Current BHA News
BHA News, Vol. XI, No. 1 Spring
Progress and Patience
All the adages about achieving
progress and the necessary patience come to mind when reporting
about developments in the Brickell community over the past 11
years. "It's an uphill battle." "Rome wasn't built
in a day." "You can't fight City Hall." (Some
are more pessimistic than others.)
Traffic congestion, speeding, beautification,
crime and safety, zoning enforcement and a handful of other topics
remain the issues of ongoing concern to Brickell
were the subjects of interest when
the BHA issued
its first residents' survey years ago, and the
subjects continue to surface on the BHA's Web-based version
of the "Residents Speak Out (www.brickellhomeowners.com/news)
which can be answered anytime.
This issue of BHA News, our 31st edition,
contains updates on most of these hot topics which will undoubtedly
continue to simmer in the months and years ahead. If you'd like
to hear about something else, please drop us a note or email!
From the Editor, Natalie Brown
Morales Hosts Town Hall Meeting March 27
One of the Miami-Dade County
Commissioners representing Brickell
in District 7,
Commissioner Jimmy Morales, invites all residents
to tune into a televised electronic Town Hall meeting Tuesday,
March 27, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
This Town Hall Meeting format will be
televised on Miami-Dade Television, the channel number for which
varies according to your cable system. Residents are urged to
email their questions or comments to email@example.com
or call (305)
Column: By T.
Sinclair (Tory) Jacobs
"Alice-in-Wonderland" City Commission
In retrospect, the Miami City
Commission's ruling on January 25, 2001 the 242nd anniversary
of Scotland's renowned poet Robert Burns' birth seems
The Miami City Commission voted 3-to-2
to uphold the City's Acting Zoning Administrator's ruling about
the clause in City Commission Resolution 97-73, enacted January
23, 1997, for the 1900 Brickell Avenue property: The Health Clinic
(Medical Office) shall be used only for consultation relating
to plastic surgery; no medical or surgical procedures of any
kind shall be performed anywhere on the property.
Apparently the above does not mean that no medical procedures
of any kind shall be performed anywhere on the property.
The Zoning Administrator's ruling (supported
by the Commission's 3-to-2 vote) is that the Resolution only
prohibits surgical procedures even though it says "medical
or surgical procedures."
You may well ask how precise English language
can be interpreted completely opposite to its customary reading.
You may need to go through the Looking Glass to the upside-down
world of Lewis Carroll for the answer: "When I use a word"
Humpty-Dumpty said, "it means just what I choose it to mean
neither more nor less."
It is an awesome power to be able to create
your own meaning from unambiguous language. Think about it. .
.isn't this an egregious threat to our cherished rule of
Commission may vote to change
its Resolutions. .
.but to rule it doesn't mean what it clearly
What kind of topsy-turvy world do we have at the foot of
Pan American Drive? Perhaps a world more familiar to denizens
of Alice's Garden.
To quote the bard, Robert Burns:
"It's hardly in a body's pow'r,
at times, frae being sour."
Noise Abatement: East Flow Test Underway During Night
An issue that requires heroic patience on the part of homeowners
is the matter of airplane noise abatement. BHA continues to
the neighborhood's concerns on the
county-wide Noise Abatement
Task Force, as well as
meet with airport officials and specialists
what can and is being done for relief.
As Brickell residents know all too well,
east flow departures from Miami International Airport are the
biggest noise problem for the neighborhood.
Currently a test, for which the Federal
Aviation Administration's approval was needed, is underway from
11 p.m. to 6 a.m. in which east flow traffic is channeled over
commercial areas and water rather than residential areas. The
six-month test started in December and preliminary results should
be known by the end of May 2001. (Have you been awakened less
by airplanes at night?)
At the BHA's February Board meeting two
Miami Airport officials, Bruce Drum, Assistant Aviation
Operations, and Jeffrey Bunting,
Noise Abatement Officer, met
with the BHA to
explain the complexities of noise abatement and
potential relief measures.
For the most part, "hush-kitting,"
the process of quieting an older model plane, has not been very
effective for reducing noise in the Stage II aircraft. Replacement
with Stage III aircraft is the preferred way to lower the din.
American Airlines, Miami's largest carrier, is committed to
its entire fleet by 2003; other airlines
have said by 2004.
Many have suggested Miami look to the
experience of other large cities that have undergone similar
difficulties with a fast-growing population and an equally
airport in the center of it all. BHA
Directors are meeting in
March with Klaskin,
Kushner & Company, an aviation consulting
that has investigated noise mitigation throughout the
meantime, airport officials say
to keep those
complaint calls coming. Overall, the airport receives
some 800 to 900 complaints a month. Officials evaluate these
calls and watch for trends in who is causing the noise, when
number for complaints is still (305)
Mr. Bunting's email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or you can send a complaint directly by clicking here.
