Tag Archives: Belle Isle Residents Association

Belle Isle Key fined $20,000 for short-term rentals

codeviolationbMiami Beach has cited the owners of the Belle Isle Key apartments for violating city restrictions on short-term rentals. The offense carries a $20,000 fine.

The Visa Mare website is shut down.

The Visa Mare website is shut down.

The city code compliance division ordered that marketing of the apartment units stop immediately. As many as 12 apartment units in the complex were being booked like hotel suites through the website for Vista Mare South Beach, as well as booking engines Hotels.com, Expedia.com, Booking.com, bookit.com and TripAdvisor.com.

The Vista Mare site, which was run by Jason Mamane, has shut down.

The problem with the short-term rentals was disclosed last month at a meeting hosted by the Belle Isle Residents Association, at which EuroAmerican presented plans to knock down the 120-unit apartment complex and replace it with two new buildings that would include 172 rental apartments and a hidden parking garage.

At that meeting, residents of the existing complex complained about the short-term rentals, which they said reflected onj EuroAmerican’s credibility.

In a followup to the meeting, the BelleIsleBlog.com found the Vista Mare website,\ and spoke to Mamane, who said he had the owners consent to rent the units on a daily basis — and noted that he had been paying resort taxes to the city of Miami Beach, which he considered an assurance the short-term rentals met city rules.

But the  city’s website, under “Vacation / Short-term Rentals” says, “vacation/short-term rentals are prohibited in all single-family homes and in many multi-family housing buildings in certain zoning districts of Miami Beach.”

And Miami Beach Planning Director Thomas Mooney confirmed that 31 Venetian Way “is zoned RM-1 and does not have any special permit or approval to engage in short term rentals.”

Parking is in the left building in the middle under the green.

Parking is proposed to be in the left building in the middle under the green.

BelleIsleBlog.com also revealed Airbnb listings for Belle Isle Key, from a different landlord.Those listings also are no longer available.

After the complex was cited by Code Compliance, records show that Vista Mare South  Beach Inc applied for a short-term rental permit from the city. No action has been taken on the permit. The fines will be reveiewed by a special master.

Meanwhile, EuroAmerican is scheduled to appear before the Miami Beach Design Review Board on May 4 with its renovation plan.

The proposal calls for two five-story buildings. The existing complex is three stories tall.

 

Belle Isle Residents Association meets tonight

Here’s a reminder: You can meet your neighbors and learn about key issues facing the neighborhood when the Belle Isle residents Association holds its annual meeting, tonight in the card room at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Ave.

The gathering starts with a wine and cheese reception at 6 p.m., followed by a business meeting at 7 p.m.

We’ll get an update on ongoing and future road projects (get ready for bridge construction at West Avenue), the proposal for an five-story apartment complex on the Belle Isle Key site, progress on the Venetian Causeway and more.

The association will also elect new officers and hear from you about your concerns.

 

 

Brace yourselves. New road, apartment, commercial projects planned around Belle Isle

IMG_5349The Belle Isle Residents Association meets on Thursday, Jan. 21, and island residents can expect updates on a list of challenges:

— We’ll get a look at what’s planned to replace the apartment complex called Belle Isle Key, 31 Venetian Way, on the northeast quadrant of Belle Isle. If you remember, residents in 2010 successfully fought to scale back a previous proposal for the site, which now accommodates 120 rental apartments on 3.5 acres. But the developer decided it wasn’t worth building, and five years later has come back with a new plan.

Rendering of proposed Marriott hotel

— We’ll learn about other projects planned at our doorstep: in Sunset Harbour, and on West Avenue and Alton Road. Did you know the old Boston Market site is being planned as a hotel by the same developer that shoe-horned the Marriott Residence Inn on the sliver of land north of 17th Street at West Avenue? More proposals are in the works for the land south of 17th Street between West and Alton and other sites.

venetisnmeet— We’ll hear a road construction and elevation update. The only truly good news — at least for most — is that the westernmost Venetian bridge is projected to reopen at the end of February. But more Venetian bridge work will follow. And the elevation work in Sunset Harbour will continue, and then comes more work on West Avenue and the construction of a new West Avenue bridge that links Sunset Harbour with the corridor to the south.

The meeting, at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Ave., begins with a social at 6 p.m. Serious business starts at 7 p.m., and also includes election of association officers.

