First, a major thank you to so many of you who are passionate about Miami and our City’s future, thank you to those who have handed out flyers, thank you to you who have spoken at the City’s meetings and can attend tomorrow night.
Your support in these last few weeks has touched me personally, and shown what an amazing community we’re building together in Miami!
Tomorrow night’s Planning and Zoning Appeals Board meeting is an important public forum. We need a major turnout to let Walmart know that our elected officials created Midtown Miami as a shining model of Urban Planning and Design.
Who: Miami’s Planning and Zoning Board, Walmart and You
What: Hearing to Remove Loading Zone Restrictions from N. Miami Avenue south of 34th Street and Turn N. Miami Avenue into a 5 lane street
Where: Miami City Hall - 3500 Pan American Drive, Coconut Grove, Florida aka Dinner Key.
When: Tomorrow night, Wed. July 18th - 5pm at Scotty’s Landing to get T-Shirts, 6pm at City Hall to make a stand
By now, you’ve probably seen stories in all of the local news outlets. For the first time, Walmart’s spin doctors have stepped up their public relations offensive to portray their company as a heroic provider of low priced goods and jobs for the community.
We know their main mission is to siphon our hard earned dollars, special tax breaks and jobs off to Bettonville and eventually to China.
Walmart wants to repeal all restrictions on loading zones on North Miami Avenue south of 34th street - as called for in the current Midtown Miami Master plan. This could allow a proliferation of services uses, and permanently foreclose the possibility of bike lanes or potential “Smart Growth” in the area.
The City’s Walmart friendly proposal would allow a 5th lane of traffic to be added to North Miami Avenue. If approved, this traffic nightmare would come at public cost, to accomodate major auto traffic increases to a Walmart which few residents desire. Certainly, this doesn’t sound like “Smart Growth” to you or me.
Walmart’s Midtown Miami Master Plan proposal going up for a vote tomorrow is highly unusual in other ways. Walmart and DDR have not submitted any site plans, paid any application fees or given any documents to the City of Miami to show their actual plan for a Midtown store. Yet, the City of Miami has spent a year working on Walmart’s proposals without collecting even a dime or scrap of paper.
The Midtown Miami master plan calls very specifically North Miami Avenue as a “Primary Street” which must be active and pedestrian oriented. The plan designates NE 31st Street as a “Secondary” street with service use like parking garage entrances and service entrances.
Do not let them fool you, there’s nothing in the Midtown Miami plan that provides for switching the use of these two streets. There’s no way to flip the two street functions and achieve the desired result: an outward looking, pedestrian and cyclist friendly urban community.
If NE 31st street can’t handle the loads Walmart demands, they must scale back the intensity and size of their project to match - or simply go home as we would all prefer.
Please come out tomorrow to let your voice be heard! Now is the time to share this petition with your email lists, on friend’s walls and at work. If you’re passionate about Miami’s future, we won’t get many second chances to show it.
See you out there tomorrow night early!