A battle is going on concerning the preservation of a mansion sitting on Miami Beach’s Star Island. The home was built in 1925 and designed by the first registered architect in Florida. The mansion is now scheduled for demolition.
Developers are hoping to tear the home down in order to create a 20,000-square-foot estate at or near the same location. However, while reexamining whether historic homes like this can be saved, there is a push going on to save the mansion. Miami Beach officials have now held a number of meetings looking for ways to update preservation laws that would protect these mansions from being torn down and preventing certain kinds of structures from being erected.
The tearing down of the Art Deco Senator Hotel in 1988 resulted in the creation of legislation to protect historic buildings. Home preservationists are hoping for similar legislative action to be taken concerning historic homes as well. While Miami Beach commissioners did approve certain changes back in February, many preservationists are of the opinion that the new laws did not provide enough protection.
Changes to these laws may not be easy to accomplish and there is concern that many older homes will be destroyed before any new laws are put in place. The circumstances in Miami Beach may have been made even more complicated in that the land in the area is often valued at more than the house itself.
Real estate disputes often pit one side in favor of more restrictive regulations against those that want fewer impediments upon the manner in which they use their property. Resolution of such disputes may require attorneys and other authorities getting in the middle to negotiate with both sides concerning real estate solutions.
Source: Miami Herald, “Battle to save Miami Beach’s old homes may not be over,” Christina Vega, March 3, 2014