Open Letter to City of Miami Commissioners

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RE: Magic City Special Area Plan (Agenda Items PZ 12 thru PZ 14)

Dear Commissioners,

I’m writing to you today on behalf of the community in Little Haiti. Since 2011 I have operated a small gallery and cultural hub in the heart of the neighborhood, offering younger and emerging creatives opportunities to showcase their talent. As you may be aware, there are several agenda items for today’s Planning and Zoning meeting related to our neighborhood, specifically those regarding the Magic City Innovation District SAP.

I realize that you have thousands of constituents and various interests to consider in making tough decisions every day. So I recognize the possible futility of appealing to you now at this late hour.
However, I can’t sit idly by while the various partners behind Magic City are poised to receive carte blanche for an unfair advantage over every single small business owner in the area. Many of which have been petitioning for more favorable zoning for the entire neighborhood for years.
We are currently facing the impacts of at least 3 and potentially up to 5 Special Area Plans within an extremely small area. To keep this brief because I know your time is valuable, I urge you to defer the decision on these agenda items, in favor of evaluating the merit of a more comprehensive Master Plan for our neighborhood. It is imperative that the potential compounded effects and strain that all these projects will collectively have on our community are thoroughly evaluated as a whole, rather than being approved piecemeal one at a time.
As a last note, I’d add that while other developments (including Eastside Ridge) have been forced at least to come up with some community benefit agreements in return for the opportunity to reap millions, if not billions of dollars in profits in the coming years, Magic City Innovation District is quite literally (as well as figuratively) offering only smoke and mirrors in the forms of vague affordable housing and job numbers on a paper.
I thank you for your time and consideration, and for your service to the city of Miami.
Yuval Ofir
Yo Miami, Inc.