March, 2012Haulover Beach Naturists to lose parking spaces to boat ownersIn July 2010, Miami-Dade County signed an agreement with the Westrec Marina Co., present lessee of the existing Haulover Marine Center that operates the boat storage rack and launch ramps at Haulover Park, to extend their lease. This was done quietly. Lobbyist style!That agreement allows Westrec to build a boat storage building for over 500 boats in the North Beach Parking lot opposite the naturist beach. This monster boat house will be built over a portion of the parking lot and out over the mangrove and will run from the boat ramp area to the north end of the parking lot.The parking lot is to be redesigned and they claim to be adding a few parking spaces in an area north of the present paved area. However, we beach visitors will have to compete with 508 boat owners for our parking spaces.To make matters worse, the next parking lot south will be expanded for additional boat trailers as the county encourages more boat owners with trailers to visit the planned expanded boat launching ramps.This lease extension for the boat storage house not only is bad for tourism, it violates the spirit and intent of Article 6 of the Miami-Dade County Charter. For a building of this size, the Charter requires public hearings to be held and the project must be approved by a county-wide referendum vote.The north lot was designed by the Army Corp of Engineers to meet the requirements for parking spaces and access to Sunny Isles Beach and Haulover Beach. The number of parking spaces determines the ratio used to share the cost of beach renourishment using federal funds. These spaces were also to account for the lack of parking in Sunny Isles Beach as well as Haulover Beach per lineal foot of shoreline.Should this huge boat storage house project go forward, it is safe to estimate the number of parking spaces that naturists find available in the north parking lot will be about half of what is there presently.You will have to park in the next parking lot south which is Parking Lot No.1. Those parking there will find themselves walking 1/3 to ½ mile to reach their present favorable spot on the beach. With a chair, umbrella and cooler and Summer’s 90 degree weather, the walk will be for the physically fit only. The elderly and those with health problems would be endangering their life.The question is what are you going to do about it? Continue to be a beach potato or are you going to stand up for your rights? If you want to stand up and fight back, here is what you can do.Call the mayor and county commissioners and voice your opinion. Be polite!Mayor Carlos Gimenez 305 375 5071 firstname.lastname@example.orgCounty CommionersBarbara J. Jordan, 305 474 3011 District1@miamidade.govJean Monestime, 305 674 2779 District2@miamidade.govAudrey M. Edmonson, 305 636 2331 District3@miamidade.govSally Heyman, 305 787 5999 District4@miamidade.govBruno A. Barreiro 305 643 8325 District5@miamidade.govRebeca Sosa 305 375 5696 District6@miamidade.govXavier Suarez 305 375 5680 District7@miamidade.govLynda Bell 305 378 6677 District8@miamidade.govDennis Moss 305 234 4938 District9@miamidade.govSen Javier Soto 305 222 2116 District10@miamidade.govJoe A Martinez 305 552 1155 District11@miamidade.govJose "Pepe" Diaz 305 599 1200 District12@miamidade.govEsteban Bovo, Jr. 305 375 4831 District13@miamidade.govIf you are a tourist, tell him where you are from, why you are here and how many days you will be here and how much you are spending on your vacation. You want your parking lot back.Tell them you want the Boat Storage House moved to a different location. That you want a public hearing and a county-wide vote and you want them to abide by the Article 6 of the Miami-Dade County Charter.The former county manager tried to sneak this through the system. Don’t let them get away with it.This is a democracy. You must participate if you want your voice heard and your needs respected.Only the combined effort of the Haulover Beach visitors can stop this illegal commercialization of public lands that belong in the people.Do it NOW! Don’t put it off!Visit www.sffb.com to sign up for Free email newsletter on this issue.