To add parking and renovate, The Standard wants a zoning change

The Standard on Belle Isle is valet only -- today.

The Standard on Belle Isle is valet only — today.

The Standard Spa and hotel is moving forward with its effort to add on-site parking and renovate one of the wings of its property, but this time with a twist — it’s asking the city of Miami Beach to create a hotel overlay district for its property.

monterey brochureThat’s because the Miami Beach zoning code for Belle Isle doesn’t allow a hotel use; the Standard is grandfathered in because it was built (originally as the Monterrey Motel and later the DiLido Spa) before the current code was enacted.

The Standard will meet with Belle Isle residents on Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. at the hotel, 40 Island Ave.

It plans to go before the Miami Beach Planning Board on Sept. 27.

The Standard’s latest proposal is believed to involve knocking down the existing single-story east wing of rooms. It would be replaced with a two-story wing — with parking on the first floor. In preliminary discussions, no additional rooms were to be added to the property.

As proposed, the overlay district would only apply to the Standard property, not other sites on Belle Isle.




Belle Isle polling place moves to City Hall on Tuesday

If you didn’t vote early and plan to cast your primary ballot on election day Tuesday, the usual Belle Isle polling place has moved.

The city announced Monday it was temporarily closing the Botanical Gardens so it could be searched for mosquitoes in light of the Zika virus. That’s been the site of Miami Beach voting precinct 30, which serves Belle Isle, for a number of years.

Instead, you’ll need to go to Miami Beach City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Dr. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Town Hall meeting on Zika tonight at 6 p.m.

zikaThere’s a town hall meeting for Miami Beach residents on the Zika threat tonight at 6 p.m. that will include the state surgeon general and Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales.

The meeting, scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Waverly Condominium, 1330 West Avenue, is hosted by state Rep. David Richardson. There will be a presentation on protecting yourself and preventing the spread of Zika, as well as a question and answer session.

As you know, Miami Beach between Eight and 28th Streets has been designated by the Centers for Disease Control as a Zika zone.

Critical Mass rides on this Friday night; plan your evening driving accordingly.

Route for Friday night's bike ride.

Route for Friday night’s bike ride.

The July Critical Mass bike ride is taking a Miami Beach-heavy route Friday night, crossing our neighborhood from Dade Boulevard west across Venetian Way to the mainland.

The ride is scheduled to start in downtown Miami at 7:15 p.m., crossing over the 79th Street Causeway through North Bay Village and then into Miami Beach on 71th Street  before heading south along Indian Creek and then Collins Avenue to Dade Boulevard.

You’ll want to be patient, and planning ahead is the best strategy. Be careful out there.

Venetian drawbridge construction starts soon, and here’s how to learn more about it

With the newest road construction obstacle course underway off Sunset Harbor in preparation for the West Avenue Bridge, another major traffic inconvenience is about to begin.

This one will no doubt be more disruptive. As we’ve reported before, Miami-Dade County has to do major work on the eastern Venetian Way drawbridge span, the one between Rivo Alto and Belle Isle.

The drawbridge has been locked in the closed position since April 2015, due to a mechanical failure.

Some work is expected to start next month, but the biggest issue — the closure of the bridge to all foot, bike and auto traffic — may not happen until November. At one point, the county had said the bridge would be closed to all traffic for a 45-day period.

That’s a huge headache, no matter how you look at it. Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco has told the Venetian Island Homeowner Association he’s investigating engaging a water taxi to ferry people across the gap, but it’s unclear how consistent the demand would be.

How bad will it be? What will be the precise timing?

Miami-Dade has scheduled a community meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, at the community room at 1000 Venetian Way on Biscayne Island. It will be hosted by the Venetian Way Neighborhood Association, in collaboration with the Belle Isle Residents Association and the Venetian Isles Homeowner Association.

Residents are encouraged to attend.

Yes, the road construction has begun

The barricades are up again.

The barricades are up again.

You’ve no doubt noticed that work began last week on the raising of the Venetian Way/Dade Boulevard/17th Street seawalls near Maurice Gibb Park and Sunset Harbour.

And now comes word from the city that Miami-Dade County, as it prepares to rebuild the drawbridge between Belle Isle and Rivo Alto, will be opening the bridge tonight from midnight to 3 a.m. Wednesday, and Wednesday night from midnight to 3 a.m. Thursday.

This is a prelude to project that is expected to start in September and run through December 2016.

The work near Sunset Harbour involves raising seawalls along the Collins Canal, and is a early step in a process that will ultimately include raising the road and the construction of a new bridge along West Avenue over the canal.

In the face of growing opposition, Sunset Harbour developer pulls project

Proposed mixed use development on Purdy.

Proposed mixed use development on Purdy.

Save Miami Beach targets Sunset Harbour project

Save Miami Beach targets Sunset Harbour project

Neighbors objected to the height variance — 90 feet instead of 50.

Beach Towing tried to derail the parking garage — or extract more than a $1 million.

This week, Deco Capital and developer Bradley Colmer withdrew their application for the Residences at Sunset Harbour, a retail, parking and luxury condo project proposed to be built across from Maurice Gibb Park on Purdy Avenue.

In a letter to the city, Colmer said he’ll return with a project within the existing height regularions.