Medians: Funds Secured for More Complete Coverage
The Florida Department of
Transportation (FDOT) announced recently
have identified an additional $35,000 to go toward
the Brickell median beautification project.
This funding, combined with $100,000 in
funds already earmarked for the project by the City of Miami,
will extend the replacement sod and irrigation system to the
entirety of each median rather than at just the ends.
The City of Miami is releasing the Request
for Proposals (RFP) this month and expects the work of the
contractors to carry out the
restoration and beautification project
to begin in
May. The work, including installing the new irrigation
system, sodding and new plantings is to be completed by August
meantime, a BHA committee has been
Gerald Marston, principal at the landscape design
firm for the project, Wallace Roberts and Todd, to study other
potential enhancements desired for Brickell Avenue, especially
focusing on the pedestrian portions of the avenue. Visible source
lighting on sidewalks, such as acorn-style lamps, is one possibility
since it is known that not only does lighting make a dramatic
statement, it can greatly enhance safety and serve as an effective
element in calming traffic.
The last Brickell median replanting project
in 1995 failed largely due to a leaky pipe irrigation system
that never worked properly and problems with the initial maintenance
contracts, critical for successful new plantings.
The BHA is dedicating funds and volunteer
hours to investigate additional measures the home-owners may
spearhead to make Brickell Avenue a truly grand roadway that
announces one of Miami's most elegant neighborhoods.
Gets Shuttle Service
By Megan Kelly, Brickell Area Association
Residents of Brickell Key and Brickell
Bay Drive can look forward to public transportation in east
which presently lacks service.
Starting April 16th, the Brickell Shuttle will circulate between
the Metrorail station in Brickell Village and the new residential,
hotel and office buildings of east Brickell and Brickell Key.
The Brickell Shuttle, a welcome project of the Miami- Dade Transit
Authority, will initially operate from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
on a 15-minute route. The fare is a thrifty 25 cents.
While the primary purpose of the Brickell
Shuttle is to extend public transportation service to the east
where new development is creating significant entry-level
Brickell residents can also hop on the
shuttle to shop at the
Brickell Village Publix or
to lunch at one of the Brickell Village
bus service has been long-awaited
in the Brickell
area and residents are encouraged to "get
board" and support the Brickell Shuttle.
BHA and NET
Office Attack Graffiti Battle
The Coral Way NET office and Administrator Tony Wagner are working
closely with BHA Secretary Mac Seligman to investigate ways to
improve the City of Miami's graffiti eradication
Wagner and Mr. Seligman are meeting
representatives of other areas that seem to be able to combat
graffiti effectivelykind of a search for "best practices"
in handling the problem that seems to come along with the urban
don't see graffiti on the Metrorail
instance," Mr. Seligman said, "because
they take care of it as soon as it's spotted."
Miami Beach also seems to do a pretty good job, so officials
from the Beach were also consulted to find out how they manage
to keep it under control. The Beach utilizes community service
personnel people assigned community service hours through
the court system as an integral part of its graffiti-busting
Metrorail, which falls under the Miami-Dade
Authority, has people on staff whose sole job is to take
care of graffiti, Mr. Wagner explained.
For the City of Miami, the prospects of
emulating these success stories look bleak, with only two graffiti
busters for the entire City proper.
It takes someone who is dogged about it,
a vigilante of sorts, Mr. Wagner said.
For the BHA, that has been Mac Seligman,
who makes the calls to the NET office as soon as he spots the
offending scrawl. He'll be working with the City to come up with
creative solutions with very limited resources. Thanks, Mac,
and keep up the good work!
If you spot graffiti, please report it
to the NET office at (305) 859-2701. If north of 15th Road, call
current annoyance in
Miami-Dade: pet owners who
don't clean up after their pets. Key
considering adding a rule to the books requiring
"poop scooping." Some areas, like Miami Beach, already
have this law, and most people, reportedly, abide by it.
The BHA has been fielding some complaints
about the issue in our neighborhood recently, and turned to Miami
Police Officer Jeffrey Giordano for some insight. If common courtesy
doesn't prevail, isn't there a law about the unsightly and unhealthy
"There is a Miami-Dade County ordinance
on the books, and while City of Miami Police could issue citations
under this ordinance, it isn't being enforced." Officer
As clearly stated in official County laws,
Article II. Dogs, Section 5.5, entitled "Permitting dogs
to defecate, etc. on public or common property:"
It shall be unlawful for a responsible party to permit, either
willfully or through failure to exercise due care or control,
any such dog to commit any nuisance upon the sidewalk of any
public street; or upon the floor of any common hall in any apartment
house, tenement house, hotel or other multiple dwelling;' or
upon any entranceway, stairway or wall immediately abutting on
a public sidewalk, or upon the floor of any theatre, shop, store,
office building or other building used in common by the public.
