How did the renovated building at the former Barry’s Cleaners location eliminate parking without a variance or City Council approval?  I’m paraphrasing here, but that’s basically what councilman Walter Fajet brought up at a recent workshop meeting.

As you know, we have a parking problem in Miami Springs, despite the continued reassurances from councilman Bob Best that we don’t.  (More on that in a moment.)  We know the new three story apartment complex on Canal Street has a shortage of on premise parking that will eat up street parking.  We know that businesses need more parking to survive and thrive.

So, while we’re all thrilled to see the renovation of the former Barry’s Cleaners property, which I’ll add is looking great, why was the parking area that was used for Barry’s customers closed off and turned into retail space without a variance or discussion of any kind?

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Here’s what I’m talking about.  In the picture below, you’ll see the “driveway area” on the left where people would drive up to enter Barry’s Cleaners.  It was very convenient as you could get in and out quickly and didn’t have to worry about your clothes or yourself getting wet during one of our summer downpours.  On the right hand side you’ll see a couple more cars parked under the overhead roof.

Here’s another view showing the available space for parking.

Now, we don’t blame the developer for attempting to maximize their footprint.  Every developer wants to do that.  However, we question how the City Administration allowed this to happen without any variance?  As it is, there’s no street parking for this new retail strip.  And as you can see below, the available parking is very limited.

Now, as an older existing building, there are certain things that are grandfathered in.  It does not need to meet current parking guidelines.  However, once the plans were created to eliminate the existing covered parking, somebody should have raised their hands in defense of the city taxpayers to say, “Wait a second.  We need an extra look at this before you take away parking from this property.”

In case you haven’t seen or noticed it, the covered parking spaces we showed at the top of the article are all gone.  The area has been encased for new retail spaces.

We appreciate the fact that councilman Fajet brought this up at the City Council workshop, but who’s watching out for the tax payers at City Hall when this sort of thing happens without a peep?

Where does the City Administration expect customers to park at these new businesses?  Behind the private homes along the alleyway?

Bob Best Parking Plan

Councilman Bob Best has said this multiple times, so we’ll keep sharing it with you.  He has said on multiple occasions that when the River Cities Festival is here that we don’t have a parking problem accommodating the hundreds of visitors.

Can someone share the following picture with Bob?  Please.  Does he not realize that people have always parked along the beautiful green space of Curtiss Parkway for the Festival for decades.  I sincerely hope this is not the Bob Best Parking Plan.

Again, we’re excited to see the renovations at the former Barry’s Cleaners location.  It’s looking great.  However, our City Administration continues to give away downtown parking like its candy.  As it is, we don’t have enough parking.  Wait till we see the new apartments open up and we’re going to have a major calamity on our hands.

To be clear, the issue with the Barry’s Cleaners building never came up to be decided by the City Council.  This was approved by the City Administration.  The question is, who on Council will hold the City Administration accountable for letting this happen?


Read more about the parking issues downtown that we have covered in the past:

Miami Springs Parking Problems are Only Getting Worse – Part I

Miami Springs Parking Study Reveals Huge Shortage – Part II

Miami Springs Parking Scandal – Part III in our series

 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Nestor you have a point but lets be honest, Although convenient for that quick dry cleaner drop off, that’s just as annoying as an uber drop off on the middle of 36 street. That original overhang roof parking area was the most impractical space you can possibly drive into (probably unsafe in many ways) Maybe…. Maybe allowed 2 parking spaces. Cudos to the developer who took on more space for rent. Parking was already an issue for this building. Let the developer live a little. I think the City should help him out and provide the parking spaces on that triangle on south drive & S Royal. We cant blame the current developer for the lack of planning back in the days when the building was originally built. No one uses that adjacent “S. Royal Poinciana #2 street” it makes sense to make it into parking. He/ She did what they had to do. They need to finish construction already, add parking on the south and get that space alive again! We got bigger fish to fry then bothering this developer who’s trying to make the building better and make some money.

    Have you looked into how many different light poles we have in this city? If you need some photos for reference. Ill be more than happy to share.

  2. I am NOT a gambling man; however, I will be willing to bet that the plan is to eliminate that right turn only lane onto South Drive, tear down the divider and make angle parking in that area.
    Any takers?

  3. And folks complain about Hialeah. It seems as if the Hialeah developers come to Miami Springs to do the things Hialeah won’t let them do.
    Let the council keep giving the City Manager a vote of confidence, all of this happened under his nose.

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