April 1, 2013

Residents protest tall building next to Greynolds Park in North Miami Beach

Opponents of the development also have filed an appeal in court.

While liking or sharing a link on Facebook have become signs of modern protest, Karen Guth says real activism involves a little more effort.

“It makes people feel good to like or share something, but it doesn’t have an impact,” said Guth, who spent her Saturday afternoon making protest signs at Arch Creek Park.

Her cause: opposition to a multi-story building that may be erected near Greynolds Park.

A protest has been scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the development site, in the 17400 block of West Dixie Highway to show opposition to a rezoning the council approved to allow the development.

The council changed the property to a general business district, which allows for an up to 15 story building to be developed, but developer Braha-Dixie agreed on a restrictive covenant that limits the building size to 10 stories.

A site plan has not been submitted for approval on the property, according to City Planner Chris Heid, who added that once something is submitted a public hearing process will occur.

Some members of the community say a multi-story building near the park will take away from the feel of park and may be harmful to the environment.

“It would loom over the park and block the sun from getting to the plants and animals,” said Kim Lumpkin, chair of the Save Greynolds Park committee. “We are concerned about the environment and quality of life in the area.”

Lumpkin said she’s also concerned about the possibility of air and noise pollination caused by increased traffic in the area.

In addition to the protest, an appeal has been filed against the city claiming that the council’s decision violated the city’s code. It also says the city failed to properly disclose private conversations between city officials and interested parties as required under state law.

“It should have never be rezoned,” said Charles Baron, an attorney representing himself and three other people who are also opposed to the decision in the lawsuit.

City Attorney Darcee Siegel disagrees.

“‘The City Council made it’s decision based on substantial competent evidence after a duly noticed and advertised public hearing,” she said.

A fundraising event is also scheduled to take place from 7 p.m. to 11pm. Saturday at Luna Star Café, 775 NE 125th St.

A $10 entry fee will apply for this event.

Money raised is expected to cover legal costs and other fees associated with the cause, according to Lumpkin.

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