Looks like the condo towers previously approved by the City of Miami have now been nullified by the Miami-Dade Circuit Court for various reasons. In my opinion, the Grove should stick to low-rise and mid-rises to keep its charm, it doesn't need big high-rises; leave those for Downtown and Brickell!
Here's the Miami Herald
Court nullifies massive Grove condo project
The Related Group's controversial 300 Grove Bay Residences condo project -- decried by some Coconut Grove neighbors as an imposing behemoth and sullied by allegations of back-room political payoffs -- may never get built.
In a stunning blow to the planned project, a three-judge Miami-Dade Circuit Court appellate panel has nullified Miami City Hall's approval of the three condo towers.
For a variety of reasons, the judges found that Miami's April 2007 City Commission approval ran afoul of state zoning laws. The judges' 10-page order was filed on May 7, but various parties in the litigation first became aware of it on Monday.
Those suing to overturn the condo project included backers of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens -- who argued the massive project would ruin the museum's picturesque views -- and Coconut Grove residents.
John Lukacs, one of the attorneys representing that coalition of opponents, said Monday the court ruling left his clients ``absolutely delighted.''
Some of the city's violations were procedural -- for example, not affording opponents of the condo project legal due process to raise their objections.
But it is one particular finding by the judges -- that the rezoning sought by Related was so out of character with the neighborhood that it amounted to ''spot zoning'' -- that is perhaps most damaging to the project's chances.
Procedural violations could be addressed by the city simply reapproving the condos. But the spot zoning finding means the project likely has just two scenarios if it is to proceed: downsize significantly or successfully appeal the judges' decision.
Representatives from the city and Related could not immediately be reached for comment Monday afternoon.
The judges' decision was not unanimous. Judges Antonio Marin and Beatrice Butchko formed the majority in invalidating the city's previous approval of the condos.
Judge Spencer Eig dissented, saying due process guidelines had been followed and the condos did not qualify as spot zoning.
''The City Commission based its decision on competent, substantial evidence,'' Eig wrote. ``In such cases, it is not proper for this court to substitute its view for the view of the city government.''