This past May 7, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz pulled down Marc Sarnoff’s pants and spanked him silly.
Via official memo distributed all over his district, Sarnoff had asked Diaz to veto the city commission’s approval of a proposed condo project near Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
Grove Bay Residences, consisting of three buildings with one tower as tall as 310 feet, won zoning approval from the Miami City Commission last week. It has been vehemently opposed by Vizcaya backers and Grove residents who assert the project will, among other things, create traffic congestion on South Bayshore Drive and destroy the museum’s picturesque views.
The land is owned by Mercy Hospital, which has a $100 million deal to sell the parcel to a partnership that includes Miami developer Jorge Perez, who plans to build 225 residential units. Sarnoff, who along with Tomas Regalado voted against rezoning the property, claims the other three commissioners gave Grove Bay the thumbs up because of Perez’s political clout.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
However, Diaz declined Sarnoff’s veto request in terse seven page letter sent to the commissioner. The mayor chastised Sarnoff, who is facing reelection, for using his no vote to build political capital with his constituents. He also accused Sarnoff of spreading misinformation.
Diaz noted that Sarnoff did not object to Grove Bay Residences when it came before the Cocoanut Grove Village Council on May 2 of last year. At the time, Sarnoff was the council’s chairman and signed a resolution in support of the condos.
“You had the opportunity to keep the project from moving forward, or at the very least voice your opposition,” Diaz wrote, “but you failed to do so.”
Diaz and Sarnoff were in meetings Thursday and could not be reached for comment. --Francisco Alvarado