Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Bizarro Politics in Palmetto Bay. By Geniusofdespair

Not to be outdone by Hudstead, Palmetto Bay vies for first place:

Now you have to remember this issue was a quasi-Judicial item on the Agenda May 2nd.

Somehow the Vice Mayor of Palmetto Bay, who lives near the project, wrote to residents before the vote and even quotes himself in his release, never saw that before.

Dade County Pine

Regarding the project in question, I toured the swapped property on Old Cuttler Road and saw Dade County Pines for the first time. I did think they didn't exist anymore. I was pleased with the swap because of the quality of the developer owned lands being swapped. I do not know about zoning changes made by the council in 2008 or the circumstances of how the developer got the property. I am just commenting on the property I toured. However, I would rather see the development back further from the road anyway.

The item passed except for Vice Mayor John Dubois, who did a reversal on recusing himself (He lives very close to this property) and Councilwoman Karen Cunningham, Dubois' best bud on the Council. She is also eyeing the Mayor seat of Mayor Eugene Flinn. Speaking of friends, Dubois temporarily housed an accused sex offender of young girls in his home for his friend.

Here is the Dubois email to residents, sent out looking like a press release, before the quasi-Judicial vote:
For Immediate Release - May 1st, 2016
PALMETTO BAY MAYOR CONTINUES TO SUPPORT A MASSIVE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT THAT COULD TURN OLD CUTLER ROAD INTO A PARKING LOT
(Palmetto Bay, FL) - The Village of Palmetto Bay, long renowned as a quiet, picturesque, and environmentally responsible bedroom community is on the brink of becoming just another over-developed, traffic congested municipality in Miami-Dade County - if the Village's Mayor, Eugene Flinn, and his developer friend get their way.

While serving as Mayor during his inaugural term in February of 2005, Eugene Flinn and his developer friend began increasing the residential development density of the old Burger King Corporate property, now known as the "Palmetto Bay Village Center" on Old Cutler Road, despite strong development opposition by the community for decades. On June 9th, 2008, Flinn voted to "Up-Zone" the property from exclusive use for office space to allow an additional 100 townhomes and 300 bedrooms/units for elderly housing. At the time, the developer stated - "this [elderly housing] type of facility would lessen traffic flow."
Palmetto Bay Vice Mayor John DuBois, who lives a few properties to the North, believes that if the proposed ordinances recently presented to the Village Council and supported by Mayor Flinn are approved, there will be a major traffic crisis in Palmetto Bay. The traffic generated by 100 homes Flinn initially approved in 2008 along with traffic from the additional 385 homes he is trying to approve now could increase car traffic by a factor of 5 on a road that already resembles a parking lot during morning and evening rush hours. This act would destroy the quality of life for residents of Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.

To justify this 5-fold increase in residential traffic flow, Mayor Flinn and his developer friend are now claiming that "it is a good deal for the Village because Palmetto Bay is getting 40 acres of new park land." This is an expertly crafted deception that has even pulled the wool over the eyes of the environmental community. The reality is that these 40 acres include environmentally sensitive lands that cannot be developed for residential purposes. These 40 acres are divided into 2 sections - first is a 22-acre section which already has a land use designation of "Parks and Recreation" the second are 18-acres of mangroves and wetlands that are environmentally protected by government regulation.
"The Mayor's actions could result in a traffic disaster to already gridlocked roads used by residents of Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay that would only benefit Flinn's developer friend." - Said Vice Mayor John Dubois. - Added Dubois
Disclosure: This news release is purely the opinion of John DuBois

If I had it my way, I would draft Erica Watts, an incredible woman (sitting next to Al Sunshine) to be the next Vice Mayor of Palmetto Bay. Erica You Must Run!

BTW wetlands are not really as protected by Government regulation as Dubois said. If they were, we wouldn't have half the development in Florida that we have. The Developer is able to do mitigation somewhere else (there are very lucrative mitigation banks) for destroying wetlands and bingo, he or she has their development.

Mayor Flinn said of his vote:
I received no donations from Scott Silver the owner of the Palmetto Bay Village Center. He is an acquaintance, not a friend.

