Miami Beach to place landscaping around pumps

08/11/2014 3:48 PM

08/11/2014 4:53 PM

For Alex Podrizki, a long struggle with the city of Miami Beach, over the industrial pump installed in front of his home, has finally come to an end.

Podrizki, 32, was concerned the pump would hurt the value of his mother’s home. After a long process of negotiating with the city, both parties have reached an agreement.

“It went from horrible to terrible,” he said. “It’s not as bad as it was before but we’re stuck with it.”

The metallic pump was installed as part of the city’s initiative to reduce flooding in the Central Bayshore neighborhood. It is one of five pumps in the neighborhood, two of which were placed near homes.

In the case of Podrizki’s property, the city has now tinkered with the pump to make it look smaller, and will landscape around it to reduce its visual impact on the home.

“The panel has been moved, it’s been simplified, the structures have been dropped,” said David Martinez, director of Miami Beach’s Office of Capital Improvement Projects.

The other pump affecting a homeowner is beside Elizabeth Vivero’s recently remodeled 1930s home. Vivero, 62, interrupted the installation process in July when she found the city setting up the pump in front of her side gate.

“I told them to put it back to back, to cut in half,” she said.

Her pump was been made smaller and placed west of her driveway near the beginning of her neighbor’s backyard.

“Now you’re only looking at 30 inches of stuff, versus eight feet,” she said. “They’ve done the best job they could, given the circumstances.”

Martinez said placing the pumps in front of people’s homes is not ideal, but because the area is highly populated, placing them in alleys or green spaces is not always possible. However, he said all of the pumps will receive some landscaping to reduce the aesthetic impact.

“We are working with him in terms of doing other treatments,” he said, adding that before the landscaping gets done, the sidewalk will need to be replaced.

In recent years, Miami Beach has found itself headlining lists of cities in danger of being affected by sea level rise, and the city recently said it needs to spend about $400 million in coming years to deal with flooding.

Podrizki has come around to the idea of having the pump next to his house, as he understands that flooding is a serious issue.

“We’re stuck with that and we’re working to make it as least bad as possible,” he said.

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