Monday, May 21, 2007

Miami: Where's the Vision?

It sure isn't in the Miami-Dade County Commission. When they recently put the kabosh on a $3 million six-year study to guide responsible development for the next 40-years, MVB took note. It wasn't surprising to find the manatees worst enemy, commissioner Natasha "I want my water" Seijas, leading the charge against reason but we choked on our mojitos when we read in the Miami Herald that the commission's most consistent environmentally friendly commissioner Katy Sorenson was also dissing the study. It appears the main argument against the study which is officially called the "South Miami-Dade Watershed Study and Plan," is its insistence on corralling urban sprawl and encouraging development-- low rise condos and town houses-- along existing highways, especially U.S. 1. Sorenson thinks the plan is unnecessary because planned communities in her neck of the woods are already implementing a common sense/environmentally responsible approach to development.

We think this community needs all the incentives and laws it can muster to encourage responsible growth and can't understand why any reasonable person would find fault with the logic behind the plan-- even if it is redundant. As in most fail-safe systems, redundancy is built in to insure it works. When it comes to quality of life issues, this community can use all of the redundancy it can get.

Commissioner Dennis Moss is quoted as saying, " It's not an easy issue and folks are not going to give in terms of their philosophies" (regarding development). He-- and developers quoted in the article-- say people want "suburban dream homes" with yards instead of town homes and condos and don't mind the commute to get to them.

We say, start leading instead of being led by your "electorate," which we fear may have an abnormally high level of developers residing there. Show some vision and take a stand for doing the right thing-- like county mayor Carlos Alverez who is for the plan. Even if it is redundant.

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