Saturday, September 08, 2007

Bay of Pigs Museum on Biscayne Bay's Parcel B? I'm no lawyer but...by Geniusofdespair

Although never entered into Miami Dade Parks inventory (the Park’s Dept. tells me), Parcel B is still zoned Parks and Recreation.

So legal eagles here is my question and my answer: Am I correct?

If it is county land and it is zoned Parks and Recreation, it must go for a countywide referendum because of Article 7 (The Dan Paul Amendment) of the Home Rule Charter. All County Parks are governed by this Amendment. However, the Amendment says:

"Note: This Article does not apply to municipal property in Coral Gables, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Miami, Sweetwater and West Miami.”

So if it is County Property it is not constituted as “municipal” property of the the City of Miami although it retains the City Zoning. Thus, if it is County Property subject to the Dan Paul Amendment this section would apply, and a Bay of Pigs Museum and Library atop a parking garage would have to be voted on countywide:

SECTION 7.02. RESTRICTIONS AND EXCEPTIONS.
In furtherance of this policy parks shall be used for public park purposes only, and subject to the limited exceptions set forth in this Article, there shall be no permanent structures or private commercial advertising erected in a public park or private commercial use of a public park or renewals, expansions, or extensions of existing leases, licenses, or concessions to private parties of public park property, unless each such structure, lease, license, renewal, expansion, extension, concession or use shall be approved by a majority vote of the voters in a County-wide referendum.

The people of this county did vote once before on this property and the vote was for Soccer Fields (It was part of the American Airlines Arena Referendum). Can the County Commission just cast that vote aside? By the way, City of Miami waterfront property is also subject to a citywide vote (Carollo Amendment). I am including the entire Article for Legal Eagles to look at but I think we would need another countywide vote:

ARTICLE - 7
PARKS, AQUATIC PRESERVES, AND
PRESERVATION LANDS
Note: This Article does not apply to municipal property in Coral Gables, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Miami, Sweetwater and West Miami. See Section 7.04.
SECTION 7.01. POLICY.
Parks, aquatic preserves, and lands acquired by the County for preservation shall be held in trust for the education, pleasure, and recreation of the public and they shall be used and maintained in a manner which will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations as a part of the public's irreplaceable heritage. They shall be protected from commercial development and exploitation and their natural landscape, flora and fauna, and scenic beauties shall be preserved. In lands acquired by the County for preservation and in parks along the Ocean or the Bay the public's access to and view of the water shall not be obstructed or impaired by buildings or other structures or concessions which are in excess of 1500 square feet each. Adequate maintenance shall be provided.

SECTION 7.02. RESTRICTIONS AND EXCEPTIONS.
In furtherance of this policy parks shall be used for public park purposes only, and subject to the limited exceptions set forth in this Article, there shall be no permanent structures or private commercial advertising erected in a public park or private commercial use of a public park or renewals, expansions, or extensions of existing leases, licenses, or concessions to private parties of public park property, unless each such structure, lease, license, renewal, expansion, extension, concession or use shall be approved by a majority vote of the voters in a County-wide referendum. Nothing in this Article shall prevent any contract with federally tax-exempt not-for-profit youth, adult, and senior cultural, conservation and parks and recreation program providers. To ensure aquatic preserves, lands acquired by the County for preservation, and public parks or parts thereof which are nature preserves, beaches, natural forest areas, historic or archeological areas, or otherwise possess unique natural values in their present state, such as Matheson Hammock, Greynolds Park, Redlands Fruit and Spice Park, Castellow Hammock, Crandon Park, Trail Glades Park, Deering Estate Park, Pine Shore Park, Old Cutler Hammock, Chapman Field, Tamiami Pinelands, Wainright Park, Larry and Penny Thompson Park, Whispering Pines Hammock, Mangrove Preserve, Owaissa Bauer Park, Fuchs Hammock, Black Point Marina, Simpson Park, Sewell Park, Barnes Park, Virginia Key, mangrove preserves, and all other natural or historical resource based parks do not lose their natural or historical values, any structure, lease, license, renewal, extension, concession or use in any of this class of public parks or in aquatic preserves and preservation lands must be approved by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the voters in a County-wide referendum. No park shall be designed to be used beyond its appropriate carrying capacity and to the extent required by law all parks and facilities and permitted special events and concessions operating in the parks shall be fully accessible to persons with disabilities. Nothing in this Article shall prevent the maintenance of existing facilities, the maintenance, operation, and renovation of existing golf course and marina restaurants at their existing square footage by government agencies or private operators, provided such private operators are chosen as a result of competitive selection and their initial contract terms are limited to no more than ten years, or the construction, operation, maintenance, and repair by government agencies or private operators of or issuance of temporary permits for:

