Dear Neighbors and Friends of South of Fifth,

Thank you for the outpouring of emails (more than 200) in opposition to the outsized development project approved by the city of Miami for Watson Island.  And thanks also to the couple of dozen neighbors who came in person to yesterday's hearing at City Hall, adding to what turned out to be a packed auditorium before the Mayor and all the Commissioners.  After hearing from the public, a Miami city official addressed the Commission.  Under questioning from Commissioner Grieco, the Miami official admitted that the current traffic study for Watson Island did not examine the potential impact on Hibiscus, Palm, Star and Terminal Islands, nor at the MacArthur and Alton or MacArthur and Fifth Street intersections.

As a result of what it heard, the Commission voted unanimously to approve a new comprehensive traffic study - potentially costing $200,000 - and directed the City Attorney to examine all options, including legal remedies available to Miami Beach.

Many thanks to our city officials for taking swift and proactive steps to try and protect the best interests of Miami Beach residents.  And also many thanks to local community activists led by Frank Del Vecchio, Stephen Herbits and Peter Ehrlich, as well as the presidents of neighboring associations in West Avenue, Palm, Hibiscus, and the Collins Waterfront group.

For those who want to see more about yesterday's hearing, read the following story on the Local 10 website, and watch the 2.5 minute TV clip about the controversy. And you will see how the emails you sent were cited in the story. 

SOFNA, by Gerald Posner, Secretary, and Dawn McCall, Commercial Director (both of whom represented SOFNA at today's hearing)