Send an email to the town council showing your support for green building standands.
Insist On Green Buildings Standards For Cutler Bay – You Can Make It Happen
The current population of Cutler Bay (about 47,000), is expected to increase to approximately 60,000 by 2020, according to our town's growth projections. This 22% increase represents over 1000 people annually moving into our town.
The town is currently working on the initial Growth Management Plan, which serves as the blueprint for future development and land use.The current draft of our town's Growth Management Plan allows for high rise/ high density buildings to be built in "downtown" Cutler Bay (averaging 18 stories in some parts, surrounded by 10 and 8 story buildings). This area, which comprises the Southland Mall and surrounding areas, is classified as an Urban Center District and would serve as a major source for future residential and business growth. Also, there are still undeveloped tracts of land in our town as well as ongoing redevelopment as building are demolished and new building erected in their place.
Lake Okeechobee is 5 feet below average for this time of year, and South Florida remains under water restrictions. FP&L is making plans to add two new nuclear reactors at the Turkey Point nuclear facility due to increased energy needs in South Florida. We can help protect our declining natural resources by requiring that new buildings meet "green" building standards. One way to accomplish this would be to put MANDATORY requirements into our growth management plan and land development code adopting green building standards. Help create Cutler Bay's identity as "The Environmentally Responsible Green City" of Miami-Dade county.
One Option- An Incremental Plan
For example, one option would require all buildings above 4 stories to meet the Silver certification requirements set by the U.S Green Building Council for new construction (LEED-NC), buildings over 6 stories obtain Gold certification, and buildings over 10 stories to get Platinum certification. Large high rise / high density buildings place a disproportionate environmental burden on our land compared to smaller buildings. Requiring these buildings to conform to green building standards would serve as a form of on-site environmental mitigation. Likewise, other developments that exceed certain size, volume or other points would have to meet incrementally higher environmental building standards. Requiring incremental green building standards would not discourage small buisnesses from moving into our area. In fact, this incremental plan would minimize any increased engineering and building costs for smaller developments and allow larger developments to benefit through economies of scale.
What Do Our Officials Think
It would be my fervent hope that we as a community would say to all who come here to build, “build it correctly, build it according to our environmental standards, and if it is too costly for you to do this, build it elsewhere”!- Vice Mayor Ed MacDougall (excerpt from his letter to the community)
...FPL is already feeling the pressure to be able to supply additional electricity. The water supply people worry that salt water intrusion into the Biscayne aquifer may limit our availability for drinking water. These are all things that I believe we should be addressing now. Hopefully we will be able to induce or require future developers to meet the standards already set by the Florida Green Building Coalition. This would especially apply to any proposed building of high rise units, which have special requirements to meet green standards...- Councilmember Ernie Sochin (from his webpage)
Governor Charlie Crist recently signed legislation (executive order #07-126) requiring LEED compliance for all new government buildings http://www.flgov.com/pdfs/orders/07-126-actions.pdf (see section 3).
What You Can Do
As residents of Cutler Bay, situated in an environmentally sensitive area between the Everglades and Biscayne National Park, we deserve and should demand the building standards that have a minimal impact on our resources.
Attend the next town council meeting on November 14, 7pm, at the South Dade Regional Library-2nd floor. This may be the last reading of the Growth management Plan before it is send to Tallahassee for initial approval. At the meeting, the public will be able to make comments on the plan.
Email the town council and demand that green building standards are incorporated into our Growth Management Plan and land development codes. To email all of the town councilmembers with a simple message showing your concern, you can use this link, or write your own message.
Resources:U.S Green Building Council- http://www.usgbc.org/