With regard to the May 22 letter to the editor from Commissioner Aleman, “Wake up Miami Beach, resiliency matters,” Miami Beach is actually leading the way to create solutions to protect the city against sea-level rise.
We are “wide awake,” and unrelenting in our efforts!
However, the fast pace of the city has caused disruption of life and livelihood for residents, tourists and businesses calling for thoughtful implementation rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.
Miami Beach has completed work on some of its most vulnerable streets and is planning to extend the time-line of its flood protection plan, but there is no interest in continuing an old plan that may not be in the best interest of the city. For this reason, the city commission voted to “pause the city’s infrastructure roll-out” plan.
Mayor Gelber has already noted that at the next commission meeting, he will present a reorientation of previous plans, based on the recent Harvard Study and the Urban Land Use audit to “insure that our efforts are not misguided or our tax dollars are not misspent.”
Neighborhoods are subject in different ways to the risk of sea-level rise, causing specific challenges that merit specific solutions. The city must use a transparent, community-inclusive approach prior to changing zoning, redevelopment incentives or other changes.
Special attention must also be given to guidelines that will protect the city’s historic properties. As with all significant change, it is imperative that the city engage with affected neighborhood associations to address their specific needs and respond to concerns before finalizing plans.
Tanya K. Bhatt,
Miami Beach United, Inc.