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Law could create ‘Central Park’ in Miami

Could Miami’s Museum Park become the next world-class green space?

Miami Commission Chairman Marc Sarnoff says yes — thanks in part to a new state law he helped shape.

The legislation opens the door for Miami to create a non-profit conservancy that would operate and maintain the park, handling everything from fundraising to horticulture.

“This law gives us the ability to create [New York’s] Central Park in Miami,” Sarnoff said. “It could be something really special.”

But the conservancy idea, which would require a vote of the City Commission, is sure to draw critics.

Some watchdogs are concerned the law enables Miami to sidestep its own rules for leasing out its valuable waterfront properties. For most waterfront deals, city leaders must use the competitive bidding process and hold a public referendum. Neither would be necessary to establish a Museum Park conservancy.

“This looks like a way to obviate the requirements in the city charter to have a public vote,” said Frank Rollason, a former assistant city manager who now sits on the board of the Urban Environment League. “The people should have a say.”  

Read the story here.