I have been speaking to South Mayor Vice Mayor Walter Harris for several months regarding my concern about our city being included in the category of “dense urban area.” Harris went to our city manager, Steven Alexander, to discuss this. Alexander told Harris that the city is eligible for various funds, including grants, that it would not otherwise receive without that designation. Our citizenry is being kept in the dark about what will be demanded of our city for accepting any “outside” funds. I suspect that we will be forced to accept even more low-income developments that:
• Enrich developers by many millions of dollars at the taxpayers expense.
• Discriminate against the occupants of said housing by never providing the amount of parking that is mandated by ordinance in our Land Development Code.
• Increase density in this tiny city that is already very crowded and has been built out for many years.
• Place a burden of unsustainable density on the city’s infrastructure. Public transportation is woefully inadequate. Miami-Dade County’s water and sewer infrastructure is so broken that it is highly unethical to allow any new development to hook up to those systems until there is a sustainable system.
• Create an influx of additional low-income families without vehicles who have to cross U.S. 1 on foot (a deadly proposition) to reach our downtown district. South Miami’s restaurants and stores are mainly patronized by the affluent. Many of the middle-class residents have been priced out of our downtown district. Any newcomers will be relegated by financial status to the west side of U.S. 1, thereby creating a ghetto.
South Miami is under siege by developers who are destroying great numbers of decades old trees. The new tree ordinance does not protect even one tree from developers with deep pockets.
Remember, our city is a designated bird sanctuary, and trees are desperately needed to fight climate change.
Citizens, it is time to voice your concerns.
Antoinette Fischer, South Miami