So who are we?
In April, 2016 a few of us started noticing a large number of smaller Coconut Grove homes being bought, torn down and replaced with very large, tall square buildings. We also noticed that trees were either disappearing or being crowded and that where there had previously been one average sized home, two, three and up to five oversized structures were being built and that the canopy that makes our neighborhood such a pleasure to live in was slowly being degraded before our eyes.
We got to talking on the Next Door App and decided to meet up to discuss what was going on. We originally planned to meet at one of our houses, but realized quickly that we wouldn’t be able to fit everyone in one of our small houses – the list of concerned residents kept growing!
Plymouth Church kindly provided their meeting hall, and we ultimately had over 100 attendees. Also in attendance were Commissioner Ken Russell, Xavier Suarez, and Planning and Zoning Director Francisco Garcia.
Since that meeting, several of us have continued to meet to gather information, identify the properties vulnerable to lot splitting and over-development, and to formulate a set of tools to help residents protect the nature and character of the Coconut Grove we know and love so much. We are not an official organization, but merely a group of concerned neighbors staying in communication and helping each other where we can.
We believe that the code that is already in place, known as the Coconut Grove Neighborhood Conservation District 3, or NCD-3 already provides the protections we are seeking, namely the following description:
“single family residential district…intended to protect the low density residential and dominant tree canopy characteristics of Coconut Grove and prevent the intrusion of additional density, uses, and height.”
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it seems the code in place is being disregarded or circumvented when it comes to these new developments. We, as residents would like the code to be followed and we believe the majority of Coconut Grove residents agree.