Yet another flaw in the Grove Isle planning process?

The Grove Isle Board maintains its view that flaws seen in the developer’s latest plans should not be ignored by the City.  The Board’s lawyers had previously appealed the City’s Planning Administrator’s decision and argued that developer’s plan was non-compliant with Miami21 planning regulations (click  for earlier post).  To which the City has replied that its approval was part of a private process between itself and the developer.  As a result, the Grove Isle Board has stated that it intends to challenge this determination in order to protect the rights of the island’s residents.

Grove Isle Association Memo Jan 23 2015

Grove Isle Association Memo Jan 23 2015

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8 thoughts on “Yet another flaw in the Grove Isle planning process?

  1. Tom says:

    Slippery slope along the coast…

    “The only way they can proceed with their current plans is to get the exception. The Miami 21 code does not allow for aspects of the project to be in a Civic Space Zone.”

    “To the City of Miami, laws are suggestions. The city went out of their way to override the Coconut Grove residents’ feelings against the project, to bring in a “yes” vote for the project, from people in other parts of Miami.”


  2. Joao Crestana says:

    Just a question, if anyone can answer:

    • The new construction will need to use the bridge and the internal paved roads. I think that neither of these infrastructure pieces are projected for this heavy use. Can we harm his approval by demonstrating it is not possible to build, because there is no material way to bring in materials and to take out debris?

    Sorry if I am bringing an old issue, already discussed…


  3. Joao Crestana says:

    Congratulations to the Board that is providing the professional support for us to face this “special” attention given to the Developer.

    It is evident that our lawyer is very competent, and he will not allow authorities giving privileges to the Developer.

    However, I agree with Simon, who reminds us that we will face a very substantial need for remodeling in face of the law: fact is, our buildings are getting old. The problem has multiples faces, regardless of this detrimental Developer.

    Maybe we should think about a comprehensive plan, turning crisis into opportunity, somehow dealing with the Developer and the remodeling, always keeping in mind that we should search for sustainability, best quality of living and maximizng value of our properties.


    • susan says:

      Two points.
      First: .Preserve Grove Isle was responsible for finding the legal firm,, Weiss Serota, which has done an excellent job in raising issues in support of halting the destruction of the Club and the proposed development. The Board was opposed to hiring them, preferring to stick with an attorney whom they had used for years and had no experience in this type of situation. The Board was embarrassed into hiring them because of PGI’s lobbying efforts to all the residents who demanded action. While the new Board is doing a better job, the old Board should receive no credit at all.
      Second: If you think that Avila would spend a nickel on improving our buildings and structures, you are very naive.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Too many flaws in favor of the developer. As per Commissioner Sarnoff’s request, we are supposed to be under mediation and nothing should be done without the association being notified. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    We should ask for some kind of investigation into this matter. I find it completely suspicious that the City manages to move quickly and in favor of Mr. Avila. I have complete confidence in the Law firm representing us, they have been able to punch holes into this. But these holes may not be enough to sink the ship. I would not be surprised if city employees are getting compensated by the developer. After all, it’s Miami.


    • Robert Wilder says:


      With respect to your first comment, you are wrong. We are not under mediation- that is 8 month old news. Lots has happened since then.

      With respect to your second comment , a few points: 1) The City is not moving quickly or slowly on these Avila applications; I believe they are moving at their normal pace; 2) We have 2 law firms representing us. I assume that you have complete confidence in Weiss Serota and should have no confidence in John Lukacs who, in the past 2 years, could not have done a worse job in representing us. On your third point, while the city of Miami politicians have a reputation for graft, as an experienced developer in an urban area for more than 35 years, the payoffs are not usually in brown bags as shown on TV. They are more subtle with political contributions, relationships with companies and law firms represented by lobbyists and power brokers who often were formerly connected to or in the political hierarchy, etc. Smart lawyers and smart politicians learned a long time ago how to turn a bribe into a fee. it’s the dumb ones that use brown paper bags of money.


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