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Front Page » Top Stories » Miami Closer To Using Input For Key Plan

Miami Closer To Using Input For Key Plan

Written by on November 2, 2000

By Paola Iuspa
The City of Miami has moved closer to giving a group of residents who are opposed to commercial development a say in the design and planning of Virginia Key.

Commissioners have given preliminary approval to the creation of a permanent group that would replace the Virginia Key Park Civil Rights Task Force — a year-old, city-sponsored organization poised to be dissolved by the end of the year. The final approval could take place next month.

Gene Tinnie, vice chairman of the Virginia Key Park Civil Rights Task Force, said Virginia Key Park Trust, as the new overseeing committee may be called, would continue to fight to preserve the 77-acre Virginia Key Park, also known as Old County Park.

The island of Virginia Key has 1,000 acres sandwiched between the mainland and Key Biscayne. Mr. Tinnie said his group opposes development of the island for many reasons.

"It is home to a historic site we want to re-create," Mr. Tinnie said. "We are also committed to restoring the environment and looking for funding to promote wildlife conservation."

To date, Mr. Tinnie said, the task force has been able to secure $11 million in federal money for land-shore restoration.

Mr. Tinnie said his 15-member group was born in part as a reaction to a city proposal to allow commercial development in the late 1990s.

"Had that happened," he said, "people would have been deprived of a public park."

The oceanfront park, which has been owned by the county owned since 1982, was created in 1945 as the only Black beach in the metropolitan area.

If the city gives its final OK next month, the new group has stated it would make the park home to a civil rights memorial. Details: (305) 250-5361.

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