PB: Out of Harmony, Acrimony
As SDM listened to Councilwoman Joan Lindsay’s soothing explanation about her plans to change Palmetto Bay forever, SDM began to think: Maybe she really is trying to protect us! Everything she is saying sounds so good.
Well, as a public service, SDM is going to analyze a portion of Councilwoman Lindsay’s comments to the public and let the readers decide the truth of her words.
Master Plan Misdirection
In her introductory remarks to the moratorium ordinance, Councilwoman Lindsay thoroughly described a number of what she calls “protections” provided to residents by the Miami-Dade County Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP).
She insinuated that because Palmetto Bay does not have such explicit language in its CDMP residents are somehow left “unprotected.”
But if Councilwoman Lindsay’s ordinance amends the village’s code of ordinances related to land development, then why did she spend so much time discussing perceived problems with the village’s CDMP? Lindsay’s no fool. She knows very well these two documents are totally different things and regulate the village in different ways.
SDM Code Breaker: Lindsay is intentionally misleading residents who are not as familiar with the structure of the laws that regulate property. The Neighborhood Protection Ordinance, as loosely described to the public, purports to amend the land development portions of the code of ordinances, NOT the CDMP. The code of ordinances DOES protect property (see below), which is why she had to talk (forever) about the CDMP.
In politics, this is called misdirection.
Which, according to Councilwoman Lindsay’s introduction, “brings us to the land development code that we are now under.” (25:16)
Councilwoman Lindsay stated that a property owner can go to the village code and determine what kind of home she can build on her property, including specific requirements related to setbacks, the height of the home, etc. Likewise, Lindsay noted that similar requirements in the code govern commercial property in the village. In contrast, she stated incorrectly, the code does not contain regulations on non-residential uses of residential property.
Here are Councilwoman Lindsay’s words – as SDM carefully but not infallibly transcribed them - explaining the need for the moratorium (time markers in parentheses) [SDM Code Breakers in brackets]:
(27:17) “What we are dealing with here in terms of the moratorium and in terms of the non residential uses is trying to take care of a section of the code that was not completed and that many of us, and I know many of you, in the audience have spoken to me consider a missing link.
[Note the reference to the "code." As we will see, there is no missing link.]
What we don’t have in this code is specific criteria for non-residential guidelines in residential areas. (27:50)
[False. See Palmetto Bay: Lindsay Exercising Brain Control for a list of criteria that regulate non-residential uses in residential areas. In politics, repeating a falsehood is a customary tactic used on people who don't pay attention.]
Let me give you some examples of some things that have happened here in the past. As I said earlier these uses and many of you … they may be schools, they may be houses of worship, it may be a library, it may be a park, it may be a fire station, it coul be a cemetery, any of these things that are permitted within our residential zoning categories have to have a hearing and at that hearing conditions can be applied to the development order to try to protect the people and their homes in that area so they’re not in any way negatively impacted by a non-residential use.
[Another example of misdirection. Libraries, parks and fire stations are public facilities. These facilities are required to go through a public facilities hearing to be approved. To the extent that these facilities are owned by Palmetto Bay, the code has a separate procedure for them. See Sec. 30.50.21, Village Code of Ordinances.
Fire stations in the village are owned and operated by the county - at least for now - and Palmetto Bay has input but ultimately very little to say in how such facilities are developed. So what's left of her list? Schools, houses of worship and cemeteries.
And the mayor wonders why Christ Fellowship feels like it has a target on its back?]
Well, in 2007 in the village of palmetto bay we had a situation where we had a hearing and at this particular hearing there were only a few residents who showed up and there were very few people who were concerned about the particular application and so at that hearing there was a resolution written and there were 20 conditions applied to that development order. Some of those conditions were very well-written and some of them quite frankly were not. (29:20) There were things that weren’t considered. We were a new village. The staff and the council didn’t consider everything that they might have.
[The good Mayor Stanczyk sat on the council at this time. She must be responsible for this "mistake." Was this a mistake Mme. Mayor?]
Years went on and we had another development, which probably most of you are familiar with it, in the village. We had a situation where there was a very large tract of land and there were a lot of people in the village who were concerned about the impacts of that development on their community in various aspects.
[And now at least a truth wrapped in candy...this is still all about Palmer. Even after at least half-a-million dollars in legal costs, all that matters is Palmer.]
Over the course of a couple of years there were a lot of conditions that were tossed back and forth trying to make the situation more compatible and make it so that the development would not be intrusive on the particular neighborhood and the community at-large. At that hearing there were 80 conditions that were put in place. Some of those conditions are not new conditions specific to that application but are actually policies that were already part of the land development code.
[SDM has some smart readers so let's lay out the puzzle pieces and see if you can get the inconsistency here. 80 conditions were imposed on Palmer - EIGHTY! Where did the authority for those conditions come from? You guessed it: the then-existing village laws. Why do we know this? Because Palmer has lots of lawyers who fought over this property for SIX YEARS! (And - perhaps you haven't heard - beat Palmetto Bay in court like a million times!) There is no way they'd allow the village to impose a bunch of illegal conditions.
Here is Councilwoman Lindsay's real problem: The 80 conditions were not enough. They didn't go far enough; the school will be built eventually. She couldn't kill Palmer and now is doing everything in her power to destroy the next church or school who fails to bow to her will.]
But there were things added to that to try to lessen the impact on the community. (30:34) Now, as the years go along and we become a more mature village, it seems logical that we would learn from the mistakes of the past and try to make things better so that we can all live in a harmonious way and know what is expected of all of us.
[One cannot reap harmony when one sows such acrimony.]