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Front Page » Government » Theme park sets sights on Coast Guard land

Theme park sets sights on Coast Guard land

Written by on April 15, 2015
Theme park sets sights on Coast Guard land

County officials are studying sites where US Coast Guard operations could move to make way for a theme park in South Miami-Dade.

“We have a lot of work to do to come up with the best strategies for addressing the Coast Guard’s needs,” Senior Advisor to the Mayor Michael Spring said.

At this time the Coast Guard is not “contemplating moving” but it has given the county information about its site operations and what it would need if it were to relocate, said Capt. Ben Davis, commanding officer of US Coast Guard Base Miami Beach.

The Coast Guard occupies 240 acres where it has buildings and communication antennas, he said.

“We would need a formal proposal from the county, which we do not have at this time, before we can even contemplate relocating,” Capt. Davis said.

Miami Wilds LLC wants to build a theme park anchored by water rides in South Miami-Dade. To do that, the Coast Guard would need to move its operations so that the park could rise.

County officials are taking a comprehensive look at the options for relocating the Coast Guard.

“One of the things we would have to address is replicating the accommodations for the [Coast Guard] functions. That could be a building that gets built for the Coast Guard or one that we have in the inventory,” Mr. Spring said.

Once the county estimates the cost to relocate the Coast Guard, it would negotiate with the Miami Wilds developer on who would pay the relocation cost, the county or the developer, Mr. Spring said.

Further complicating things: The site where Miami Wilds wants to build is home to environmentally endangered land, some of it on the Coast Guard site. The county is working with the federal government on how the theme park could rise without impacting this land.

17 Responses to Theme park sets sights on Coast Guard land

  1. Brandon TrentleR

    April 15, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    The location of this park is horrible. It is the largest unprotected strand of native pine trees in Dade County. There is no way to put this park in the middle of this forest in a environmentally friendly way. We ought to consider rebuilding the native forest instead. The idea of the zoo is to protect nature and educate us. Why destroy our natural history and put up a theme park there?

  2. Cully Waggoner

    April 15, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Commissioner Moss has tried since June of 1997 to build a theme/water park on the Richmond site. He clearly does not care about the environment or the endangered species that count on that land as a life boat habitat. Commissioner Moss also wants to build Coral Reef Commons next to Miami Wilds. No, Commissioner Moss is blinded by greed and his master plan is to incorporate the area the same way that Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay and Pinecrest have and become the Mayor of the new city it would create.

    Ram Realty and their Coral Reef Commons project that includes a Walmart Supercenter anchored retail shopping center with stores, restaurants and up to 900 residential apartments would only preserve about 43 of 138 acres of endangered Pine Rockland. The land includes Pine Rocklands throughout the Property, which are a globally imperiled plant community containing habitat for rare, threatened and endangered species, the largest single tract of such land and the last 2% of Pine Rockland outside of Everglades.

    Coral Reef Drive (SW 152 St) handles more than 60k cars per day as it is and it is always backed up because it can’t handle the traffic it has now and it certainly can’t handle the extra 30k cars per day that Coral Reef Commons and Miami Wilds would bring in. The American Dream Miami project in North Dade will generate more tax revenue and provide more jobs than Coral Reef Commons and Miami Wilds combined so there is no need for either of these two projects to wipe the last 2% of Pine Rocklands.

    Once the Pinelands are gone they are gone for good. Nobody wants to see the Pine Rocklands replaced by Rollercoasters and another Walmart, NOBODY!

  3. Cindy Lerner

    April 15, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Miami Dade County suffers from THICK HEAD SYNDROME!! When will they get it through their THICK Heads that this site is NOT Meant to have a Theme water Park development on it. Give it Up and Leave THe COAST GUARD ALONE! let them stay right where they are and Protect the endangered species from Ny further development!

  4. al sunshine

    April 15, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    This is a one-sided article that’s basically a press release from Miami dade or the Developers still trying to obtain Federal Land that’s been designated as Critically Endangered Habitat.
    It never mentions the growing opposition to this plan, the fact this land is the only known habitat to the almost extinct Miami Tiger Beetle.Miami dade recently got a formal warning from the U-S Dept. of Interior over its’ proposed use of this land, yet that was never mentioned. There’s also no mention that the public referendum specifically authorizing this project EXCLUDES using any environmentally- sensitive lands there. How much more Public Money will be wasted on this project, while the developers sit silently behind th scenes and watch Miami Dade County use Public Funds to push for a project that will literally take an Act of Congress to approve. As federal property, it will have to go thru years of approvals to be given to Miami Dade for a Theme Park there. yet NONE of this is mentioned in your story. “Shame on You”.

    • Ben Grimm

      April 27, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      Press releases are what Miami Today does best.

