Mayor Philip Stoddard preemptively withdrew several important ordinances regarding the Madison Square Project at Tuesday’s South Miami City Commission meeting, in anticipation that they would not have enough support to succeed.
The main item
The commission voted to table a resolution to draft ordinances amending the comprehensive plan, zoning map and land development code to the minimum changes needed for the proposed Madison Square Project to qualify for nine percent tax credit financing. The first ordinance withdrawn would change the designation of the Marshall Williamson property at Southwest 61st Court and Southwest 64 Terrace from single-family residential - two story, to multifamily residential - four story. The second ordinance would change the property’s zoning from small lot single-family residential districting RS-4 to low-density multifamily residential district RM-18.
In order to gain a required five-of-five commission vote on the project, it appears that the property will need to scale back from a proposed 75 units to 41 units. A special meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday to assess the project.
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“Whenever we do things to adjust the code to allow more things to happen, it requires a unanimous agreement of the commission,” Stoddard said. “If somebody digs in their heels, it doesn’t happen.”
“I think we will have enough money on the CRA side to do this. We finished paying off the land this year. That gives us a little bit of free capital, which we had planned to use for land acquisition, but we could certainly use it for matching funds on the CRA contribution toward this funding. The community has told me loud and clear that they didn’t feel that 41 units were sufficient to meet the needs of the community. They really urged me strongly to go for the full 75. So I did and the commission wouldn’t play along. I feel like I’m stuck between a commission that says no and a community that says yes.”
▪ Dangerous intersections: The commission unanimously approved a second reading ordinance provide the use of red light cameras to be in compliance with Florida law.
▪ Development deferred: The commission agreed to defer a resolution approving a special exception to construct a five story large-scale development at 6201 Sunset Dr. The 40,998 square foot site consists of a mixed-use building with a parking garage in the rear.
▪ Art festival: The commission voted 4-0 to waive special event fees and authorize the city manager to permit Chamber South to hold its 44th annual South Miami Art Festival on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 in South Miami.
They said it
Commissioner Gabriel Edmond: “My first issue is directed at Stoddard and (commissioners Bob) Welsh and (Josh) Liebman. The last meeting we had, we had this Madison Square item up here and I told you guys I hadn’t read it, and you guys hadn’t read it either. I asked for a simple request: to delay the item until we read it. (Liebman) insisted that we vote and (Welsh) agreed with him and (Stoddard) agreed as well. You insisted that these votes happen.”
“Tonight we are on the first reading of the same thing we had last week. It’s hard to work with people who don’t work with you, at all. Mr. Mayor, I really expected a lot better from you…what you guys did to me is forced votes. Fine, I voted no. Commissioner Liebman, it’s hard to work with you guys when you don’t work with me. I have a different vision for Madison Square. My vision is very different from where you guys are going.”
The next meeting
▪ When: 7 p.m. Oct. 20
▪ Where: City Hall, 6130 Sunset Dr., South Miami