FYI Miami: January 28, 2016
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
VISION FOR VIRGINIA KEY: The fate of Virginia Key, which connects Key Biscayne to the mainland, will be guided by a new 13-member Virginia Beach Advisory Board to recommend to the city commission about the mission, vision, business plan, governance and operation of the island and basin and the Virginia Key 2010 Master Plan. The board is to consider the best business model for the Miami Marine Stadium to enrich the community in arts, recreation, culture, sports and education while generating a profit to function like an enterprise fund that won’t tap the city’s operating budget. The board is also to consider the planning, maintenance and operation of Virginia Key “in terms of the kinds of open spaces, events, shows, features, goals, objectives and promotions that are consistent with the 2010 Master Plan,” according to legislation the city commission approved.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR ALL: County commissioners gave initial approval last week to legislation that would make the Property Assessment Clean Energy (PACE) program available to property owners in unincorporated Miami-Dade. PACE is a voluntary program available to a number of communities here as well as many cities across the country, providing municipal government financing to participating homeowners for energy-efficiency upgrades or renewable energy installations such as solar panels and improved insulation. Homeowners are then assessed annually through their property tax bills for the improvements. Should the ordinance pass committee and then the full commission, incorporated areas also could take advantage of the PACE program through agreements with the county, according to Jose “Pepe” Diaz, who sponsored the legislation.
PINPOINTING VULNERABLE AREAS: The Miami-Dade County Commission is supporting a pilot program to identify areas most threatened by rising seas. The Sea Level Rise Task Force recommended studying the feasibility of designating climate change adaptation action areas. As a result, an administration study concluded that the best approach was to begin with a pilot program to pinpoint the most vulnerable areas. The program will designate adaptation action areas based on vulnerability to climate change and use the information to produce solutions that can account for multiple issues at once. Such designation might help win grants to fund options to adapt to sea level changes.