'Nuisance,' for the purpose of this section, shall be defined
as defecation and/or urination."
"It would be a 'civil infraction,'"
Officer Giordano explained, "with a fine of $50 for the
first offense. But, he doesn't foresee City of Miami Police
it in the future," he
Brickell Key Master Association is
hiring off-duty officers to enforce the "nuisance"
ordinance as well as another ordinance that prohibits dogs from
being allowed to roam free and not on leashes.
Other communities, instead of focusing
on enforcement, have tried to make cleaning up after the dogs
easier with scooper dispensers and waste receptacles to facilitate
What do you think is right for the Brickell
neighborhood? Email or mail your comments to the BHA.
Objections to Proposed High-Density Project
Brickell Homeowners Association
has adopted a resolution opposing
the project under
review for the Brickell Bay Village Property
located between Bristol Tower and Atlantis Condominiums in the
2000-2100 blocks of Brickell Avenue.
The project as designed imposes an extreme
traffic burden on an already overtaxed roadway system, the impact
of which will be to reduce the quality of life of the residents
in the area, create additional traffic jams during morning and
afternoon rush hours and cause hazardous conditions to arise
due to vehicles entering and leaving the project. In the absence
of a traffic control device, the only route for traffic exiting
the property will be northbound, and for those heading south,
a traffic-stopping U-turn.
The project as conceived with 359 rental
residential units and 520 parking spaces with a maximum of two
curb cuts within a 200-foot frontage will create a hazardous
condition for those residents needing to go south, who will be
forced to first head north, and then make a U-turn to reverse
As residents in rental units tend to be
in residence all year round, the impact or intensity of use will
be greater than that of a condominium of the same density, where
the owners in residence at any one time are generally fewer than
one finds in a rental property.
The design of the building and its density
on only 200 feet of frontage creates a negative impact on the
entire Brickell Corridor. It is the only building on Brickell
where so many units will have been squeezed into only 200 feet
of frontage. The number of residents in such a building, their
vehicles and the traffic created, impose a significantly greater
burden (intensity of use) than any other building in the
resulting negative impact on the quality
for the residents of the area will negatively impact
the City of Miami from an economic standpoint. Brickell Avenue
right now offers the City its highest ad valorem tax base. A
building such as this, which aggressively uses the property for
a greater density and impact than others in the neighborhood,
will negatively impact property values in the area due to a decline
in the quality of life caused by the traffic degradation, crowding
and congestion. These are key elements for causing a drop in
demand for properties in the area, and consequently lowering
For all of the foregoing reasons, the
members of the Board of Directors of the Brickell Avenue Homeowners
Association have resolved to oppose the pending application for
approval of a Major Use Special Permit, and urges all Departments
of the City of Miami and the Miami City Commission to reject
House Rejected by 25th Road Condos
Developers of The Metropolitan
at 25th Road and Brickell Avenue inherited the commitment engineered
by the Brickell Homeowners Association to build a gate house
at the entrance to 25th Road from Brickell Avenue.
The Metropolitan developers support the
gate house/guard house concept because they know it would enhance
the perceived value of Metropolitan's condo units. And the
agreed to foot the bill of $50,000 to
cover gate house construction
Guarded Communities Enjoy Increased
Property Appraiser Alice West-Price, MAI, commented, "Many
potential condo buyers would highly value a property within a
gated community. There is no doubt that living in a gated community
is perceived as more prestigious and definitely more secure,
thus increasing property values."
Gated Community Improves Security
Lt. Hector Mirabile of the Miami Police Department said "A
gated community by its inherent nature provides a greater level
of security through deterrence."
Officer Jeffrey Giordano, assigned to
the Brickell Neighborhood, added, "Any obstacle put in place
will lessen the chances of an intruder and further eliminates
the opportunity. A criminal usually looks for the fast opportunity
without further deterrence."
Tory Jacobs, longtime 25th Road
resident, noted, "I have
exogenous parking in this block, especially
people headed for Key Biscayne, bikers, joggers, ride-sharers,
even people headed on downtown. A guard gate would discourage
Operation of guard gates in Miami-Dade
County are usually set up as Special Taxing Districts with costs
added annually to ad valorem tax assessments. There are five
condominium associations including The Metropolitan on 25th Road
east of Brickell.
