Here’s a grab bag of updates on Belle Isle issues and blog posts:
— We reported from Tuesday’s Miami Beach Design Review Board meeting that the DRB members approved the proposed new complex for 31 Venetian Way, but only if one floor is lopped off the smaller of the two five-story buildings in the plan.
That’s one thing the developer representatives said they could not change, so the decision appears to force them to either abandon the plan or appeal the DRB decision to the city commission. In the meantime, architect Luis Revuelta posted a lengthy comment on the post in which he says Belle Isle homeowners and some city staff were “arrogant” and “unjust” and opposed any new development on the current Belle Isle Key Apartment site.
Several others weighed in, so take a look and share your thoughts, too.
— We wrote about the proposal to add more red light cameras in Miami Beach, which the city will discuss Wednesday, and noted that the new cameras and locations will be managed by a second company, which adds cost and complexity to the effort.
A blog reader who identified himself/herself as Whocares@whocares.com (gotta love that) posted a comment asking for the rationale behind using two companies, and scolded your Belle Isle Blog for not providing more info on the city’s thinking. It’s a valid point.
So, here is what we know: The Herald reported in March that some Beach commissioners were unhappy with delays in getting the first group of cameras operational, and that led them to approach a second firm. The Herald story also pointed out that the second firm (whose bid the city will discuss on Wednesday) is represented by lobbyist David Custin, who did political work for Commissioners Jonah Wolfson and Jorge Exposito in the last election.
That seems like important context, so thanks, WhoCares. We care.
— We wrote last month about the angst among unit owners at 9 Island Avenue, where a change in management companies (9 Island terminated the contract of Continental Group, which managed the building for 12 years and hired KW Property Management) resulted in six building porters losing their jobs, among other personnel changes.
One reason given for not keeping the porters was that the contract with Continental required a fee of 30 percent for each of those employees’ annual salary if 9 Island wanted to keep them.
On Friday, unit owners received a copy of a letter from Continental Dade Region president Stephan R. Titleman that says Continental is trying to place the former 9 Island employees in new jobs, but if the 9 Island board wants to retain any of them, Continental Group won’t charge the fee.
So now what?