Vision Plan: We are all in this together.

Commentary by Jorge Mendía.

It was with great interest that I read the three letters in last week’s Islander from people sharing their concerns about the Vision Plan. I anticipate more in the weeks to come. After a three year very public process, I did not see this coming.

As a former member of the Vision Board, is exactly the type of citizen engagement we encouraged during our years of service to our community.

Concerns about increased residential density and increased commercial intensity, better known as overdevelopment, were always first and foremost in our minds as we sought public input during this visioning process.

Thousands of residents took part in this process through our website, surveys, dozens of public meetings, or the week of very well attended charrettes. It is clearly the most inclusive and best public process our Village has ever undertaken.

Even after the public process ended last September with the end of our service as a board, an excellent workshop was held where the plan was presented, and questions were answered. Ask Ceci (Sanchez), since it was like the zoning meeting, she positively wrote about last week.

Like her, I thank Mayor Rasco, Manager Williamson, and village staff for organizing that event and many others.

Every single member of the Vision Board has lived on the Key for decades, and I, for one, am finishing my fifth. All of us have publicly served our community for many years, some on council, other Village boards, community service organizations or other local groups.

This Vision Board understands what is important to our community and we would never have brought forward anything that would negatively impact our community. For those of you who were not involved in the process, believe that we share your concerns and welcome your input.

While this is not the forum to get into the specifics of the Vision Plan, rest assured that all it does is address our current needs and aspirations while hoping to prepare us for the future. Concerns about overdevelopment are shared by everyone in the Key and specially by our board.

The latest version of the Vision Plan was published Monday on the Village website which was timely since it addressed most of the comments in last week’s letters and those of the presentation made in an informational meeting held by a group of residents on Monday as well.

While there is a lot of misinformation about this plan, most of you know at least one Vision Board member. Read it and feel free to reach out to any of us on the board. We are here to help.

Negatively misrepresenting what the plan is about calls into question our Board’s work, motives, intentions and even reputations. Yes, it feels personal to me. I care too much about Key Biscayne to have your work, our work, used for political posturing.

Please reach out to any of us. The Vision Board included: Mario Garcia-Serra, Chair, Jorge Mendia, Vice-Chair, Matt Bramson, Luis de la Cruz, Robert Duzoglou, Lucia Marin. and Tom McCormick.

Having more residents get involved in the vision plan process will make it stronger and ultimately more successful. Please remain involved and trust that preserving our quality of life for generations to come is what the Vision Plan is all about. Hint, increasing density in any form is not what it is about.

Remember, we are all in this together. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise!


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