|Before the meeting of the Coconut Village Council got underway|
So confident are all the parties that an agreement is possible, that they've requested a 60-day freeze in all legal proceedings to see if they can all get on the bus. Based on the anger expressed at the Village Council Meeting, it may be an uphill climb on a rough road to a negotiated settlement.
|The former future non-conforming diesel bus garage?|
Everything old is new again: The new plan is for Astor to build the multimillion dollar mixed use complex with a maintenance bus garage hidden inside. However, because it will take time for Astor to build the multimillion dollar mixed-use development in Coral Gables, these two parties are asking the West Grove residents to allow the Douglas Road vehicle maintenance facility to operate for the next 18-months to 2 years.
That's when the meeting exploded.
While this is not a scientific survey by any means, it appeared the majority of those present at the Village Council meeting (which was so small a group that it represented only the tiniest fraction of Coconut Grove residents) were vehemently against allowing any use of the non-conforming bus maintenance garage as a bus maintenance garage, even for a day.
And, if those residents read yesterday's Miami-Herald, they won't be reassured. According to Jenny Staletovich:
The city would need to use the 12-bay depot that neighbors bitterly oppose in the 3300 block of Douglas Road in the West Grove while the new depot is being constructed. After two or three years, the trolleys would then move out, said Coral Gables City Attorney Craig Leen.So, the 18-months-to-2-years touted at the meeting is already being stretched to 3 years and that's before any construction delays -- or construction begins, for that matter.
The Rust Belt, in Ferndale, Michigan, but with a Bahamian/West Grove vibe? These are all ideas already being kicked around. However, that's putting several carts before all this horsepower.
The main sentiment heard at the Village Council meeting was, "If you give them an inch..." Similar was expressed to Miami New Times' writer Allie Conti, who writes in today's Riptide:
Although the plan seems like it could work, the steering committee that represents the West Grove residents says no way. Committee chair Linda Williams says it's important that the community decide what the garage is used for once it's vacated. But she is also concerned the plan isn't binding enough to get the city and developers out of there at all.While an inch hasn't even been given yet, some people are already planning the next mile of road under these fake trolleys. This vision asks West Grove residents to put up with this non-conforming diesel bus maintenance garage forever, and a day, not just for a couple of years.
"We will not commit to letting them use the garage for two more years, because then we'll never get them out," she says. "There will be delays, and even trying to fine them won't work -- these people have deep pockets, so they'll just pay the fine."
As predicted in these pages only days ago: The Coconut Grove Grapevine asks the musical question, "Maybe we can use it for the Grove trolley?"
In other words: Ignore the century of institutional racism and the [alleged] Miami corruption that sited the garage on Douglas Road in the first place. Let's make West Grove live with it because that's how Modern Day Colonialists operate.
|There's a fascinating story about that blue triangle |
above in which Coral Gables was able to hide its
racism in plain sight by making it a historic district
It would be an irony indeed if this under-served area of Coral Gables is finally brought into the 20th Century as a result of opposition to Trolleygate by their West Grove neighbours. Maybe one day West Grove will be treated with the same belated dignity.
As the Merry Pranksters were fond of saying, "You're either on the bus, or you're off the bus." Can the lawyers get all parties on this bus before the 60-day deadline expires?