A. Appropriate access roads, bridges, fences, lighting, flag poles, entrance features, picnic shelters, tables, grills, benches, irrigation systems, walls, erosion control devices, utilities, trash removal, parking and security and fire facilities for the primary use of the park system;
B. Food and concession facilities each not in excess of 1500 square feet of enclosed space, with any complementary outdoor or covered areas needed to service park patrons;
C. User-participation non-spectator recreation and, playground facilities, golf courses and golf-course related facilities, and bandstands and bandshells containing less than 1,000 spectator seats and athletic facilities, sports fields and arenas containing less than 3,000 spectator seats;
D. Facilities for marinas, sightseeing and fishing boats, visiting military vessels, and fishing;
E. Park signage and appropriate plaques and monuments;
F. Rest rooms;
G. Fountains, gardens, and works of art;
H. Park service facilities, senior, day care and pre-school facilities, small nature centers with not more than one classroom;
I. Film permits, temporary fairs, art exhibits, performing arts, concerts, cultural and historic exhibitions, regattas, athletic contests and tournaments, none of which require the erection of permanent structures;
J. Advertising in connection with sponsorship of events or facilities in the park, provided however all such facilities and uses are compatible with the particular park and are scheduled so that such events do not unreasonably impair the public use of the park or damage the park.
K. Programming partnerships with qualified federally tax exempt not-for-profit youth, adult, and senior cultural, conservation, and parks and recreation program providers;
L. Agreements with cable, internet, telephone, electric or similar service providers or utilities, so long as any installations are underground or do not adversely impact natural resources, or parks facilities and uses.
No park facilities, golf courses, or County lands acquired for preservation shall be converted to or used for non-park offices, purposes, or uses. The County, the municipalities, and agencies or groups receiving any public funding shall not expend any public money or provide any publicly funded services in kind to any project which does not comply with this Article. No building permit or certificate of occupancy shall be issued for any structure in violation of this Article. The restrictions applying to parks in this Article shall not apply to the Dade County Youth Fair site, Metro Zoo, Tamiami Stadium, Haulover Fishing Pier, the Dade County Auditorium, the Museum of Science, the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Trail Glade Range, the Orange Bowl, the Commodore Ralph Munroe Marine Stadium, the Seaquarium, Curtis Park track and stadium, Fairchild Tropical Gardens, and mini and neighborhood parks except that no mini or neighborhood park may be leased or disposed of unless a majority of the residents residing in voting precincts any part of which is within 1 mile of the park authorize such sale or lease by majority vote in an election.

SECTION 7.03. ENFORCEMENT AND CONSTRUCTION.
All elections required by this Article shall be held either in conjunction with state primary or general elections or as part of bond issue elections. The provisions of this Article may be enforced in the same manner as provided in Section (C) of the Citizens' Bill of Rights of this Charter. The provisions of this Article shall be liberally construed in favor of the preservation of all park lands, aquatic preserves, and preservation lands. If any provision of this Article shall be declared invalid it shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of this Article. This Article shall not be construed to illegally impair any previously existing valid written contractual commitments or bids or bonded indebtedness.

SECTION 7.04. JURISDICTION.
Except as otherwise provided herein the provisions of this Article shall apply to all County and municipal parks, aquatic preserves, and lands acquired by the County for preservation now in existence or hereafter acquired, provided that if this Article was not favorably voted upon by a majority of the voters voting in any municipality at the time of the adoption of this Article the municipal parks of such municipality shall be excluded from the provisions of this Article.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why are we insulting the museum by putting it with a huge parking garage? Should we not respectfully just build a stand alone museum?

C.L. Jahn said...

Ahh, perhaps the point of building the museum is to hide the fact that what the County Commission REALLY wants to put there is a parking garage. The museum is merely camouflage. It's the old bait and switch.

Mensa said...

If interested parties started a legal action to block this improper use of waterfront property, it would be tied up in court so long that the developers would give up. Now a days it is much harder to pay off a judge than a lowly politician.

Anonymous said...

Something should be done because this is a matter that should be decided by the whole community. How can our officials take away the commons (Our parks) without our consent?

PeconicPuffin said...

Earth to government: A garage is not a museum.

Anonymous said...

Parcel B, along with the entire Bayfront Park, American Airlines Arena land, and Bicentenial Park are all owned by the City of Miami, as such, is subject to the exception mentioned above. No referendum needed, unless the City leases or sells the property to a third party pursuant to Chapter 29 of the City Charter (sale of waterfront property). If that happens, it would have to go through the same process as Flagstone Island Gardens (went to vote in 01 or 02 and gained approval by more than 60% of the electorate). If it is not leased or sold, and they create some sort of management type agreement, they may be able to get around this.

Genius of Despair said...

wrong last anon AA and Parcel B not owned by City.

Parcel B is not owned by the city. It is owned by the county-- they bought when the city got into a financial hole....it is governed by City of Miami zoning but it is NOT city property.

Anonymous said...

That's right, Carrollo used the land deal to help right the financial ship at the City... So much for that. Now, what you really need to look at is the language in the referendum that approved the AAA, not the renderings, etc., that were proposed. I doubt that the proposed site plan was incorporated into the referendum by reference. My guess, and I haven't seen the language, is that it probably uses some broad public purpose type language in connection with the development of Parcel B. I think you need to look at the language approved by the referendum to tie the loose ends together on the analysis...

Parcel B was promised for soccer said...

Parcel B was promised by Alex Penelas and the Miami Heat owners to be a soccer field. The brochures preceeding the public vote showed a beautiful green soccer field.