I am a Miami Beach resident. I live on Alton Road. I have been listening to the heated debate about the proposed convention center hotel on which we will vote on Tuesday.
Two issues should be considered when casting votes. First is the scale of the building. From the images which are finally published of the 800-room hotel, it will greatly overshadow the neighborhood. What will be the visual and physical impact on the New World Symphony building, its much-used park and the entire community? Will a hotel of this size open the doors of developers to taller and taller buildings?
Second is the issue of traffic. Consider the Alton Road residential neighborhood. I am reading discussions about raising height limits in Sunset Harbor to the west of Alton Road up to 20th Street. A new, small Marriott Hotel is opening sometime soon on 17th Street west of Alton.
All of this means more vehicles on Alton Road. Supporters of the convention center hotel contend that people who stay there will not rent car. But what about those who fill the touted 1,750 hotel jobs? Consider the rapid increase of rents on South Beach recently written about in the Herald, which no longer allows service workers to live in the community where they work?
When the Venetian Causeway was closed, northbound Alton Road in front of the golf course was a slow-moving parking lot from 3 p.m. until about 6:30 p.m. The Venetian is now open, and the traffic still remains heavy, often at a standstill.
Please consider the quality of life that we are used to on Miami Beach when voting.
Annette B. Fromm, Miami Beach