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Deferred to 2021: City of Miami VIRTUAL Commission Hearing to VOTE on Carrollton’s appeal of the denial of their elementary school for 336 boys at Villa Woodbine.

Instead, envision “The Villa at Kennedy Park”, with Villa Woodbine incorporated into Kennedy Park, and having Villa Woodbine’s hallmark tree canopy and architectural legacy as COMMUNITY ARTS and ACTIVITY CENTER belonging to all residents and fulfilling Kennedy Park’s potential and BENEFITING THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY and not a handful of families at yet another private school.

The Grove has experienced unparalleled growth and development in the last few years, leaving residents with the perception that our values and cultural heritage have been left behind. However, this vision for Villa Woodbine adds a historic component to Kennedy Park that vastly improves our City’s social bond with its residents, and in the process ignites community support and involvement. Our purpose is not to arrest time, but instead to reinforce the commitment to the city's identity.
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1 – TRAFFIC. Adds an additional 1,450 daily school generated trips, increasing already congested school traffic and increases climate-altering traffic emissions. Do we need more congestion? More carbon emissions?
2 – TREE CANOPY. (Per the Carrollton Team’s testimony during the July 23, 2020 Commission Hearing) Removes over 80% of the trees on almost 4-acres, and thus destroys the lush tree canopy which naturally absorbs traffic carbon emissions, slows the rate of water reaching the ground, and reduces soil areas to accommodate drainage. Can we afford to lose almost 100 mature trees?
3 – TAXES. 12 private schools in Grove pay no real estate taxes with a combined SCHOOL BOARD EXEMPTION VALUE totaling over $305 million. When completed, this school would have an estimated value of $50 million and will shift the tax burden for public services ALL City of Miami Taxpayers. Do we need more taxes in order to favor a private school where over 75% of students live outside the City?
4 – RESILIENCY. Has over 104,000 Sf Footprint. Replacement of green areas with non-pervious surface area, and removal of the hallmark tree canopy and Silver Bluff, combined with the increase in traffic carbon emissions, which aggravates environmental issues and the impact of tropical storm disasters, sea level rise and coastal flooding. Last year the City of Miami declared a Climate Crisis and created MIAMI FOREVER CLIMATE READY strategy plan to mitigate climate risks and improve resiliency. Do we need to aggravate the impact of flooding and storms, and thus sabotage state, county and city policy goals set to improve climate risk adaptation and resiliency?
5 – SAFETY. There were over 138 accidents in last 3 years within 1/3 mile of site. These grim statistics, combined with a considerable increase in gridlock and parking shortages, greatly increase life-safety hazards and risks. Do we need to increase risk to our first respondents and residents?
6 –SCALE. It is 8 times the size of the historic villa and overwhelms the neighborhood in scale, massing and proximity to Tigertail and its much smaller homes. Do we need another mammoth commercial entity in our residential neighborhood and jeopardize a resilient and sustainable future?
7 – CONSERVATION. The site has a Historical Designation District Overlay and is within an Archaeological Conservation Area. It has a high probability of containing significant archaeological objects and requires a Phase-1 Archaeological Study, which will would NOT be completed prior to determination of “appropriateness of use” as a school. Do we need buildings that will pose hazards to protected conservation sites located within the Grove?
8 – PUBLIC WELFARE. The cumulative adverse impact of all these issues, significantly compromises public welfare and property values. Do we want to compromise the community’s safety, resiliency and financial interests?
This is a CITY of MIAMI issue.

We urge the Commission to MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE:
VOTE NO to the approval of this project.
And SAY YES to smart growth, resilience and adaptation to climate risks and sustainable management practices.

Be a Local Voice, Have a Global Impact.

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