My vote was based upon the law as presented by our village attorney, the facts, the traffic study which showed no impact from the existing plan, as well as the fact that I was able to preserve 40 acres of land. I am looking forward to preserving and beginning a similar effort to what is going on on the Cutler Bay side with their restoration along Old Cutler Road.

Mayor Eugene Flinn responds.

34 comments:

Environmentalist said...

So this blog now supports huge development projects when the developer is a friend of Eugene Flinn? I think the deal reeks.

Geniusofdespair said...

I said I supported the land swap. Exactly:

"I do not know about zoning changes made by the council in 2008 or the circumstances of how the developer got the property. I am just commenting on the property I toured."

Learn to fucking read.

Anonymous said...

This project should have passed with a 5-0 vote. There are only two reason why it did not. 1) It is next door to John Dubois who wants nothing built near his palace on the water. I bet he does not want any witnesses to the kind of parties that go on up on his roof. 2) Karen Cunningham and Dubois share the same campaign manager who wants to eventually run Palmetto Bay as he runs Cutler Bay.

I bet the vote would have been a 5-0 or 4-1 vote had the property owner hired the right lobbyist/campaign manager.

Anonymous said...

The owner had the right to build 400 units. The additional 85 units come from transferring the building rights off the land that will now become park land. Palmetto Bays attorney stated that the 30 year covenant on the land lining Old Cutler Road expires in 2019 or before. Once it expires, the owner could request zoning to allow up to an additional 220 units on Old Cutler instead of the 85 that he agreed to accept under this deal. This deal stopped an additional 135 units from being built!!! Had the rest of the council voted with Cunningham and Dubois in a few years we might have had over twice as many units and cars and lost the opportunity to save 40 acres of land for parks.

EugeneFlinn said...

I do want to specifically address one of his scurrilous allegations at this time. I am familiar with Scott Silver solely through his ownership and participation in the Palmetto Bay Village Center. We are not social acquaintances. If fact, I am not sure I have ever run into him outside of any event other than those I have attended at the Palmetto Bay Village Center. He also served on the Downtown redevelopment Task Force (DRTF). All past and present members of the village council would have equal opportunity to become familiar with Mr. Silver through the DRTF, including Mr. DuBois.

There will be more regarding the facts underlying this decision at a later date. Bottom line is that we now have ownership/control of 40 acres, over 20 of which are located directly along Old Cutler Road that will be protected in perpetuity.

Geniusofdespair said...

To be accurate, Eye on Miami does not oppose all development or infill. We oppose development on sensitive land and outside the UDB. We do oppose stupid developments like the nail clipper.

David said...

Quasi judicial and he sends out a press release quoting himself? Is this guy off his rocker? Stick to playing poker DuBois. I can't fathom your knowing how to bluff, not clever enough. You are serving your community, you are serving you.

Anonymous said...

Erica Watts rocks. She is the president of the Coral Reef Elementary PTA. She is a candidate who would fight to protect our children. Run Erica run.

David said...

Not serving your community.

Anonymous said...

We love you Erica. Please run. Think of the community. You have a lot to offer. People over politics. The vice mayor is garbage.

Anonymous said...

This appears to be another example of the vice mayor using his fake press release to try to manipulate the community. The fact is the protection of the acreage on Old Cutler minimizes development in the long run, not increase it.
The vice mayor seems to have a very sleazy streak that comes out too often.

Anonymous said...

The mayor did not vote in a vacuum in 2008. He is just one vote Mr. Dubois. So when you say he I would assume you meant to say they. It is interesting that Gary Pastorella is on the same side as the man who sued him, John Dubois.

Anonymous said...

Call or e-mail Erica Watts and tell her that she has a clear path to being our next vice mayor. Vote for someone who cares for victims, not the victimizers.

We want Erica.

Anonymous said...

