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Terminal Island Project

Coast Guard Voices Objections to Terminal Island Project

The Related Group wants to build a luxury condominium on Terminal Island, but the United States Coast Guard believes that this would cause a “negative impact on security and operations” in the area. During a meeting of the Miami Beach Planning Board, Captain Brian Keffer, the commanding officer at Coast Guard Miami Beach Station, said that the operations the Coast Guard conducts require an “elevated level of industrial maintenance”, which would “negatively impact any residence.”

Terminal Island

The Related Group is well-known for the luxury condos they make in the Miami area, particularly along the waterfront. Their goal for Terminal Island is to create a 25-story building with 90 units. These units would overlook the Coast Guard station.

Why Does the Coast Guard Not Want the Construction to Proceed?

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Keffer has also stated that he has other concerns with the construction of the building on Terminal Island. Because the units in the building would overlook the station, it could negatively impact the base. They have a 50’ security barrier currently, but the development of the building would potentially cause them to have to move the facility to another location that would not be overlooked by civilians. He says that this could affect the overall operations of the Coast Guard in the region.

Some of the various types of operations Keffer mentioned include intervening in migrant smuggling from Bimini, escorting cruise ships, assisting the police in Miami, helping with environmental cleanups, and search and rescue. He has also said that part of the work that occurs on the base is loading and unloading of ammunition from Coast Guard vessels, and that this work happens at all hours of the day. This is the industrial use he was talking about earlier, and he believes that it would eventually become a nuisance for those who live in the building.

Interestingly, a retired Coast Guard admiral named Brian Peterman who now works as a consultant for Related Group told the Board that Related Group was aware of the issues and concerns and were considering buyer covenants that could dictate what the buyers could and couldn’t do. He believes that doing so would help to relieve some of the concerns that the Coast Guard has.

Other Concerns

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Another concern was brought up by a local activist named Frank Del Vecchio. He let the Board know that before changes to zoning could be allowed by a private owner, he or she needs to “own a majority of the lot frontage.” Related Group owns 3.7 acres of the 18-acre site, and as that is not the majority, they should not allow the rezoning to take place.

Currently, things are still up in the air when it comes to Related Group’s project, and it will still take time working with the planning department to try to address and mitigate all the potential issues. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Will the Coast Guard move their location and just how much could that affect safety in the area?

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