Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 171858
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File Number: 171858 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-786-17 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: OCEAN ACCESS IN THE GABLES BY THE SEA COMMUNITY Introduced: 7/17/2017
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 7/18/2017
Agenda Date: 7/18/2017 Agenda Item Number: 14A10
Notes: SEE ITEM NO. 171690 Title: RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF ALLOWING THE INSTALLATION AND USE OF A BOAT CONVEYOR SYSTEM OVER THE COUNTY-OWNED SALINITY CONTROL EARTHEN DAM IN THE VICINITY OF 1320 LUGO AVENUE, IN SECTION 18, TOWNSHIP 55 SOUTH, RANGE 41 EAST, CORAL GABLES, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 171690]
Indexes: FEASIBILITY STUDY
Sponsors: Xavier L. Suarez, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 7/18/2017 14A10 Adopted P

Office of the Chairperson 7/17/2017 Additions

County Attorney 7/17/2017 Assigned Michael B. Valdes

Economic Development and Tourism Committee 7/13/2017 2E AMENDED Forwarded to the full BCC by the BCC Chairperson as requested P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Oren Rosenthal read the title of the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. In response to Commissioner Moss’ question regarding the environmental impacts based on the feasibility study, Mr. Lee Hefty, Assistant Director, Regulatory and Economic Resources Department explained the history of the County property, noting the previous status was a reversion clause. He also noted the concern was the salt water barrier line versus drinking water that runs through this property. Mr. Hefty spoke of the request to remove the dam from the community, which was historically not supported. Mr. Hefty further explained that the community requested to have the boats lifted over the dam. He said this would not be an environmental problem as long as the dam remained in place, noting the integrity of the Biscayne Aquifer would be protected with minimal environmental impact from moving the boats in this manner. Mr. Hefty reiterated the main issue was to keep the dam in place to protect the ground water because residents used it as drinking water. Commissioner Moss’ questioned the public comment made earlier by Mr. Ferdinand Kurt regarding how a marine patrol station would be established, Mr. Ferdinand Kurt stated that he believed the current residents with access used a marine patrol station that was located a far distance away in Coral Gables, which resulted in an approximate two hour service delay. He noted the plan to set up a marine patrol station in a location from an infrastructure approach for the residents in that area. Mr. Kurt said he did not have details regarding the cost or funding for this patrol station, believed project financing would be determined by the 68 existing homes that would benefit from this solution. Commissioner Moss noted if the residents wanted this system, he wanted to ensure that they were willing to pay for it. Chairwoman Sosa offered a friendly amendment to the proposed feasibility study to include the Office of Resiliency, the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources, and the Water and Sewer Department in the study. She noted once the study was presented back to this Committee all the elements of consideration and the questions posed in today’s (7/13) meeting would be answered. Chairwoman Sosa also requested this report included an annual cost for staff operation and maintenance of the boat conveyor. Chairwoman Sosa posed the question whether the public would have access to the boat conveyor if the homeowners were paying for it and the County was part owner. She also questioned whether Coral Gables needed to enhance the marine patrol to protect homes along the waterway if there was additional access to the public. Chairwoman Sosa said these questions should be part of the feasibility study because of the public ownership. She noted she wanted to ensure these answers were included when the study came back to this Committee in order to make a beneficial decision. Mr. Hefty noted the question posed by Chairwoman Sosa regarding the public access had not been looked at and had evolved from this discussion. It was moved by Commissioner Moss that the foregoing proposed resolution be adopted as amended. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Barreiro, followed by a discussion. Commissioner Barreiro commented on the salinity level and the fact that neighborhoods were still being developed without addressing the issues relating to the dam. He pointed out the intrusion of bay water into the Biscayne Aquifer was still occurring. Commissioner Barreiro noted for the record he did not believe these dams were effective because most houses were still using well water and there was a need to expand the water lines to these neighborhoods. He pointed out that most residents used water purifiers to clean their water; therefore, the issue would occur with or without the dams. Mr. Hefty explained the salt intrusion moved past this location underground by coming into a wedge and related to the location of the land and the extent of surface salt water. He said that just like salt water reached the shoreline; it would leak into the ground in a wedge shape under water. Mr. Hefty explained movement of the shoreline further west would move the entire wedge and it was determined it would worsen salt intrusion and could eventually impact drinking wells in the west area. He stated looking at a map of the salt intrusion countywide would show to be correlated to tidal areas. Discussion ensued between Commissioner Barreiro and Mr. Hefty regarding the condition of the navigable portion of canals through the area and how the salt water reached those locations by seeping in through the finger canals, noting 10 percent of the neighborhood was blocked from using those canals. Further discussion ensued regarding the limited decrease of salt intrusion because it did not occur until it passed through the canals and reached the shoreline. Commissioner Barreiro noted for the record that he did not foresee a long-term resolve from this item. Commissioner Moss pointed out the difference was this would only be seeping, rather than freely flowing, which would cause more damage than the current issue. Chairwoman Sosa noted the need for prevention and more answers, such as the requirement of residents to pay taxes although it would have public access, which was why she previously posed the questions in order to make the right decisions. Hearing no further question or comments the Committee proceeded to vote that the foregoing proposed resolution be forwarded to the Board of County Commission with a favorable recommendation as amended to include the Office of Resiliency, the Regulatory and Economic Resources Department, and the Water and Sewer Department as part study process and the report to include an annual cost for staff operation and maintenance of the boat conveyor in the subject area.