You are known by the company you keep. We need Erica to defend us from the David Singer, John DuBois, Karen Cunningham sleaze. All brought to you by the same political machine.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you GOD! What a bunch of hogwash. Sleazy Flinn led the effort to allow 400 freaking homes to be built on our byscayne bay corridor. That's a fact. Check your history. Now he swaps land that's allready designated parks and recreation and some other swampland so they can add another fucking 85 homes on our bay!!! WTF!! Dubois may be an Asshole. I never voted for that guy. He's weard. But this is a bunch of bullshit. Can't believe your selective environmentalism is based on friends and foes. Very disappointing.

Geniusofdespair said...


Ahhh come on bad speller, I Love you. I hate housing but I know that housing will be under water soon enough! So who gives a fuck?

Anonymous said...

Erica Watts v. John DuBois would be an interesting race. You have to ask yourself who would trust with your child?

Anonymous said...

Ho many of you watched the meeting? The evidence was that the Burger King site once had up to 1,300 units approved and buildings up to 175 high. 400 units is a fraction of what they could have. It is clear that neither DuBois or Cunningham remember the Palmer law suit or maybe they don't care. It is not their money.

Anonymous said...

9 out of 10 accused child molesters would prefer to stay at the DuBois bay side mansion. The GPS signal is very strong there.

Evan Skornick said...

I haven't been involved in this issue for many years now, but I know that during my time working for the Miami office of the SFWMD, Mayor Flynn was a staunch advocate of protecting and preserving the undeveloped lands and the bedroom-community feel of his city. He lobbied hard for more open spaces/parklands, and enhancements to existing sensitive wetland communities. He also openly opposed portions of the South Miami-Dade Watershed Study and Plan over concerns of increased development/higher density along the US1 corridor, and his belief that it would lead to corresponding increases in traffic within his City's borders on US 1 and Old Cutler Road. My knowledge of him suggests that what the Vice Mayor has accused him of in this press release/e-mail would be far outside of his character and past actions. Just my two cents...

gw said...

Does anyone in this god-forsaken county care about the quality of life? Traffic on Old Cutler is solid from Cutler Bay south of Franjo up to the traffic circle at Le Jeune every morning and the opposite at nite. And the alternative to this is US 1 which Is solid traffic 24/7 nowadays. (as little as 4 years ago, you could travel easily on US1 between 10am and 11:30am and again from 1:30pm to 3pm but now it is densely traveled at all times during the day).

This isn't just a Palmetto Bay/Cutler Bay issue. It also has an effect on Pinecrest, South Miami, Coral Gables and Coconut Grove. There is unbridled growth happening further south, causing major traffic jams on the Turnpike.

Approval was given to housing on that property because it was supposed to be 100 general residences and a 300 unit senior citizens building. The senior citizen housing would not add to the rush hour traffic because they don't work. The proposed 485 units will add at least 1000 cars on a road that cannot be widened and is already overtaxed by the current population in the area.

This is ridiculous. All I hear from my friends and people I come into contact with is how terrible the traffic is and it is ruining the quality of life. Who cares if it is a beautiful place to live if you can't get to any of it without tremendous amounts of traffic and the associated angst. (let's not discuss the inefficient way that traffic accidents are handled in M-D county).

Enough already!!!!

(disclosure: we are moving out of SE Florida and the main factor is the quality of life is being ruined by overdevelopment)

Anonymous said...

Ge - I feel your traffic pain. Traffic has gotten worse everywhere in the county not just your area. People are texting, the whole county is out of control. 95 is a mass of traffic not just at rush hour but all day. Miami Beach's Alton Road is at a standstill and so are the highways going across to the beach. 836 doesn't move nor does the Palmetto. Bird road is a parking lot. You can blame the over development, the drivers inattentive driving (missing turn signals) accidents taking too long to clear and lack of mass transit. And school speed zones on main roads.

Anonymous said...

Can Eugenie Flinn be recalled for leading this terrible idea?

Barry J White said...

There are new CWA guidelines regarding wetlands. Let's see if any
of them apply here.

Anonymous said...

The worst thing Cutler Ridge and Palmetto Bay did was to incorporate. Now it's all concrete.

Black Point used to be a really nice, relaxing place to go to. Now, it too has been destroyed by the county. It's all concrete.

