FYI Miami: July 17, 2014
PARK OR MUSEUM?: Because of a long budget and tax rate debate, Miami-Dade commissioners postponed a vote Tuesday on what to do with nearly 3 acres of county-owned vacant land behind AmericanAirlines Arena. They are to vote today (7/17) on two separate and competing plans for the site, known as Parcel B. While Audrey Edmonson has called for the county to look into turning the area into a park, Esteban Bovo wants the county to negotiate with a nonprofit group that has for years wanted to build a Cuban exile museum there. Representatives from the Cuban Exile History Museum Inc. have said there’s room for the museum, parking and a park. At Tuesday’s meeting, many impassioned residents spoke in favor of one of the two uses a park or a museum.
LOBBYING RULES: Miami-Dade commissioners barely passed a proposal Tuesday to increase the time that must pass before former county elected officials and employees can lobby the county. Commissioners voted 7-5 to approve a proposed ordinance on first reading that would double the county’s current lobbying restriction period from two years to four. Vice Chairwoman Lynda Bell was the prime sponsor. The restriction also would apply to the staff of elected county officials. However, it exempts county officials and employees who go to work for other government entities, nonprofit organizations or educational institutions who lobby for those groups as part of their job duties. A hearing before the commission’s Public Safety and Animal Service Committee was tentatively set for Aug. 27.
ROAD-IMPACT FEES: With several mixed-use developments set to rise in Miami-Dade, the county is to consider additional road-impact fees to deal specifically with such pedestrian-oriented multi-block complexes. A county committee preliminarily asked staff to study the traffic impacts of developments that include residential, commercial and office spaces and that prompt walking. Staff is to recommend within 180 business days whether code should separately provide for road-impact fees related to mixed-use projects. Currently, road-impact fees for such developments are calculated by separately considering each use within a project, a method that doesn’t account for internal trips, according to part of the legislation calling for the change. Road-impact fees offset road reconstruction and expansion needed to accommodate increased traffic the development causes. Commissioner Esteban L. Bovo Jr. sponsored the item, which doesn’t become final until the full county commission approves.