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF ALLOWING THE INSTALLATION AND USE OF A BOAT CONVEYOR SYSTEM OVER THE COUNTY-OWNED SALINITY CONTROL EARTHEN DAM IN THE VICINITY OF 1320 LUGO AVENUE, IN SECTION 18, TOWNSHIP 55 SOUTH, RANGE 41 EAST, CORAL GABLES, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

BODY
WHEREAS, the Biscayne Aquifer serves as the source of potable water for millions of Miami-Dade County residents and visitors; and
WHEREAS, inland migration of salt intrusion threatens the quality and utility of freshwater in the Biscayne Aquifer; and
WHEREAS, the Board established a Salt Barrier Line which constitutes the westerly or inland limit beyond which no new uncontrolled canals, channels, or continuous excavations from salt contaminated areas easterly thereof shall be excavated or constructed; and
WHEREAS, allowing new or expanded continuous excavations west of the Salt Barrier Line may result in undesirable water quality impacts through further inland migration of salt intrusion in the Biscayne Aquifer; and
WHEREAS, the Gables by the Sea community developed in the 1960’s included excavation of canals behind most of the residential lots in the development; and
WHEREAS, the canals behind those properties in the Gables by the Sea community that lie east of the Salt Barrier Line are comprised of saltwater, are tidally connected to Biscayne Bay, and allow for boat access to the Bay; and
WHEREAS, the canals behind properties in Section C of the Gables by the Sea community that lie west of the Salt Barrier Line are comprised of freshwater, are not tidally connected to Biscayne Bay, and do not allow for boat access to the Bay; and
WHEREAS, the County owns an existing earthen dam at the location of the Salt Barrier Line in the vicinity of 1320 Lugo Avenue in Coral Gables that separates tidal saltwater canals from freshwater non-tidal canals in the Gables by the Sea community; and
WHEREAS, some property owners in Section C Gables by the Sea on the upstream side of the earthen dam have expressed a desire and willingness to pay for installation of a boat conveyor system on the County owned earthen dam in order to provide boat access to the Bay by way of the local waterway behind their properties,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to >>consult with the Office of Resiliency, Miami-Dade County Division of Environmental Resources Management, and the Water and Sewer Department to <<1 study the feasibility of allowing owners of property in Section C of the Gables by the Sea community to install and use a boat conveyor system to cross over the County-owned earthen dam located in the vicinity of 1320 Lugo Avenue, in Section 18, Township 55 South, Range 41 East, Coral Gables, Miami-Dade County. The report shall, at a minimum, (1) consider the feasibility of installing a boat conveyor system in a manner that preserves the critical function of the earthen dam and Salt Barrier Line, (2) determine whether there are any infrastructure concerns or additional infrastructure needs that would arise from the installation of a boat conveyor system in this area; (3) analyze the methods that can be used to provide for the funding of said installation by owners of property in Section C of the Gables by the Sea community; >>(4) analyze the costs to County staff for any on-going operations of the boat conveyer system; (5) provide whether said boat conveyor system and neighboring waterway would be available for public use and access if the funding of said installation were provided by owners of property in Section C of the Gables by the Sea community; (6) determine and analyze whether the installation of said boat conveyor system would create a need for additional marine patrol staffing and resources;<< and >>(4) (7)<< considerations with respect to the property deeds, including but not limiting to use restrictions, and any particular proposals. The Board further directs the County Mayor or County Mayor’s designee to provide the requested feasibility study to the Board within 120 days of the effective date of this resolution, and such study shall be placed on an agenda of the Board pursuant to Ordinance 14-65.

1 Committee amendments are indicated as follows: Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed are deleted, words underscored and/or >> double arrowed<< are added.



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