Endangered Trees on Raynolds

Unfortunately, there are two very large Oaks that the developer who bought the house at 4160 Raynolds Avenue plans on taking down.

This is one of the trees as seen from the neighbor’s yard. This tree is beautiful and in good condition. There is no reason to remove it other than it’s in their way.
A view from the next door neighbor’s house.

These two trees are so large, I couldn’t get them all into the picture. They form what is essentially a part of the landscape that makes these two lots so beautiful. They are directly on the property line and the developer, Gastion Inc. and developer, UAG Construction (who on their website claim ‘Sustainable Design’) want to take them down, presumably to maximize the square footage that he can sell. We don’t even know if the future homeowner would have wanted to destroy the barrier between the two homes and remove such an integral part of the landscape. That choice would be taken away from them in favor of the scant extra square footage.

We have been in contact with the Environmental Resources Department and the Building Department. The permit to remove the trees has not yet been approved, nor have the building plans.

Below is a letter sent from a neighbor to the Environmental Resources Office, The Zoning Administrator, Devin Cejas, and Commissioner Russell’s office after requesting to view the plans for the development:

I frankly was very upset to see what is planned for 4160 Raynolds Ave.

Run off to 4130 and other properties – We observed approval by DERM on plans but did not see any civil engineering plans that would take into account the slope of the property from Raynolds towards Poinciana. We may have overlooked them. Raynolds Avenue – the street is about four feet higher in elevation than what used to the backyard of the 4160 Raynolds Ave property. If you look at what was demolished you entered the home at ground level on Raynolds Ave and if you exited the back of the home you were on a deck that was about 2 feet off of the ground and the land continues to slope downward to the property behind on Frantz. My concern is the run off from a newly built home within a limited feet from the property next door and at a higher level will be a problem for the properties next door. My neighbor has a problem with runoff from newer builds that front on Poinciana.

I observed that a septic system is proposed near the back where there exists a specimen ficus tree with figs on the trunk of the tree and a live oak tree on the Adams property. Does anyone take into consideration what is present currently in this area??

I also noted many windows are planned on the east side of the 4160 Raynolds 2 story home new build property that will view directly into the neighbor’s yard and home, particularly when all foliage and trees are planned to be removed within 8 plus feet of the property line, including the Live Oak trees 16 and 20. The property next door and the home that was demolished at 4160 were separated by what was probably 20 feet. Now there may be 10 feet separation between the buildings and the length of the next door pool area will have a two story building with lots of windows. Why was there no requirement for the new build to be within the same footprint of the demolished property?

It seems there is no consideration given to the current residents’ homes in the area, the ambiance in the area and what has existed since 1940 in allowing this 2 story building to come to be placed with a grand view of the backyard of those who live in the 4100 block of Raynolds Avenue.

I am very disappointed to see that the live oak trees we are so concerned about have been proposed to be removed for a long time now and there is no notice in the community.

Commissioner Russell, we need your assistance to preserve our community and our canopy in the grove.

Here you can see the protection around the other trees (which is great), but they have very purposefully left off the protection of all of the trees lining the property line, including the two specimen Oaks.

So there you have it. Please helps us keep an eye out. Once a decision is made on the trees, it must be posted publicly at which point we will have a very short window to appeal.

Removing those trees would be like going to a mountainous area and deciding that the mountain is in your way, so you just remove it, ruining the view and quality of life for all of your neighbors. It is not neighborly in the least.

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Keep Coconut Grove residential neighborhood from becoming “Medium Density Commercial”

Our neighbors have appealed a decision to allow the change of a residential property with 65 residences from residential to commercial, which will increase traffic and reduce the number of affordable residences in Coconut Grove, a trend that will further alter the character of the Grove. Please sign the petition and attend the hearing on April 19th.

Sign the Petition

Here is the text from the petition:

We the undersigned respectfully request that the City of Miami Planning Zoning and Appeals Board DENY the FILE ID 1640 application to change the land use designation of the residential property located at 2890 Virginia St, Coconut Grove, Florida from “Medium Density Multi-Family” and “Duplex Residential” to “Medium Density Restricted Commercial.”

We believe this change, which will allow hotels and other commercial uses on the property, will lead to the loss of affordable, reasonably priced housing in Coconut Grove and disrupt the nature of the adjacent residential community.

Specifically,
• 65 affordable residential units would be affected thus displacing the current residents
• This property would become a commercial zone surrounded by residential zones. The nature of commercial zoning would have a permanent, negative affect on the abutting residential properties and neighborhoods.
• The residential properties adjacent to 2890 Virginia Street would be in danger of “the domino effect” of future up-zoning to commercial, thus further disrupting the current residential nature of the community.
• There would be additional traffic and noise from commercial establishments, negatively affecting the surrounding residential community and narrow local streets.

We sign the petition because we care about the quality of life for ALL in this residential Coconut Grove community.

Sign the Petition