Tag Archives: Venetian Islands Homeowner Association

Changes are coming: Sunpass, Streetscape and Alton updates

Another batch of important projects are moving forward that affect Belle Isle and our Venetian Causeway neighbors, and there are key informational meetings coming up to learn more about them:

– The Venetian Causeway will be changing over to SunPass  by year’s end, and Miami-Dade County’s Causeway Division will explain  the shift and answer questions at a meeting Tuesday, May 21.

The meeting, sponsored by the Belle Isle Residents Association, the Venetian Island Homeowners Association and the Venetian Way Alliance, starts at 7 p.m. at 1000 Venetian Way on Biscayne Island.

Expect to learn about increased security, the possibility of raising tolls for non-residents and the possibility of a lower speed limit.

– The Alton Road Reconstruction Coalition will pitch a lower speed limit for Alton Road at the June 12 Miami Beach Land Use Committee meeting, instead of May 22 as had been planned. The May meeting was canceled. The coalition hopes to make the case for a more bicycle-friendly reconstruction of Alton Road.

– On June 5, the Venetian Isle Homeowner Association has scheduled a meeting at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens so residents can get an overview of the Venetian Streetscape plan from Miami Beach’s capital improvement experts. That work — which includes new sidewalks, lights and landscaping around Rivo Alto, DiLido and San Marino islands — starts in June.

Design Review Board to consider giant house on DiLido Island

Front view of proposed home at 206/212 W. DiLido Dr.

Front view of proposed home at 206/212 W. DiLido Dr.

Most of the attention at Tuesday’s Miami Beach Design Review Board meeting will be focused on the request from Real Housewife 0f Miami’s Lisa Hochstein and plastic surgeon hubby Leonard to knock down a 1925 Walter DeGarmo house on Star Island — replacing it with a mega-mansion.

But at the same meeting, the design board will consider another proposal — to knock down two homes (on two lots) on DiLido Island on the Venetian Causeway and replace them with one huge house.

appraiserThe address of the existing homes are 206 and 212 W. DiLido Dr. Each lot is 10,500 square feet, and according to the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser website, both homes were purchased by Ahmad Lee Khamsi — 212 W. DiLido in May 2011 (for $2.6 million) and 206 W. DiLido in June 2012 (for $2.28 million).

Khamsi is a telecom and cable executive who heads Supercable, which provides digital cable service in Venezuela and Colombia. He lived in the Boca Raton area for more than a decade.

Both existing homes were built in the 1950s, and are just under 3,600 square feet each.

The new home design is just under 12,000 square feet, plus a large roof deck. It was designed by architects Choeff+Levy. Miami Beach Design Review staff called it “very handsomely designed.”

Petitioners against it say it’s out of scale for the island.

But in an email to Venetian homeowners, Venetian Island Homeowners Association president Juergen Brendel wrote:

These larger new high end homes will sell for much more per sq ft and enhance the value of all the nearby houses and lots. Opposing such development would be scaring all the ones that are currently paying high $$$ for our members. We should not do this.

He has also hired one of the best architect firm in the world from South Africa and is paying millions in design fees. We should encourage this it will raise the caliber of the neighborhood!

In any case, the 2 houses being replaced are really ugly and in disrepair. They need to be changed!

Venetian Causeway homeowners prepare for Streetscape in Rivo Alto, DiLido, San Marino

New sidewalks and landscaping grace Rivo Alto

We can all be thankful that the construction and beautification of the Venetian Causeway is all but done, and the road is smooth and pretty much looks beautiful.

We still don’t understand why own new “historic” streetlights are in the middle of the new wide sidewalks (defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?), but we’ll learn to live with it.

And so now the Venetian Isles of Rivo Alto, DiLido and San Marino prepare for the sidewalk, lighting, landscaping and paving improvements on their local streets.

Island residents will get a briefing on how that construction will roll out and cover a range of other topics at the Dec. 13 meeting of the Venetian Island Homeowner Association.

The meeting happens at 6:30 at 250 East San Marino Dr., on San Marino Island.

Among the topics on a long agenda in addition to the Streetscape update: A report from the Miami Beach police department on island burglaries and efforts to blunt them; the possibility of a hotel development on 17th Street and Alton Road; a report on the Genting Project on the Miami Herald property, and plans to changing how tolls are handled on the Venetian Causeway and other causeway issues.