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Friday, November 19, 2004

Great Florida Political Blog

I've added a blog to my daily reading list. It is called Florida Politics, and it is sharp, knowledgeable and useful in understanding how state politics works. No info on who is behind the blog, but the site is updated daily with numerous posts that cover many important issues. Check it out.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In March of 2004, over 91% of Surfside voters supported a Charter Amendment that requires voter approval for height and density changes to Surfside’s zoning code. I am running for town office and my opponent voted in favor of a new zoning code that would if finally adopted significantly increase height and especially density along Harding and Collins Avenues. For example, under that new code, buildings along the east side of Harding Ave. across from residential homes could be 40 ft. high instead of the existing 30 ft. height; hotels could be built on the east side of Harding and west side of Collins Avenues with units as small as 180 sq. ft. instead of the 360 minimum now required; many more units that are currently allowed, and apartment or condo units could be built above the shops in our business district. Will so many more small units become a detriment to the Town in the future?

As one of a handful of people who attended the meetings to discuss these issues, it is apparent that the public has not been adequately informed of the significance of this new zoning code and the impact it could have on the quality of life in Surfside. Certainly there is no intention of allowing residents to vote on this critical matter as required by the Charter Amendment.

While serving a few years ago as Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Board, our board approved the Lanai townhouse project for a large site on 92nd St. taking up an entire block of Collins and Harding Avenues. This 32-unit luxury townhouse project met all zoning codes and was an excellent, low-density addition to Surfside. Now the plan is to build three stories of small hotel units on this site instead. There has been too much intimacy involving developers’ lawyers and lobbyists in tweaking the new zoning code to ensure that the maximum number of units can be built with the least amount of parking.

As we move forward, the future of Surfside depends on having the right kind of development that puts the needs of residents first. I believe Surfsiders are very clear that we enjoy the wonderful community we have and don’t want to see it destroyed by over-development. My opponent states that he won’t support high rises in Surfside. I would like to point out that there are other ways to ruin a community, such as more density and less parking. Ever try finding a parking space on South Beach? I do not want to see this here! I am adamant about protecting Surfside’s charm and unique scale and character. Positive redevelopment within the existing code: YES. More density: NO.

I will respect the wishes of the voters. Please vote on Tuesday March 18.

Respectfully,

Joe Graubart

JoeGraubart.com

11:29 PM

 
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