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Mediation begins in Miami show-site lawsuit

Key Biscayne elected officials and staff met with Miami city employees for their first conflict assessment meeting last week regarding plans for the 2016 Miami International Boat Show.

The village sued Miami in early February over the city’s plan to redevelop the Marine Stadium site. State law requires municipalities to undergo and exhaust a conflict resolution process before proceeding with litigation.

National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich told Trade Only earlier this month that the lawsuit had moved into mediation. The NMMA owns and runs the boat show.

The village expressed concern about $16 million worth of improvements that Miami wants to make to the undeveloped grounds east of the stadium to host the boat show in February 2016, according to the Miami Herald.

The village believes that the large investment in the land, which the city wants to turn into a flex park, will bring multiple events a year to the island, worsening traffic and causing safety concerns.

Scott Silverman, a retired 11th Circuit Court judge, mediated at the meeting.

“The concern is with how the property can be monetized,” Key Biscayne Mayor Mayra Lindsay said.

Miami city manager Daniel Alfonso said the city has not entered into agreements for other events at the stadium site.

“We don’t know how the development of the Marine Stadium is going to pan out,” Alfonso said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen on the park or Marine Stadium in the future.”

Lindsay asked to see projections for use of the proposed flex park. “If you float a bond for $16 million, you have projections,” she said.

Alfonso and Miami deputy city manager Alice Bravo said the conversation of future land use can take place, but the threat of a lawsuit makes it difficult.

“Let’s not hold the boat show hostage while we figure all this out,” Bravo said.

The village and the city agreed to meet again on March 30.

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