Total destruction around here!

Anonymous said...

Really you would threaten to recall over this? If you were under the county you would see worse, look at UMSA. You do have to let people develop land according to the zoning. You do not have to give them zoning changes.

Anonymous said...

Don't believe the misinformation being sent out. There is no current plans to build anything. Mayor Flinn explains on his website this and other misinformation being spread through the community. http://eugeneflinn.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-facts-regarding-council-action-of.html

Beth Kibler said...

Genius, glad you found that "press release" as amusing as I did. Perfect summary of the facts Anonymous 2.

Beth Kibler said...

Evan Skornik, you're right about the mayor's record. As far as I'm concerned he's been on the right side of every environmental issue that has touched our little village from the get go. In fact the 129 acres of wetland at 184th and Old Cutler may never have been saved without him coming to the rescue. When that huge development first came before Dade County's Evironmental Quality Control Board (EQBC) we were all caught off guard and couldn't get off work. He answered our frantic call, rounded up a few folks and went down there to let the board know that our community had objections. Without that action it would have been development as usual.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the common thread here as to why Dubois and Cunningham voted NO is their lobbyist friend Jose Luis Castillo. Limiting development and saving natural lands sets precedence for other open lands nearby. The saving of these 40 acres reverses development trends. Lobbyists for developers hate when more parkland is snatched from a bulldozer. Makes it harder to do the bulldozing next time elsewhere. Reports are Cutler Bay council member Loyzelle was there at the Palmetto Bay meeting. She's a good friend of Castillo who helped her on one of her campaigns. Was she there in support of Cunningham, keep an eye on her and make sure she voted right. Did Castillo have a pin in a voodoo doll of Cunningham? Don't be surprised that if David Singer runs if Castillo manages him. Were he elected there would be three Castillo buds on the Palmetto Bay council, Dubois, Cunningham, and batshit crazy Singer. What a trio of evil that would be under the control of voodoo priest Castillo.

Anonymous said...

I don't care where Dubois lives, I just dont want another mass housing development in my town. I have always like our mayor and I have voted for him several times. So why does he keep pushing this development when there is overwhelming opposition from the community? Something stinks here.

Anonymous said...

What everyone here is missing is the fact that there were 0 residential development rights on either the 22 acre parcel or the Burger King Office Park property before Flinn and the Council gave them the right to build 100 townhomes and 300 senior living units in 2008. At the time, the developer even said that the senior living units were designed to minimize any traffic impact. Now, as a result of the VPB decisions, all 400 units will be multi-family residential on the Burger King Property. Also, the 22 acre parcel could never have been granted any residential development rights until the same was granted in 2008 by Flinn and the VPB council. If they had not done so, the 22 acres would still only have development rights for office or recreation space, NOT residential. The only reason the developer wants the residential development rights so bad, is because they can't sell the office space that currently exists and can't even lease all of it. Building another office building wouldn't make financial sense. If the counsel hadn't granted the residential rights in 2008, the land would have already been preserved. Now, we might as well get ready for Old Cutler Rd to be a parking lot and for the village's budget to be drained by all of the new maintenance which will be required for the 40 acres of parks. Flinn and genuisofdespair really need to get their facts straight on this one!

Anonymous said...

That property had most of those units approved in the mid-1970's, long before any of you lived in the area and almost 50 years prior to the existence of Palmetto Bay.

Every major city and suburb in the US has traffic from 6:30-10:00 am and from 4-7pm. If you have to work downtown, and want to drive less than 30 minutes, move to Little Havana, Brickell or Coconut Grove. Prepare to pay $1m for a 1,600 sq.ft. house on a 5,000 sq.ft. lot.

Remember for every 10 minutes of time saved on Old Cutler or U.S. 1, it is another $200,000. In other words you can't have a 17,000 sq.ft. lot and a 3,500 sq.ft. house under $600,000 as you can in Palmetto Bay.

Anonymous said...

Genius, even you can be fooled. Flinn had a very good sales pitch, appears to have a great environmental initiative but most likely there is more to it than meets the eye.