In May, the Village of Palmetto Bay Council approved by a 3-2 vote three ordinances dealing with the Palmetto Bay Village Center (PBVC) that I believe will negatively impact the quality of life of the residents of Palmetto Bay and the surrounding communities.
The ordinances that were approved that night lifted the senior restrictions that were agreed upon in 2008, increased building height for some of the structures by 15 feet and permitted a Transfer of Development Rights adding 85 additional units for a total of 485 units. In exchange, the village will be deeded 22 acres of “environmentally sensitive land” and 18 acres of wetland.
Being on the dissenting side of this vote, I must admit I was disappointed and, while I understand the allure of acquiring the “park space,” I did not find it incentive enough to vote “yes” to increase density in an area already plagued by severe traffic congestion creating long commutes to work and school.
While I have been a stalwart supporter of “Downtown Palmetto Bay” initiatives, I have done so because, in my opinion, the business corridor is the proper place for density and has the greatest capacity for transit solutions. We still have a long way to go before our “Downtown” is sought out by local businesses as a place to call home, but I think we have done a good job, with lots of public input, in moving in that direction.
As many of you know, protecting our environment and seeking to reduce traffic and overdevelopment in our village is a top priority to me. I am proud of all the votes I have taken that have come before me on the council and of the leadership I have shown even in the face of tough decisions.
Your voices are important to me. Along with the many emails and phone calls I received from concerned residents, over 125 stakeholders from Palmetto Bay and neighboring cities, including a few elected officials, came out to have their voices heard. My vote to maintain the 2008 agreement with the PBVC was based on your collective voices.
It is unfortunate that this vote has been so polarizing in our community. That said, I will continue to represent the village in a way you can be proud of. With your help, we can find solutions to the issues that matter to you and make the Village of Palmetto Bay an even better place to live, work, learn and play.
I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my cell at 305-904-1805.