CLOSE THE CLUB, ALIENATE THE RESIDENTS, DIVIDE AND CONQUER: A NOVEL STRATEGY

grove isle

Grove Isle Club’s magical views on to Biscayne Bay

 Grove Isle Update — Key Points:

  • The Residents of Grove Isle have initiated legal action to prevent closure of the Grove Isle Club. This legal initiative is to protect the rights of ALL residents against the shuttering of the Club.
  • We envision that upon the Club’s closure, and in the absence of a demolition permit, the club will be allowed to decay causing many health and safety issues on the island
  • The grandfathering rights that currently allow the Club to operate on the island will be lost if the Club is closed for longer than 180 days.  The developer has failed to address how a replacement club would then obtain the City’s permission to operate.
  • Residents of Grove Isle are protected by the legal documents that established Grove Isle in its current form.
  • We have also learned from a number of residents that they have been approached by agents of the developer. He is again working to Divide and Conquer the island reportedly in the hope to resurrect the 18 story tower plan.

Grove Isle Update — The Detail:

With the Developer’s decision to first close parking access and now to permanently close the Grove Isle Club, including its hotel, restaurant, pool, spa and related amenities, residents of the Grove Isle Condominium Association have initiated legal action to prevent closure of the Club. This legal initiative is to protect the rights of ALL residents against the shuttering of the Club.  We envision that upon closure, in the absence of a demolition permit that has not been issued by the City, the structure of the Club—surrounded by a chain link fence– will be allowed to decay. The grounds will not be tended. Not only will this property become an eyesore, health and safety issues are likely to arise if the Club building is abandoned for a prolonged period of time.

GROVE ISLE EMERGENCY COMPLAINT

Grove Isle legal action

Grove Isle legal action was filed on 22 April 2015 (click to open document)

As residents of Grove Isle, we are protected by the legal documents that established Grove Isle in its current form. These documents committed the Club to provide amenities to all of the condominium owners and residents. This commitment now belongs to the Developer per these legal documents, as recorded by the City and signed by the City of Miami.

Miami Herald Grove Isle Story Headline

The Miami Herald updated the story on Grove Isle last night (click image to open)

The Club is a for-profit commercial operation currently serving both Grove Isle Condominium Association members as well as members from off-island. The Grove Isle Condominium Association, a non-profit organization, is a corporation independent of the Club. Under Miami 21—the current zoning law—the Club could not be built on Grove Isle today because Grove Isle is zoned T5-R, and is limited to residential use. However, because the Club has been in existence for decades before Miami 21 became law, it can exist in its current form in its current location. It is grandfathered to continue its operation. But if it is closed for more than 180 days or if there is attempt to move it to another location on the island, it will lose its grandfather status. This is the urgency for prevention of closure of the Club. Furthermore, there is no approval for a new club, and zoning restrictions will prevent such construction.

We have also learned from a number of residents that they have been approached by agents of the developer.  The strategy is to Divide and Conquer.  The claim is that residents of Bldg 1 and 2 stand to gain from this development but a vocal group in Bldg 3 are interfering with building plans, and that this new development, particularly the 18 story tower, will be great for Grove Isle.  In the meantime, the developer is going to keep punishing the island residents for blocking his development until they submit.  Of course, no mention has been made of the three year construction time line, the movement of demolition debris and construction materials necessary to build the equivalent of one of the existing Grove Isle buildings, the environmental damage, the decreased property valuations and the anti-development sentiment expressed at the recent candidate forum by all residents.  And the legal barriers have been reinterpreted as supporting the rights of development (if this were the case, development would have started two years ago!)

The continued action of the Board of Directors of the Grove Isle Condominium Association in preventing this development is greatly appreciated by all residents.

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14 thoughts on “CLOSE THE CLUB, ALIENATE THE RESIDENTS, DIVIDE AND CONQUER: A NOVEL STRATEGY

  1. […] GROVE ISLE RESIDENTS!  WE NEED YOUR PRESENCE FOR THIS IMPORTANT COURT HEARING ON: […]

  2. 75 says:

    PGI has donated hundreds & hundreds of hours of man & women power, many thousands of dollars of their own money, and has offered to post a BOND with their money ! to save the club. the only thing they ask is we show up on Monday. If we don’t have over a hundred residents at the hearing I would be very disappointed in my fellow neighbors, SO GET ON THE BUS

  3. Peter Hairston says:

    I applaud and support your efforts.  Some attention should also be given to the employees – the 50 or so people  (diminished due to the recent cuts) whose jobs are at risk. Many of these individuals have worked at Grove Isle since we’ll before Avilla. They should not be victims of his irresponsible and illegal actions. Drawing attention to their plight will help galvanize public support. Legal action on their behalf might complement that of the property owners.  Respectfully submitted,  Peter Hairston(786) 459-1779peter@phairston.com

  4. Mal says:

    PGI is the best thing that has happened to Grove Isle. For the Susans of the island, I just shake my head. She shows so little understanding of what is happening to everyone on this beautiful island.

  5. Helen says:

    Finally, this will be resolved in the proper arena-in court. This issue has gone beyond emotion. It’s time to focus on land owner rights. Maybe all the residents don’t want to fund huge legal fees to benefit a few. Maybe when the club is rebuilt and the island is private once again, there will be something better for all.

