulations for the Abraham Tract.
Although there is no guarantee any adult-related businesses will pop up in the area, it is certain another new hotel will be added to the tax base in Miami Springs. The Hyatt Place will be the city’s first “green building” and will have six floors of 35 rooms each, an open pool and deck, a fitness center, a lounge, and dining facilities.
A Power Point presentation, done at the meeting by Travelers Group representative Steve Marin, was really unnecessary window dressing. The site plan had the blessings of City Planner Jim Holland and the administration; the council could not wait to unanimously approve this large-scale development in the Abraham Tract District.
In other news,
• Presented the Distinguished Budget Award to Assistant City Manager/Finance Director William Alonso for his work and his team’s work in preparing the city’s budget.
• Approved an expenditure of $8,000 by a 4-1 vote (Ator dissenting) to NGF Consulting for professional services at the Miami Springs Golf Course.
• Read into the record a press release from Buckeye Partners to clarify a Miami Herald article that stated “a proposed pipeline underneath Miami Springs would serve as the sole source of jet fuel to MIA.” The release said a feasibility study was being done and no decision has been made to alter the current pipeline or construct any new pipelines at this location.