A city of Miami Commission meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday that’s critical to the legacy of not only Virginia Key, but to the city of Miami. Commissioners will be voting on whether to keep or throw out the winning bid for a mega marina on Virginia Key.
Why should you care? Let me start with what I think is the most important reason: The winning proposal cannot be built as proposed.
If it goes to referendum in November, you will be voting on a phony plan. Zoning, permitting, existing leases, land ownership, financial arrangements will have to be waived or amended in order for the city to push through the scope of development desired. Why? Because the goal of this project is to maximize the revenues to the city. These changes cannot be done until after the referendum.
So what you vote on, if it succeeds, will not be what you get. This is public record — you can go online and read all about RFP 12-14-077. The Second Pre-Proposal Conference where the potential bidders ask and the city officials answer questions is particularly revealing.
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Another important reason is the winning bid being accepted or rejected today ignores many important aspects of the Virginia Key Master Plan. The public and many stakeholder groups worked for more than three years to put together this comprehensive plan to ensure that Virginia Key would be a legacy that our city and our children would be proud of. Instead we will be getting a project that will enrich city officials and a developer.
The lease for this property is for 75 years and the revenue is estimated to be a $1 billion — considering legacy and future impact is critical.
Urge your commissioner to throw out the winning proposal. Let’s start anew with the correct focus for the Virginia Key Marina project and with the correct input from all stakeholders and the Virginia Key Advisory Board.