ABOUT GROVE 2030
Grove 2030 is a citizen-led initiative to shape the future of Coconut Grove through a community of informed, engaged residents. In the fall of 2014, over 100 stakeholders — residents, retailers, property owners, developers and government officials — participated in a half-day Visioning Workshop, from which emerged the group’s vision of the Grove in the year 2030.
Since the group’s first informal gathering in November 2014 more than 300 Coconut Grove residents, government officials, business owners, and other community stakeholders have helped to fulfill its vision for Coconut Grove by participating in Grove 2030 work groups, meetings, and activities, addressing everything from tree protection to bicycle and pedestrian safety. See below for updates on some of Grove 2030’s efforts. Get involved. Stay engaged. For information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preservation of Neighborhood Character
The Grove 2030 Governance Group has completed an ambitious project to propose changes to Coconut Grove’s zoning code as a way to better protect its neighborhood character from continuing development pressures. Among the many recommendations are provisions for promoting tree canopy, protecting historic structures, increasing green space requirements, and capping home sizes within single-family districts.
The group has worked closely with Commissioner Ken Russell’s office, the City’s department of planning and zoning, and myriad community groups such as the Coconut Grove Village Council, Grove Watch, and the Tree-Man Trust. The proposed changes to the Coconut Grove Neighborhood Conservation District 2 and 3 zoning overlay can be viewed here. Commissioner Russell hopes to receive community feedback on these and other ideas being promoted. Let him know what you think. You can email him at email@example.com.
The group is also helping city officials draft legislation to establish a Coconut Grove Design Review Board. The appointed, citizen-led board will provide review and oversight of all development proposals within the Grove’s limits.
The two initiatives – a revamped zoning code and a community review board – were two proposals to emerge from our Grove 2030 Governance Forum held at Vizcaya last November. Over 100 people attended the event to hear Grove 2030’s panel discussion on increasing citizen involvement and oversight in community-level governance.
The Historic Preservation Group has received initial support from City officials for the group’s proposal to require a preliminary review for historic preservation for any structure older than 50 years before an application for a demolition permit can be filed. We’ve also introduced a proposal to waive City fees and notification costs that property owners may incur when applying for historic designation status. The initiative is one of a number of ideas Grove 2030 group members have identified as possible financial incentives for preserving older homes and structures in Coconut Grove.
Meanwhile, the group has been working with Dade Heritage Trust and with local residents to designate specific South Grove streets as the Grove’s Historic District. Details will be announced shortly.
Tree Canopy Group
The Grove 2030 Tree Canopy Group has focused on promoting and protecting tree canopy through changes to the local zoning requirements within our residential neighborhoods. If approved, our proposals will increase the amount of green space on building lots, including a minimum requirement of hardwood canopy. Additional swale plantings are also being proposed. And Grove 2030 is lobbying for protection of all heritage trees – those of a native species 24 inches or more in diameter. We are also promoting creation of a Coconut Grove Master Tree Survey, which would help city officials and neighborhood groups with enforcement and oversight efforts. The group is also working to identify public rights-of-way with the greatest needs for additional plantings, with both public and private funds being targeted to support those efforts.
The Transportation Group is focusing on several projects and ideas for improvements that will enhance the circulation of traffic in the Grove, including a strong emphasis on the safety and convenience of bicyclists and pedestrians. These include:
Give Us a Brake campaign. Originating in the South Grove, this campaign has gathered nearly 250 signatures on a petition to lower speed limits in residential areas. Learn more about the campaign.
Lower speed limits and traffic calming. Members of the Transportation Group have worked closely with elected officials and decision-makers to support lower speed limits in residential neighborhoods throughout the City of Miami. Grove 2030’s goal is a 20 mph speed limit for the kinds of streets (narrow without sidewalks) commonly found in Coconut Grove.
Improvements for bicycle and pedestrian safety. We continue to advocate for completion of the South Bayshore Drive redesign project, which will create bike lanes and an offroad multiuse path. We’re also monitoring completion of the popular Commodore Trail through Center Grove in the form of a bike lane/cycle track on Main Highway.
Completion of pedestrian crosswalks. Pedestrian safety, particularly in Center Grove, is a high priority for Grove 2030. The group is working with the Coconut Grove Village Council and the Business Improvement District on a proposal to enhance the design and development of pedestrian crosswalks throughout Center Grove.
Parks and Open Spaces
The Subgroup for Green Spaces is working to facilitate the goal identified in the Grove 2030 vision statement, which states that, “By the year 2030 every Coconut Grove resident will live within a quarter-mile walk of a publicly accessible park, green space, or designated open space.” The group studied the City of Miami Comprehensive Plan to provide history and context for this goal in relation to the strategic and working plans of the City. The two plans advocate similar visions and goals.
The subgroup met in December for a workshop to identify opportunities that enable the achievement of the quarter-mile access goal. In January we drafted a resolution to the Coconut Grove Village Council reiterating the continued desire for the residents of Coconut Grove to have access to a park, green space. or designated open space within a quarter mile or ten-minute walk. The council discussed the resolution, and it will be revised for adoption at the March 2017 meeting.
Meanwhile, Grove 2030 members have identified nearly a dozen unplatted parcels of public land – including some waterfront — that could be added to the Grove’s inventory of park space. Negotiations with City officials are underway on one specific proposal which, if approved, would bring an estimated 1,000 more homes within the quarter-mile distance to a park or public space.
Currently Grove 2030 is focusing on the goal of the Grove’s business sector being recognized as a statewide leader in environmental sustainability practices. The group believes that this environmental sustainability branding will set the Grove apart from all the other commercial areas of Miami-Dade County and create an example for the state of Florida. Coral Gables and other areas of Miami are working hard to increase green initiatives in their business sectors. Coconut Grove should be doing this as well.
At a recent Coconut Grove Village Council meeting the group requested the council’s support for a ban on polystyrene/Styrofoam products. The council voted to support such a ban and will consider a formal resolution stating that support at a forthcoming meeting. We have also developed a list of proposed green initiatives to explore. They include a focus on zero waste, composting, and use of renewable energy sources.