By Noelle K. Barnes
MIAMI GARDENS, FL., February 4, 2020 — Hard Rock Stadium and Formula 1 Grand Prix organizers were forced to pump the breaks today on solidifying their plans for a May 2021 Grand Prix race in Miami Gardens. By invoking the Four-Day Rule, District 1 Commissioner Barbara Jordan delayed a crucial vote at today’s regular meeting of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners. The second reading of an ordinance Commissioner Jordan sponsored that would revise zoning regulations related to the stadium district and require approval after public hearing for automotive races, is now scheduled for Wednesday, February 19, 2020.
The news comes after several dozen Miami Gardens residents, home owners, activists, and supporters rallied together for their largest protest on Super Bowl Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. Residents from the Lake Lucerne, North County and Buccaneer Park neighborhoods, which border the stadium, also joined in protest on NW 207th Street and NW 27th Avenue. Andover East residents simultaneously protested on NW 199th Street and US-441. February 2nd marked the 6th protest rally held at Hard Rock Stadium where Miami Gardens residents voiced their opposition to the dangerous noise levels, poisonous air pollution and the traffic nightmares they would be forced to endure if Formula 1 racing invades their bedroom community in 2021. Formula 1 Grand Prix promoters are seeking a 10-year contract for a race that takes place over the course of four days.
Commissioner Jordan’s proposed ordinance amends Section 33-452 and creates Section 33-452.5 of the Code Miami-Dade County. Specifically, the proposed ordinance removes “auto races” from the list of permitted automotive uses in the Stadium Zoning District and establishes a public hearing requirement for auto races. The proposed ordinance also provides criteria to be used as part of special exception reviews. Implementation of the proposed ordinance would also require that potential community impacts be addressed as part of the public hearing process.
At recent Town Hall and County Commission meetings, hundreds of Miami Gardens residents attended and expressed their objections to F1 racing in their community, citing environmental racism trends, exposure to jet-engine noise levels, and concerns for their children’s health among other issues. Last October, the elected representatives of Miami Gardens, a predominantly African-American city, voted unanimously to oppose F1 racing in Miami Gardens. Protesters are hoping the City of Miami Gardens will join them in an environmental injustice lawsuit.
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