Adopting Vision Plan will negatively impact all that’s good about Key Biscayne life

The Key Biscayne Vision Plan, June 2022.

Dear Islander News,

Being a Key Biscayne resident for more than two decades, going through the pages of the 2040 Vision Plan left me completely uneased.

Is it really “Our Key. Our Vision”? Or, is it the vision and the Key of just a few?

The 2040 Vision Plan executive summary reads: “The Vision Board, Staff, and consultants crafted this plan by the community and for the community to display what Key Biscayne may become.”

No one ever asked my opinion nor my vision of what I would like Key Biscayne to become.

For sure, I don’t want an increase in density. We are already overpopulated and there is a cap of what can be done on a 1.4 square mile island. Key Biscayne has become one of the densest municipalities in the State of Florida per sq.ft.

The 2040 Vision plan states: “Place and design pairs quality of life issues with design upgrades to the physical environment.”

I am all for quality of life by preserving and maintaining what we already have and addressing the issues that affect our quality of life such as flooding, parking, excessive traffic within the island, getting off/into the island. Power outages have become the new normal once the first rain drops start falling, to name a few. Let’s not get into losing our beaches; that’s an issue for another conversation.

Some of these problems won’t be solved by “remaking the commercial strips to be flood resistant as recently built Single Family Homes.” This will create more flooding. We all know that an island has “x” amount of water absorption. When its capacity is maxed, the rest becomes flooding. The water must find its natural course to flow back into the ocean, and rebuilding won’t solve this problem.

How will “improving Fernwood Road by placing units on the east side which match the scale of the houses on the west side” solve our flooding and density problems? More so, Fernwood is such a narrow street. What about our Key Biscayne Community School? What about having more green spaces and parks?

The vision plan also states that “land development regulations need to be updated to reflect the Village priorities.” What about “we the people” priorities? Have we been consulted on this matter?

How can well-loved communities like Key Biscayne “retain their character” by “redeveloping older properties and having new buildings”? Does creating a denser population help us retain our character? I don’t think so. This will dramatically change the spirit of our Island Paradise, an island that “we the people” felt attracted to and have chosen as our way of life.

How can Crandon Boulevard, “transitioning from a suburban parkway into an urban main street,” still “retain” Key Biscayne’s spirit and character? How will creating more “multi-level mixed-use building complexes” along Crandon Boulevard “retain” Key Biscayne’s spirit? How can “3-story buildings along Crandon Boulevard and Fernwood Road establish a “resilient community hub” without creating more density, more cars, more parking, more power lines, more sewage, without having currently addressed these issues?

Truth is, with the 2040 Vision Plan we are killing what we love most: our Key Biscayne island!

How will we benefit from a denser population, more complex buildings, more traffic, more workers who need to park their cars somewhere, more people coming off island during weekends, prices raising on food, gas, utilities, housing – just because “we are Key Biscayne” and services feel they can charge us more?

All these might look good on paper, with fluffy wording, nice renderings and pictures, but is it sustainable in real life, in our day-to-day life? What about our Island Paradise lifestyle that we fall in love with?

Will the 2040 Vision Plan benefit “we the people” or just the few who created it?

Susana Braun


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