Key Biscayne

Key Biscayne plans to sue city of Miami over Marine Stadium plans

A rendering of a restored Miami Marine Stadium, with the surrounding area redeveloped. The project, pitched unsuccessfully by Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, is an example of what Key Biscayne officials would find too intense for Virginia Key.
A rendering of a restored Miami Marine Stadium, with the surrounding area redeveloped. The project, pitched unsuccessfully by Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, is an example of what Key Biscayne officials would find too intense for Virginia Key. NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION

Key Biscayne plans to file a lawsuit against the city of Miami early next week over the Marine Stadium and flex park development plans.

The village won’t move forward with the lawsuit until it goes through the dispute resolution process provided for under state law, according to village attorney Stephen J. Helfman.

Chapter 164 of the Florida Statutes says if one governmental body files suit against another, the suit needs to be stayed until all other conflict resolution efforts are exhausted.

Alice Bravo, Miami’s deputy city manager, attended Tuesday night’s village council meeting to explain the Marine Stadium redevelopment deal, which includes development of a 16 million-dollar flex park, and to answer the council’s questions.

Bravo got some heat from the council over concerns that the investment in the park will turn it into an event venue and bring more traffic and safety issues on the Rickenbacker Causeway.

“I know there are folks concerned about the level of investment the city is putting in here is because we plan to run this as an event venue, and that’s not the case,” Bravo said.

But the council wasn’t buying it.

“We don’t trust this,” Vice Mayor Franklin Caplan said.

With the Marine Stadium redevelopment comes the Miami International Boat Show in 2016. Council member Michael Kelly was concerned about the approximately 100,000 people the boat show attracts over a five-day period. The boat show would coincide with the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, making entering and exiting the causeway more difficult.

“It’s gonna be utter gridlock. We’re not idiots. We can see this coming a mile away,” Kelly said. “It’s not just the inconvenience, this is a safety issue. What happens if one of our elderly people have a heart attack? How are they going to get off the island when there’s utter gridlock on that causeway?”

In other business:

▪ The council approved a conditional use application filed by Winn-Dixie that will bring a liquor store to 624 Crandon Blvd.

▪ The council approved on first reading an ordinance that prohibits the operation of boats within the Mashta Flats.

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