Update: Key Biscayne Mayor Mayra Lindsay said that despite statements from County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, the village is not moving to include Miami-Dade County in the village's lawsuit against the city of Miami. Lindsay said she'd not seen Suarez's letter, but appreciated his efforts as a mediator with the city and village.
"We have not discussed that. We have not contemplated that," she said. "It’s something that he may think is an appropriate strategy or he may be concerned about but it’s not something we’ve contemplated or discussed at all. We do feel that our lawsuit is squarely with the city."
A lawsuit between the Village of Key Biscayne and the City of Miami over plans to renovate and redevelop the Miami Marine Stadium and surrounding land is now threatening to put the squeeze on Miami-Dade County.
On Tuesday, in a letter to Miami Commission Chairman Wifredo "Willy" Gort, County Commissioner Xavier Suarez said Key Biscayne village officials are asking county commissioners to choose sides in the lawsuit. Meanwhile, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado is asking the county for an extension on a deadline to come up with a plan to use a $3 million grant the county gave the city five years ago to help renovate the historic but run-down stadium.
Key Biscayne village officials sued the city in February. They alleged that Miami's $16 million plan to create an outdoor exhibition space east of Marine Stadium would choke the only road in and out of Key Biscayne, and violate the city's zoning code and a county deed restriction on the property.
Late last month, following a fruitless mediation session, village officials voted to seek an injunction stopping the city from moving forward with construction of the event space, which must be completed by December in order to host the Miami International Boat Show. Suarez says the village council also asked Miami-Dade commissioners to "take a position" on the city's plans," and "are preparing to include the county in the pending litigation with the City of Miami."
To avoid that, Suarez asked Gort to allow him to appear at Miami's April 9 commission meeting and hash out a series of concessions requested by Key Biscayne. Gort said Wednesday morning that he hadn't seen the letter, but wasn't inclined to agree to a public mediation.
"That's something we have to be careful about," he said.
In his letter to Gort, Suarez said he will support the city's request for a deadline extension. Otherwise, the city would have to submit a plan to the county by Monday on how to use the money. Regalado says the city won't use the money to fund the creation of the outdoor event space.