Save the Alton Road Gateway! Yes to Parks, No to Towers

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Candidates in Miami Beach send out countless flyers playing to voter outrage over traffic and flooded streets. Elected officials actually could act to absorb flooding from the bay and alleviate traffic.

The mayor and commission face steep pressure to bypass existing zoning for yet another big empty slab of investment real estate, but we urge them not to bypass voters with a spot zoning change benefitting just one developer. The site between 5th and 7th along Alton Road should not be developed as a 44-story condo. It should become a modern transportation hub with a public park designed to absorb inevitable floodwaters.

Pro-development supporters of the project cynically argue no one will actually live there (absentee LLC ownership)—a specious assumption. People will live there, drive cars (increasing traffic), flush toilets, wash dishes, take showers. The land will be paved over, and wastewater (and rain water) will have nowhere to go. Or even if it’s empty, we know that such dead zones kill local businesses, and zombie inventory brings down other real estate values, already a negative factor in the city’s budget.

Elected officials can either fill the site with redundant private development or take a progressive step toward responsible land use and smart growth, proactively dealing with sea level rise, by reclaiming this site for the public good.

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