    • susan says:

      Helen,
      Hard to believe you still live on Grove Isle and are still completely ignorant of the situation despite the best efforts of PGI to provide enough information to show you that the Grove Isle residents are the ones with “landowner rights.” Avila bought the property without doing enough due diligence to know that he couldn’t go forward with his plans. And, shamefully, he was aided and abetted by a member of the Board who still serves on the Board. I think you should also check the number of signatures of owners who don’t want his development. They are the vast majority. You are the few.

  6. crishenriquez says:

    I understand the desire to keep change from happening. If things could remain the same forever, that would be great. Yet, Miami is the epitome of change. All around there is development happening. I’m afraid that if we don’t realize that some kind of change needs to take place with regards to the hotel and the club, we will end up with a dinosaur that no one will want to take responsibility off. You can not force someone to run a business they never had any intention of running. And, how attractive is it for anyone else to want to purchase the club/hotel with the current issues? Has this become a war of egos? That’s what I’m afraid off…

    • Mike says:

      There this more than one big fish in this pond.

    • Maria Camila P says:

      Cris, you are right, but at the end of the day it is a legal issue.

      Our responsibility (PGI, BOD and concerned residents) is to protect our property values and way of life by seeking legal counsel. We have the right and must defy any development that is deemed not compliant with our settlement agreement and city law. Many of us purchased here because we had access to all amenities, fell in love with the island and never believed it would be part of a legal dispute with a greedy developer. If anything, we did expect re-modelation down the road, but not re-development. If he wants to develop, let him buy every unit on the island and then do whatever he pleases.

      It is not about residents vs. residents or egos. PGI and the BOD did not start this. Remember, the developer was trying to keep everything (and all of us) in the dark regarding his intentions. From day 1, since he made his presentation, he has been defiant and arrogant (maybe he is the one with the ego problem). Its has obviously been hurt since he has had to resort to closing parking lots, sending threatening letters, lobbying door to door, etc.

      Miami may be the epitome of change but look at Brickell now. I moved out of Brickell because it became unbearable. For decades it was one of the best places to live in Florida. Now it’s a joke.

      Grove Isle should not be grouped in the same category as the rest of Miami. It is a private island that for many reasons wants to remain “underdeveloped”. Changes need to be made, but any new condos, clubs, etc are not what we want. Its repairs and remodeling! Again, it’s not up to us.
      As of today, he does not have the authorization to build his proposals. Some residents have argued to stop any legal efforts and negotiate with the developer, EVEN ALLOW (as if it is in our hands!) HIM TO PROCEED WITHOUT HIM HAVING ANY KIND OF PERMIT. Who does such a thing?? Others argue that change is inevitable and good. Why give in just for the sake of moving on with change? Let’s get a fair legal & zoning ruling <>.

      • Joao Crestana says:

        Agree with you, Maria Camila

        The developer cannot just deteriorate our island with predatory projects.

        OUR landownner rights do not decay with time, they are supposed to be part of the institutions that are the core of this beautiful country, model for many others in the world.

        If developer wants to define his own rights, he should give up any arrogance and start all over again with colaborative efforts towards PGI.

        There is a strong legal opinion that he will not be allowed to demolish the club, and that he will be allowed to build only as long as he respects current footprints, current volumes, areas and skylines. It seems a wise position.

        I think it is worthwhile that we invest in preserving our institutions. If we give up, we will be giving up much more than a simple permit for construction, we will be giving up the dream of respectable institutions…

  7. Irene says:

    Thank you PGI. Stay on top of this while our BOD hired the lobbyist who is running the sarnoff campaign? What are they smoking? the BOD is supposed to represent and protect the owners -not sleep with the enemy.

  8. Webster says:

    Well said Susan. When attending the meetings it is obvious that the vast majority of residents oppose ANY kind of development that changes the current lifestyle, services, height, footprints and look that we have enjoyed for over 30 years and are entitled to by the settlement agreement, Miami 21 and current zoning law.

    I also wish our fellow residents would not to be gullible enough to buy into his lobbyists’s personal approach. By now, Avila probably has lost all sense of trust he may have had within a small group of people. He has stepped out of the shadows and showed us the kind of character he is and the way he goes about doing his business. This guy in NO WAY IS INTERESTED IN ANY RESIDENT OF GROVE ISLE. HE IS OUT TO MAKE A FORTUNE BY IGNORING THE LAW, OR PAYING TO HAVE IT ACCOMMODATE HIS NEEDS.

    While not everyone will lose their views, everyone will suffer 3 or more years of congestion, construction and loss of property value. This developer has done nothing, not a thing for the residents and has failed to show any goodwill towards us. BTW, The Biltmore membership is a sham. You will enjoy more rights and amenities as a visitor.

  9. susan says:

    Every action taken in the last couple of months shows that the developer has become increasingly desperate, realizing that he probably has no legal right to construct what he has promised his investors. Now he is employing a PR person to try to lobby residents on his behalf. We hope there aren’t many who are gullible to his ridiculous assertions that Grove Isle will be a better place with his new development. And for the Helens of this world who think it is better to capitulate than spend any more on legal fees, this latest action on behalf of All the residents is being paid for by Preserve Grove Isle and its members, not the Board of Directors. .

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