Here’s the full agenda:

Belle Isle Residents Association 2016 Annual Meeting Agenda

ALL RESIDENTS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Join us for Wine at 6:00PM

Annual Meeting at 7:00PM

20 Island Avenue Meeting Room (Belle Plaza)

Agenda

  • Welcome & Introductions of BIRA Board and City Officials present, Scott Diffenderfer
  • Annual Meeting Business
    • Approval of minutes from 2015 Annual Meeting
    • Treasurers report, Herb Frank
    • Election of board members and officers for 2016 Nominating Committee
  • Introduction of Commissioners and Elected officials present
  • Caroline DeFreze, City of Miami Beach Community Resource Coordinator (confirmed) will introduce will introduce police and transportation officials
  • Update on area projects, Lynn Bernstein/Bruce Mowry, Ph.D., P.E., City of Miami Beach Engineer (both confirmed)
    • West Avenue Bridge Design and Construction Timeline
    • Sunset Harbour Streets and pumps
    • Update on West Avenue and other city streets; upcoming projects
    • Open questions from residents
  • Update on  reopening of Venetian causeway bridge as well as long range rehabilitation from FDOT/Miami-Dade County (not confirmed yet)
  • Miami Beach Police (not confirmed yet)
  • Update on Watson Island Project and Lawsuit, Roger Craver, Coalition for Causeway Chaos (Scott meeting with him on Wednesday to confirm)
  • Park Update, Garry Korr
  • Belle isle Residents Association Goals for 2016
  • Other Business, Open Forum and questions from residents

Belle Isle Residents Association president is running for Miami Beach City Commission

UPDATED…

Here’s some news:

Belle Isle’s own Scott Diffenderfer, longtime president of the Belle Isle Residents Association, filed papers today to run for Miami Beach City Commission.

He is running for the Group 6 seat, which is being vacated by Commissioner Deede Weithorn, who has indicated she plans to run for the Florida House of Representatives.

Diffenderfer is the second Belle Isle resident to file for the seat. Mark Samuelian, a management consultant, filed his candidacy papers last month. Jeff Cynamon, a real estate attorney specializing in eminent domain casses, has also filed for that seat.

Samuelian, the Community Affairs director of the Alton Road Business Association, lives in the Grand Venetian. He is also on the board of Miami Beach United. (An earlier version of this post omitted this information).

Diffenderfer moved to Miami Beach in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew. He is a Realtor, and lives in the Belle Plaza condo. In addition to his involvement with BIRA, he’s served on the Miami Beach Transportation, Parking and Bicycle-Pedestrian Facilities Committee.

Hey, Belle Isle residents! Think you have traffic and construction? Brace yourself for so much more

A wave of new road projects — a cascade of construction with attendant detours, road closures and delays — begins in and around our neigborhood next week.

It will last well into 2017, and will impact every path in and out of the Venetian Islands,  we learned this week at the annual Belle Isle Residents Association meeting. More 100 people attended the meeting, and they got an earful.

The projects include the rebuild and raising of West Avenue, the closure and replacement of the westernmost bridge on the Venetian Causeway, the construction of a new West Avenue bridge over the Collins Canal,  and the rebuild and elevation of Dade Boulevard.

The projects address a range of ills: traffic flow, the flooding issues on Alton Road, West Avenue and in Sunset Harbour, and the replacement of old and failing underground utilities.

Dr. Bruce Mowry, the city of Miami Beach engineer, outlined a series of major projects that will begin next week:

— West Avenue reconstruction. The first work will begin next week, Mowry said. This is a project that runs from Fifth to 17th streets, and will involve the installation of five more pumping stations (on 17th and Sixth streets, built by Miami Beach, and on 14th, 10th and First, handled by FDOT). Two new pumping stations have been built as part of the Alton Road project.

The work is expected to last a year and a half, and it will be done in phases. The first phase is nearest to Sunset Harbour and the Venetian Isles, Mowry said, running from 17th Street to Lincoln Road. There will be major work on 17th Street from the bridge over the Collins Canal east to Alton Road; there will be lane reductions and occasion detours during the day.

There may be some intermittent closures on 17th street, he said, but generally it will be open with lane closures. Dade Blvd will have to take the brunt of the traffic during those times.

Mowry said the plan is for the work around 17th Street to begin next week and be done by the end of summer. Mowry said the city has urged FDOT to finish one area before starting work and disrupting another.

A second phase is the area between Fifth and Eighth streets. And then there are two other major work areas, at 10th and 14th streets. The entire project, which won’t be completed until 2017, will also include rebuilding Bay Road south of the Collins Canal.

— The West Avenue Bridge, connecting the West Avenue neighborhood with Sunset Harbour.

This project will impact West Avenue, 17th Street, Dade Boulevard and the landing area for the bridge in Sunset Harbour. Mowry said it is under design right now, and will take about seven and a half months for design and permits. Bids could be sought as early as fall, and construction could begin in early 2016.

The construction is expected to take between 12 and 18 months.

It will have broad impact. To create enough clearance over the Collins Canal, 17th Street will have to be raised for the bridge approach. So will Dade Boulevard on the north side of the canal. The bridge path next to the under-construction Residence Inn on 17th Street also must be elevated, he said.