  5. Hugh Jardonn

    April 15, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    Those people interested in saving the endangered pinelands should support the federal government and Coast Guard in retaining this land as federal property and telling the county to buzz off. The county should have purchased other non-federal land decades ago to sell off or lease to a developer in the future. We can’t trust the county to preserve the pinelands when they want to run a turnpike exit through the land to get to the amusement park and zoo. The federal government has already given a good portion of the former Richmond Naval Air Station to the county for ZooMiami and the University of Miami sold a good portion of former federal land given to them to a developer who intends on building a WalMart, other stores and apartment buildings. Why did the federal government give valuable property with endangered pinelands on it to a private university and allow them to sell it off for $22 million or whatever it was. Enough is enough!

  6. Ben Grimm

    April 16, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    I think Miami Today is unintentionally devoted to showing us the continuing barrage of bad ideas our politicians and bureaucrats waste time on instead of working out the real problems of southeast Florida. Ah-mahz-ing!

  7. Grant Stern

    April 16, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    The “Miami Wilds” project is Commissioner Dennis Moss’ white whale. For nearly 20 years, taxpayers have supported his dream, backed by loads of actual fiction (his story that Miami rejected Disney, which is false), meanwhile Miami-Dade has other needs.

    Lastly, how can a nominal member of the Democratic Party spend most of his time in office pushing to give a massive corporate welfare subsidy to Fox News and it’s parent company???

    This keeps getting more absurd. Mr. Moss – drop the whale or leave the chair. Please.

  8. Chris M.

    April 16, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    when commenting on these articles, please remember the need for jobs and economic development that the south needs. GO MIAMI WILDS!

    PS: How come the commentators did not through the same fit for the dredging of the port? do you know how much sea grass and fish wildlife is being harmed? You want protected land, go to the everglades or flamingo!

    • John

      April 16, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      I was saddened and disappointed to hear that the port would be dredged. How could such an intervention not wreak havoc on the natural environment of Biscayne Bay? And now studies have shown that is has. The already endangered coral reefs have been pushed even further to the brink of survival. It just seems like the politicians of our city, and citizens who can’t see the beauty around them won’t be content until we’ve lost it all.

    • Ben Grimm

      April 17, 2015 at 8:29 am

      I’ve always seen Watson Island as a good place to put a Coney Island-style park. It would be connected via transit to downtown and SoBe for tourists and residents. It would also be in line with the island’s “public use only” clause.

      Anyways, carny jobs ain’t gonna put anyone through college. Folks who grasp onto snake oil ideas like Miami Wilds seem blind to this fact. Low level jobs that never last a decade keeps Miami on the list of poorest cities in the nation.

  9. John

    April 16, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    The pine rocklands are the last remaining two percent of an entirely unique ecosystem. Only two percent remains. Let that sink in. At what point has there been enough destruction for us to realize how much we have taken away?

    There are sectors other than retail and the service industry that can be developed in South Florida to create jobs. Note, retail and service industry jobs represent low-paid, generally part time employment. That doesn’t sound like a great economic boon to me. How about promoting the development of tech companies? They might be able to thrive in existing office spaces rather than requiring the destruction of our natural treasures. More poorly designed car-centric housing developments and theme parks are not the answer to our region’s problems, but it seems to be the only thing our politicians can dream up.

    And if this weren’t enough, other developers want to build a giant indoor mega-mall on the northern fringes of Miami-Dade County. An indoor, air-conditioned mega-mall in a corner of the country where it is possible to be outside year round. Think of the massive amounts of energy that will consume. And a water park? Did no one else notice the water crises developing worldwide? Despite our lovely summer rains, clean water is not an endlessly renewable resource in South Florida, especially with the threat of sea level rise. Our region has stunning natural beauty, but people only seem to want to enjoy our city safe inside their artificial air-conditioned concrete shelters.

    Please don’t destroy the last remnant of an ecosystem found nowhere else for contingent employment.

    • Ben Grimm

      April 17, 2015 at 8:42 am

      How dare you?

      You should know that being a politician or bureaucrat is a dull job. All day long they have to deal with the issues of running a metropolis. But every once in a while some lunatic walks into their office with a dumb idea like a Wilds park or Dream mall. It reminds them that anything can happen -a new love- and it’s so much better than dealing with boring stuff like crime and housing and infrastructure maintenance. And you want to take that away from our “leaders”? How dare you?!

  10. Gina B

    April 16, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Such a horrible development. Florida does NOT need another theme park. It needs to preserve what little native habitat it has left. How about we focus on that for a tourist draw rather than more of what we already have?

    • Ben Grimm

      April 17, 2015 at 8:31 am

      South Florida’s past is full of theme parks. All of them have failed. Nothing competes with the beaches for our recreational dollars. Because it’s basically free.

  11. Eugene

    May 19, 2015 at 7:26 am

    I live in the area and I love the idea. Larry and penny park along with the Zoo Miami hold the large part of the Pine Land and that would go untouched. GO MIAMI WILDS!!!

  12. Homestead cherry picker

    June 22, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I think this idea great because I can work at the popcorn stand and not pick tomato all day in the hot sun brcause it’s bad