Miami City Attorney Pulls Brickell Name Issue Off Agenda
Written by Deserae del Campo on April 6, 2006
By Deserae del Campo
A bid to extend the name of Brickell Avenue north of the Miami River was pulled from today’s (4/6) Miami City Commission agenda by City Attorney Jorge L. Fernandez late Tuesday because he decided the city has no jurisdiction over the street’s name.
In an e-mail to Gloria Konsler, executive administrator of the Brickell Area Association, Frank Balzebre, chief of staff for Commissioner Johnny Winton, said, "The city attorney’s office has opined that this issue needs to go the state level and that the City of Miami has no authority to rename the street."
Brickell is a federal highway, US 1, and also State Road 5 – as is a portion of the stretch of Northeast Second Avenue north of the river developers had sought to have renamed.
Before Mr. Fernandez ordered the item off the agenda, the Brickell Area Association board voted 16-1 to oppose extension of the Brickell name – a proposal that created a wave of opposition when it was introduced and then sidetracked at a commission meeting two weeks ago.
"I’m very pleased (the resolution) was passed," said Barbara Beaudry, association board member and Brickell Key resident.
The association’s resolution was e-mailed to board members March 28 and votes were tallied March 30, said Ms. Konsler. She did not disclose which member backed the Brickell name extension. The association represents building owners and tenants in Brickell’s business district.
Commissioners were to have voted today whether to rename two downtown blocks of Southeast Second Avenue. They deferred two weeks ago after Commissioner Johnny Winton, saying he was caught in the middle, asked for time to consider the issue.
In its resolution, the association opposed extension of Brickell Avenue based on its desire "to protect the investment of our members for reasons of geography, tradition, Brickell’s unique heritage and principles of good urban planning."
The resolution went on to say downtown stakeholders should "develop their own marketing brand rather than co-opt and thereby dilute that of a distinct neighborhood which strongly opposes such action."
President Hal Martell submitted the association’s resolution to commissioners last week. Commissioners Winton and Angel Gonzalez were out of town and unable to meet with him.
"Commissioner Winton is very familiar with the association and is in fact a longstanding member," Mr. Martell said before the matter was pulled from city consideration Tuesday. "We have worked closely with his office over the years to achieve the worthy goals of the association defined by our mission statement."
"We have, however, met with the other commissioners who possibly were not as familiar with the association and the authentic history of the Brickell Avenue corridor," Mr. Martell said. "We believe it is vital that they be informed and sensitive to the historical implications of the issue before them."