“Dade Boulevard is a very low point,” Mowry said. “It will need to be raised up to three feet, and then the bridge roadway will be tapered into Sunset Harbour. That makes this bridge a complex system. The issue with Bay Road and all the illegal turns there is right in the middle of that. its a very confusing area there.”

— Venetian Causeway West Bridge. Work is expected to begin as soon as April or May, and the bridge will close. That means to get off the Venetian Islands — From Biscayne Island to Belle Isle — All drivers will have to head east to go north to the Julia Tuttle Causeway or south to the MacArthur. Likewise, returning to Miami Beach from the mainland.

Belle Isle Residents Association President Scott Diffenderfer said that a Miami-Dade County bid committee is supposed to meet March 3 and make recommendations on a contractor to the Miami-Dade Commission, and if all goes as expected the work will begin in 30 to 60 days after that. The construction is expected to take about nine months.

The residents association and the city of Miami Beach have been lobbying the Coast Guard to lock down the east Venetian drawbridge (between Belle Isle and Rivo Alto) during the construction period to keep traffic flowing, but there is no resolution of the issue, Diffenderfer said.

There is a study continuing on the condition of the other Venetian bridges, Mowry said, but that isn’t expected to be completed for another year. It’s expected more construction will be needed on many, if not all, of them.

Other bridges on Venetian are under study, and next process of repairs is more than a year away, Mowry said.

— Alton Road construction. Mowry said while more lanes on Alton Road are now open, the entire project won’t be complete until August. FDOT still needs to install the final layer of asphalt on the roadway, which may start in April and run through June, and that will mean sporadic lane shifts and closures.

Dedicated bike lanes will be identified with paint, and will go north to 17th street.

— Sunset Harbour drainage and street improvements. Virtually all of Sunset Harbour is under construction, part of $5 million in improvements that include replacing underground pipes and utilities that haven’t been upgraded in 70 years, Mowry said.

The utility work should be finished by the end of summer, and then work will begin on the sidewalks, landscaping and road resurfacing. There is a community meeting in Sunset Harbour on Wednesday, Feb. 18, to get input on those improvements, Miami Beach spokeswoman Lynn Bernstein said. That meeting happens at at 6:30 p.m. at 1800 Purdy. (note — an earlier version of this post incorrectly said this meeting happens on a Tuesday; it is WEDNESDAY).

 

Belle Isle residents meet tonight

The annual Belle Isle Residents Association meeting happens tonight at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Avenue, with a social hour starting at 6 p.m. and the meeting at 7.

As previously reported, there’s lots to learn about, from the impact of the Venetian Causeway west bridge closure and reconstruction, to updates on planned West Avenue roadwork.

Here’s the full agenda:

Belle Isle Residents Association Annual Meeting

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

 

Join us for wine at 6:00PM – Meeting at 7:00PM

20 Island Avenue Card Room (Belle Plaza)

ALL RESIDENTS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND

 

City officials will be present to discuss ongoing and upcoming construction projects, answer your questions and hear your comments on issues that will affect our neighborhood in 2015 and beyond.  Important items that will be addressed include:

  • Police Chief and neighborhood officers will be available to answer your questions
  • Information for upcoming repair of bridges & closure of Venetian Way
  • Update on Alton Road & upcoming West Avenue Construction
  • Update on pump installation and infrastructure upgrades in Sunset Harbour
  • Presentation on proposed Watson Island development and traffic impact it will have on MacArthur, Venetian and Julia Tuttle Causeways
  • Construction schedule of hotel at 17th Street and West Avenue
  • Belle Isle Residents Association neighborhood goals for 2015

Belle Isle residents meeting to focus on upcoming projects — from Watson Island to West Avenue

If you feel like that the construction projects around our island paradise never end, that’s because….they never end.

The Belle Isle Residents Association meets on Tuesday. The agenda is packed with presentations that affect Belle Isle, Sunset Harbour and the other Venetian Islands.  A sampling:

— A report from the city of Miami Beach on the construction timeline and design for the West Avenue bridge, which will extend West Avenue over the Collins Canal to connect Sunset Harbour with the area south of 17th Street.

— An overview of the upcoming reconstruction of West Avenue south to Fifth Street, including the plan to raise the roadway as much as three feet to combat flooding.

–An update on the closure and rebuilding of the westernmost span of the Venetian Causeway, which will disrupt traffic throughout the Venetian Islands

— A presentation from the organization that is fighting the proposed mega-marina project on Watson Island, which is expected to affect traffic on the MacArthur, Tuttle and Venetian causeways.

And that’s just a start. The meeting begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., and important information at 7 p.m. It happens in the card room at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Avenue.