Alert! Citizens petition to keep mega billboards out of city parks

Alert! Citizens petition to keep mega billboards out of city parks

Illustration via using original photo credit on Miami New Times –  Richard Cavalleri

Giant 1800 square foot billboards slated for parks and other government properties in Miami. 

Resident’s start a petition drive and updated information during this fast moving situation here:

Backgrounder from Press:

“Miami targets even larger billboards throughout urban core”

“While a city board has caused a major delay to the Miami City Commission’s plan to allow outdoor advertising signs in some of the city’s premier waterfront parks, the commission followed with a vote advancing an even more aggressive measure allowing large digital ad signs on city property.

Before the commission Oct. 13 were two related items: The final reading of an amendment to the sign ordinance to allow advertising signs in three bayfront parks, sponsored by Joe Carollo; and the first reading of an amendment to the sign ordinance allowing larger digital advertising signs at numerous city-owned properties, sponsored by Alex Diaz de la Portilla.

Mr. Carollo’s proposal could not move forward because on Oct. 11 the Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board (PZAB) voted to defer the legislation 90 days.

After discussion of the proposal and the rights and authority of PZAB, the commission voted to withdraw Mr. Carollo’s proposal. It had passed unanimously on first reading Sept. 22.

Mr. Carollo’s legislation would allow advertising signs up to 20 by 20 feet in Bayfront Park, Maurice A. Ferré Park, and Virginia Key Beach Park.

The original advertising sign ordinance allows outdoor advertising signs at three city-owned sites: James L. Knight Center, Olympia Theater and Building/Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, and Miami Children’s Museum.

Mr. Diaz de la Portilla’s proposal would add Bayfront Park; Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM); Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County; Maurice A. Ferré Park; and ‘Any government-owned location within the Omni or SEOPW CRAs (Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency).’

The following locations would be deemed Digital Free Standing Sign Sites: Bayfront Park; PAMM; and Maurice A. Ferré Park. Signs up to 1,800 square feet would be allowed.

The purpose of both amendments to the city sign ordinance notes, ‘… the City of Miami seeks to bring in necessary revenue to maintain and improve government-owned properties within the City.’

City Attorney Victoria Méndez explained that state law requires these types of signs be reviewed by the PZAB before commission can grant final approval.

Per city code, the PZAB can defer an item for up to 90 days, and provisions allow two additional deferrals up to 45 days each.

Mr. Diaz de la Portilla was not happy hearing this and eventually asked Ms. Mendez to draft an amendment stripping authority of PZAB by only allowing one deferral to its next meeting, which must be within 30 days. If PZAB does not hear a matter, it would constitute a denial and move on to city commission.

City Manager Art Noriega wanted both proposals withdrawn, but Mr. Diaz de la Portilla fought for a vote on first reading for his proposal.

Mr. Diaz de la Portilla said, I want to move forward with it. It’s first reading. Mr. Carollo had his item, and he had first reading. He has a vision for what he wants to do, I have my vision for what’s to happen in the Omni CRA area … and also some of the Allapattah and Health District areas…

Manolo Reyes again voiced concerns about the impact of large lighted signs on city residents. He was the lone no vote to approve Mr. Diaz de la Portilla’s proposal on first reading.”

— John Charles Robbins, Miami Today

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UPDATE: “Official groundbreaking celebrated for Inlet Beach Underpass”

UPDATE: “Official groundbreaking celebrated for Inlet Beach Underpass”

Photo: Walton County Public Information

“Ground was officially broken on March 26 for a project that had been years in preparation, the Inlet Beach Underpass.

Approximately 100 people attended the event hosted by the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to mark the start of construction on this $5.6 million state Department of Transportation (DOT) project.

The lighted pedestrian underpass is to go under U.S. 98 on the east side of that highway’s eastern intersection with CR-30A in Inlet Beach, providing for non-interrupted flow of pedestrian access across U.S. 98. Objectives of the project include increasing safety at this busy intersection and mobility of pedestrian and vehicular traffic…

The design will allow entry of pedestrians only, with cyclists able to walk their bikes through the underpass.

Partnering with DOT to make the underpass a reality have been the BCC, the Walton County Tourist Development Council, and Scenic Walton, a nonprofit organization composed of business owners and residents.

Plans are for Scenic Walton to partner with Walton County’s Cultural Arts Association in order for art work to be provided to adorn the underpass when completed…”

— Dotty Nist, Defuniak Herald

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Sarasota: “A City of Visionaries, Roundabouts, and the Arts”

Sarasota: “A City of Visionaries, Roundabouts, and the Arts”

Photo: Nate Ilardi for City of Sarasota
The Jumping Fish sculpture stands 16 ft high by 12 ft wide in the center island of the modern roundabout at Cocoanut Avenue & Palm Avenue. The sculpture was selected from among 140 submissions and is the 84th piece in Sarasota’s Public Art Collection. It was sculpted in 2019 by Jeff Laramore.

“Sarasota, Florida is a city that has long proudly supported the arts.

The city’s vibrant arts scene includes the Ringling College of Art and Design, the famous Ringling Museum, an opera house, a ballet company, and the Sarasota Art Museum. Thanks to visionaries, the City’s Public Art Collection now includes downtown modern roundabouts graced with artworks.

Early on, then Sarasota City Engineer Dennis Daughters, then City Traffic Manager Sam Freija, and current City Engineer Alex Davis Shaw envisioned a downtown made more pedestrian friendly—and even more beautiful—with a collection of modern roundabouts. Today, their vision is coming to fruition.

‘We’re interested in the safety of walkability and connectivity to Sarasota Bay,” Downtown Sarasota Condo Association Transportation Committee Chair and Urban Planning Professor Emeritus at the University of Cincinnati Roger Barry said. “The roundabouts help supply that and appear to be extremely successful. I think we’re kind of proud of the fact Sarasota is an art-focused community and the roundabouts are an expression of that…'”

Five Points Roundabout at Main Street & Pineapple Avenue. Photo: Ken Sides

Embracing Our Differences Roundabout at Main Street & Orange Avenue. Photo: Nate Ilardi for City of Sarasota

Photo: Bravo! Roundabout at Ringling Boulevard & Orange Avenue. Photo: Ken Sides

To help a skeptical public understand what it would get in return for giving up the two travel lanes, Sarasota-based Hoyt Architects Lab created a rendering depicting how different the three intersections could look with marine-themed public art in the roundabout central islands for the Fruitville Road roundabout. Image: Hoyt Architecture Lab.

— Ken Sides, Roads and Bridges

Read entire detailed article in Roads and Bridges

NEW! Scenic Florida’s Section in the Bill Brinton Library devoted to Scenic Intersections