The operating cost, including guards,
allocated by unit would be around $5 per month, per eight-hour
shift, per condo unit.
To set up a Special Taxing District, first
the majority of the condo association boards must vote in favor,
then the individual owners are polled. Besides The Metropolitan's
developers, only the Brickell 25 Condo Association voted in favor
of the gate house. The other three condo associations on the
block voted against it. Now, if the neighbors ever opt for the
protection and value-enhancement created by a guard house, they
will have to fund it themselves.
A neighbor, Lourdes Lopez, whose move
from a gated community to 25th Road was precipitated by her recent
marriage, said "There is such a special feeling of peace
and security when you drive through the guard gate. It is a sense
of belonging to a caring community. The gate seems to build
Anticipated by PAC
The Brickell Neighborhood PAC is gearing up for the hotly contested
City of Miami mayoral election this coming fall. Mayor Joe Carollo,
former mayors Xavier Suarez and Maurice Ferre are among the declared
candidates running for mayor.
Gloria Konsler of One Tequesta Point was
recently named PAC Treasurer, taking over the office from Mel
Frankel, BHA Director and founding PAC member.
Miami's Newest Church Invites People To "Come as you areand
bring a friend!"
By Michael T. Girolimon
The Brickell area has a new church-Brickell Church!
Brickell Church burst onto Miami's religious
scene this past summer. Its arrival was featured in a front-page
article in the Miami Herald last July.
Brickell Church emerged out of the venerable
First Presbyterian Church of Miami, where I was the pastor from
May 1997 to July 2000. Differences in worship and cultural styles
between the long-time members and the newer members proved to
be irreconcilable. So, in early July, I left the Presbyterian
Church and, along with the staff, leaders, and overwhelming majority
of the congregation, formed Brickell Church.
How is Brickell Church different from
other churches? It's
Casual! Our motto is:
"Come as you areand bring a friend!"
Clothing style is a non-issue. Most people in South Florida prefer
to dress down. More substantively, it is an invitation to approach
God as is. And we invite people to bring their family and friends
because, when exploring spiritual matters, more is always
Contemporary! In the service, the music
is lively, up-beat, and exciting. Instruments include synthesizer
and guitars. Songs are catchy choruses. The pacing is swift,
no dead-time. Multimedia is used for songs and the
Christ-centered! Brickell Church is clearly
within the historic Christian faith, but as an independent
does not align itself with any
tradition. Former Protestants,
pentecostal-charismatics and others now call Brickell
Church home. Denominationalism in America is dead; meeting felt
needs is alive and well.
Multi-cultural! Brickell Church celebrates
the racial-ethnic diversity of metro Miami. African-Americans,
Anglos, Brazilians, Cubans and a wide variety of Hispanics,
Haitians, Jamaicans, and many others
attend. All people are created
The average American church
tends to answer
questions that people aren't asking and use language
that people don't understand. At Brickell Church, the messages
are practical, relevant, and down-to-earth. A recent series,
"High-Maintenance Relationships," addressed how to
get along with difficult people, something with which everyone
Friendly! A surprisingly common complaint
about church in general is that it is unfriendly. Love draws
people like a magnet. People are looking for meaningful
that enrich and enliven their lives.
Brickell Church provides
that, especially for young
families and single professionals,
the segments of
the population most overlooked by traditional
It takes all kinds of churches to reach
all kinds of people.
Who might consider Brickell Church? It's
for those who've given up on traditional church or been burned
by organized religion. At Brickell Church, we joke: "If
you're turned off by organized religion, you'll love us. We're
dis-organized religion!" We create a safe place for people
to hear a dangerous message about God's love. Why is that message
dangerous? Because it transforms lives. That's what Brickell
Church is about: lives transformed by God's amazing
Bembry and the staff at Coconut
school have graciously allowed us to use their
facility. We meet at 11 a.m. Sundays in the 325-seat,
auditorium, located near the corner
of Grand Avenue and Matilda
Street, a short walk
from CocoWalk! Free parking provided. Home
meet during the week.
For further information, check out the
send an email to email@example.com
or call (305) 510-9592. Remember: "Come as you areand bring
Changes at Brickell Publix
The pharmacy at the Brickell
Village Publix has been closed to
allow for the
addition of two express checkout lanes, Manager
A.B. Sanchez reported to the BHA. Prescriptions on file will
be transferred to the Publix on 27th Avenue, just east of Coral
South Miami Avenue Homeowners
BHA welcomes a new neighboring homeowners' group, the South
Miami Avenue Homeowners Association, newly formed to address
issues of common concern to the neighbors on this historic roadway
just one block west of Brickell. The BHA anticipates opportunities
to work collaboratively with the group.