Political scene

Did Miami Beach homeowners association back convention center plan?

 

cveiga@MiamiHerald.com

The Palm View Historic District Association supports a plan to overhaul the Miami Beach Convention Center District — or does it?

As Miami Beach moves closer to choosing a team to execute a billion-dollar overhaul of its convention center district, the two finalists for the project are racking up endorsements.

A press release sent out Tuesday announced in bold, capital letters that the Palm View association is the latest group to favor the South Beach ACE plan for a revamped convention center, new hotel and surrounding private development.

Trouble is, the association doesn’t exist — at least not in the traditional sense.

“As active members of the Palm View neighborhood, we know there is currently no association, no board, no dues-paying members, no elected officers, and no vote taken by any such neighborhood organization,” residents Sheryl Gold and Jane Losson wrote to city officials.

That’s true, but it’s also by design, said resident Michael Jarboe, who explained that the “very quiet, eclectic, bohemian community” purposefully decided against officially incorporating an association group.

Instead, Jarboe said he acts as a conduit between the city and his neighbors, funneling news to residents through an email list. He is listed on the city’s website as the neighborhood’s representative.

“Both teams were aware about how our neighborhood works, because I’m always clear when I talk to people about that,” he said.

After meetings with the ACE team and competing Portman-CMC team, Jarboe said there was a general, informal consensus that the ACE plan would be better for their neighborhood. Jarboe said neighbors who attended asked him to write the city supporting the ACE plan, so he did — and then he sent out a mass email asking residents with opposing views also to submit their thoughts to the city.

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