12 CDs for the Price of 1!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

For the Grovites, But Not Strictly for the Grovites

Coconut Grove Grapevine reports, "Finally, Big Box stores are now banned from residential areas of the Grove. The Miami City Commission is a bit too late for the Home Depot though, but at least they stepped up. Guess they know Johnny Winton's days are numbered and they are now trying to save their own asses."

Okay, so now what about the residential building codes? With our mayor busy stacking the city council it seems we can rename the masterplan "Miami 22". (For you who may not be familiar there is an urban zoning masterplan in the works named "Miami 21" which seems a century belated.) Meantime we are being inundated by cookie cutter, prefab, grassless McMansions. You know, the Builders Special No. 3 from the "Lennar: Ugly Up Your Florida Neighborhood This Spring 2005 Catalog".

I am both empathetic and sympathetic with the buyers of these new McMansion duplexes and multiplexes. The prices for single family homes have been inflated because zoning, there was a lack of multifamily housing and the Grove offers an environment that many want to live in. The sympathy comes in because I suspect that some (hopefully few) of you may have purchased from builders who have little experience outside of building our oh-so-sturdy Miami Dade schools. Regardless, it is time to have pols that prohibit building homes the same size as the actual lot in the Grove or we are going to be a seaside Hialeah with a glorified strip-mall. (I know I could have used a number of neighborhoods here so stop whining Hialeans.)

I will be giving a big nod of respect to Venezuelan architect Luis Pons who has both lampooned and made serious criticism of this placeless, ultimately destructive architecture. He deserves an entry to himself. 'Til then see http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/13237843.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

I see many people who are attempting, with varying results, to soften and even make responsive these designs post fact. We are talking about inventive use of landscaping, decorative gates and additional architectural gestures. Over time I expect this will go a long way to mitigate the damage.

Asides: In lieu of an overdue entry on the enlightened but often maligned developer Jorge Perez, I do want to refer to his recent statements opposing the move of the urban boundary. He has also stated that it is the government's duty to force developers to foot the bill, using various proven methods, for affordable housing. Scary when a billionaire developer says that the local government is too accomodating of builders' interests.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home