Letters to the Editor

North Beach is ready to shine

Miami Beach’s vibrant neighborhoods, like like South of Fifth and Sunset Harbour, are thriving commercial and residential districts that draw residents and visitors alike.

Now North Beach is ready for a facelift after decades of decline. Apartments are hard to find, retail spaces are empty, pedestrian access is limited, and crime is a problem. Voters can help get North Beach back on track.

One year ago, the Miami Beach Commission unanimously approved the North Beach Master Plan, a neighborhood blueprint that was the culmination of three years of community input and consultation with some of the world’s top urban planners.

More than 1,000 members of the community took part in the process. Their priorities were clear: Ensure preservation of historically significant buildings; revitalize the neighborhood’s core; and make sure North Beach remains resilient for future generations.

The cornerstone of the North Beach master plan is the creation of Town Center, a 10-square-block residential and commercial hub envisioned along 71st Street, which currently cannot be developed because of inconsistent zoning allowances. If voters approve a zoning change on the upcoming ballot, Town Center will bring low- and mid-rise buildings comprising shops, restaurants, offices and attainable housing developed in-scale with the area.

Town Center will be where families congregate, local businesses thrive, and young professionals live. Streets will be more walkable, accessing the beach will be easier, housing will be plentiful, and North Beach residents will no longer have to get behind the wheel for their everyday shopping and dining.

Residents, businesspeople, preservationists, city officials and property owners have reached consensus about the future direction of North Beach. Now it’s up to all Miami Beach voters to implement the North Beach master plan with a vote in favor of #82.

Ricky Arriola,

commissioner, Miami Beach