Target: North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau
Goal: Stop the planned development in Greynolds Park
In 1933, a tract of land that was formerly a limestone quarry was donated by A.O. Greynolds to Dade County in Miami. These 265 acres blossomed into what is now known as Greynolds Park by virtue of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal public works projects. It stands today as one of the few remaining natural reserves left in South Florida, a region that is currently being overrun by excessive development.
This regional development boom is threatening to encroach upon Greynolds Park in the form of multiple high-rise condos that will stretch from ten to fifteen stories. These condos are the by-product of a change in zoning approved last year by the North Miami Beach City Council. The zoning change places the area immediately adjacent to the park’s lagoon-area as “B-2” the type of designation that allows for large structures like the aforementioned condominiums. While they cannot technically build upon the official park property, the intent to take these massive buildings all the way to the area’s boundary lines completely destroys the appearance and atmosphere of a park intended to be an escape into nature.
At some point what is right and proper for a population has to involve more than literal adherence to official legal boundaries. This fact is compounded when the legitimacy of those legal boundaries can be called into question. This is because the rezoning fails to meet city code criteria. North Miami’s city code requires that zoning be “consistent with and in scale with the established neighborhood land use patterns”. These buildings would not at all be consistent with the rest of the neighborhood. This consistency must be preserved as must the environment surrounding Greynolds Park. For this to happen, no condos can be built overlooking the lagoon area.
Dear Mayor Tondreau,
Having some portion of nature remain intact within a city’s limits constitutes not only a valuable commodity, but a necessary one. These refuges from the mass of concrete and steel that comprise the bulk of a metropolitan area perform a vital public service that increases the quality of life for all who visit. Since it was developed into a park during the New Deal period of 1936 as one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s public works projects Greynolds Park has been one such haven. Donated by A.O. Greynolds in 1933, the former limestone quarry is one of the few natural reserves remaining within Dade County.
As with many popular coastal locales, Dade County has seen ever-increasing development projects over the years that have threatened to whittle away any and all open land remaining. The pressure to grow and develop has eliminated most available horizontal expansion, forcing developers to eye a more vertical route instead. This pressure has contributed to the rezoning of an area immediately adjacent to the lagoon area of the park. This rezoning to “B-2” allows for the construction of much taller buildings, such as condos up to fifteen stories high. Development projects for such buildings appeared almost the instant the rezoning was made official despite the questionable legality of the rezoning itself.
The questionable legality of the change stems from the fact that city code requires all zoning be “consistent with and in scale with the established neighborhood land use patterns”. This alteration would make the area far from consistent with the surrounding land use and ruin the ambiance of the park. It is for this reason that I urge no large buildings such as condos or high-rise office buildings be placed around Greynold’s Park.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Elena Castro Moran via facebook.com/SaveGreynoldsPark