Venetian Islands locals drag Watson Island marina into court

Venetian Islands residents sued to block a plan to build a mega-yacht marina and resort on public land on Watson Island. They claim the Miami City Commission’s recent approval was illegal.

The residents, Stephen Herbits and Sharon Kirby Wynne, claim the city renegotiated the 13-year-old deal with developer Flagstone Properties on terms that violate the city charter and some key conditions in the ballot language voters approved in 2001, according to the Miami Herald.

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Specifically, the city charter requires that public property be leased at full market value, but the modified deal city commissioners approved kept minimum lease payments at $2 million a year, the same amount in the original 2001 deal.

Meanwhile, Herbits uncovered a pair of city commissioned appraisals of the property that put the current market rent for the site at more than $7 million a year. [Miami Herald] – Christopher Cameron