Palmetto Bay

Soapbox

Letter: Palmetto Bay council should reject giant lights for athletic fields

 

How to sound off

To submit your letter, e-mail sandron@MiamiHerald.com, or write Soapbox, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Miami, FL 33172. Fax: 305-376-5287. Letters must address a specific LOCAL issue, and must be signed with a name, city or neighborhood, as well as a telephone number for verification purposes. Letters more than 350 words will not be accepted, and writers are limited to one letter every four weeks. Letters will run as space allows, and may be edited for length, style and clarity. The deadline for letters is noon Wednesday.


Palmetto Bay Councilman Timothy Schaffer is seeking lighting modifications to Ordinance 30-110 that will forever change the face of our community.

These changes would allow stadium lights throughout the residential districts of the village on outdoor athletic fields/recreational areas. These lights could be used seven days a week until 10 or 11 p.m., bringing additional noise and traffic to your neighborhood. His proposal places no restrictions on the height of poles, number of poles, number of light bulbs, wattage, or proximity to neighboring homes.

Immediately after Schaffer’s election in November 2012, he was interviewed by a Miami Herald reporter who wrote that Schaffer supported the Neighborhood Protection Ordinance and a related charter amendment. “It is clear that almost 67 percent of the residents said they want the amendment. It is my responsibility to follow what they want,” he told the Herald.

Apparently Schaffer no longer finds neighborhood protection important. Who or what has caused this 180-degree change?

One private school recently submitted athletic field lighting plans that included more than 40 light poles ranging in height from 60 to 90 feet. The poles had almost 300 bulbs – each 1,500 watts. Imagine the domino effect of this and more throughout our village. Currently, the Palmetto Bay code does not allow this in a residential neighborhood, but Schaffer wants to change this.

Approval by the Village Council will allow lights on athletic fields – existing and future.

Schaffer’s ordinance will be considered on May 5 during the 7 p.m. Village Council meeting at Village Hall, 9705 E. Hibiscus St. Before the vote, there will be a public hearing on this item where you can speak for up to three minutes.

This is your opportunity to voice your opinion and it is your responsibility to make sure Councilman Schaffer and the other Village Council members know what you want for the future of your community. Your input is critical.

Gary Pastorella, Palmetto Bay

‘McMansions’ are bad for Pinecrest

Re: Council puts off 'McMansion' limits (Neighbors, April 13): I agree that McMansions are ruining Pinecrest's character, so why can't we offer a blueprint to preserve our beauty and identity and still grow and prosper? Why must we bend to builders to remain economically viable? Why must these megalomaniacal palaces become the norm?

Perhaps we should require that the bigger the house, the more efficient it must be. Mandate on-site renewable energy such as solar panels, etc., or limit energy consumption to a house 6,000 to 8,000 sq. feet. Perhaps some of the older village residents could place restrictive covenants on their property when they sell. I know I would. These energy-wasting castles would be so inappropriate in my neighborhood.

The Village Council is in the driver's seat, so let's tell the council that we do not believe restrictions would harm our neighborhood. I believe restrictions would only make our existing homes more valuable. Isn't quality of life worth something? Isn't it hypocritical to promote no expansions on U.S. 1 while openly embracing warehouse-sized home?

As is often the case, the people that are attracted to the character of a community inadvertently change it because they may not understand or fully appreciate it.

Patricia Kyle Lawrence, Pinecrest

Read more Palmetto Bay stories from the Miami Herald

  • Palmetto Bay

    Despite losing appeal, Palmetto Bay official continues fight against environmental suit

    Palmetto Bay Vice-Mayor John DuBois continues to fight a county lawsuit against him, ongoing since September 2012, which alleges he illegally trimmed mangroves and filled wetlands on his 8-acre bay-front property.

  • Soapbox

    Letter: South Miami mayor is a mosquito-control novice

    It was reassuring to learn in Soapbox (Mosquito spraying can have negative consequences, Aug. 17) that South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, a professor of biology at Florida International University, has discovered what most residents of his city knew decades ago – that mosquitoes breed in standing water, including the contents of bromeliads. But it wasn’t reassuring to learn that Stoddard apparently now feels qualified to advise the rest of us about his belated discovery – and to impose on all his neighbors his own conclusions about the impact of mosquito spraying in this region. If Stoddard had lived here during the weeks after Hurricane Andrew, he might have acquired a greater understanding of how far the quality of human life can deteriorate in a former swamp when mosquito spraying is suspended even temporarily.

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">IN HONOR OF THE LITTLE WARRIOR:</span> Briana Vega, a 12-year-old student at Westminster Christian School, lost her battle to acute myeloid leukemia in February. Students and educators from Westminster have teamed up with the Live Like Bella Foundation and created a fishing tournament at Shake-A-Leg Miami in Coconut Grove to raise funds for research in AML.

    Miami-Dade

    Fishing tournament to raise money for leukemia research

    Briana Vega, a 12-year-old student at Westminster Christian School in Palmetto Bay, lost her battle to acute myeloid leukemia in February, two years after being diagnosed with cancer.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK