Letters to the Editor

Vote No on Ocean Terrace question

Miami Beach voters may wonder: After nine proposed height increases, a bait-and-switch highrise (the Dezerland), and now a ballot question threatening to build two massive towers on Ocean Terrace, are developers and the city done with their upzoning spree? Not a chance.

The chum of windfall profits will lure new predatory schemes, choking off what's left of our open sky, historic neighborhoods and congested traffic arteries.

The proposed zoning changes will allow developer Sander Scher to build a 250-foot-tall condo with around 70 residential units and a 125-foot-tall hotel with 120 hotel rooms. Back in August, the Miami Beach commission approved moving forward with the zoning changes that will enable Scher to build the pair of high-rises at 74th Street and Ocean Terrace.

Currently, the height limit for new construction is 75 feet. Scher is championing to increase Ocean Terrace’s floor ratio, or (FAR) from 2.0 to 3.0. The critical zoning change needs voter approval on Nov. 3.

Unless residents vote No, the Ocean Terrace FAR proposal (a big increase in massing) is such a bad deal it would demolish nine of 11 historic buildings, and their attorney dismisses 50% more hotel rooms as “a little padding.”

It rips the heart out of a district whose low-scale historic charm would no longer be compatible with huge towers, pedestals, and a one-story luxury shopping mall.

Contrary to the laughably deceptive ads,which give a phony illusion of down-zoning, this is a monstrous North Beach nightmare that won’t see the light of day — if voters simply hold the line. Vote No on the FAR upzoning (#55) to hold back a relentless flood of overdevelopment on Miami Beach.

Let's trim the developer's steroid wish list with the help of North Beach's new master planner — the now-activated Neighborhood Alliance.

Mark Needle,

former chair,

Save Miami Beach PAC