Five years after the project was approved, plans to convert a former Miami Beach golf course into a public park are nearly finalized.
The city, which owns the long-inactive Bayshore Municipal Golf Course Par-3 in the Bayshore neighborhood in Mid Beach, wants to build a sprawling park on the 19-acre plot and excavate a 1.6-acre lake on the property, equipped with a pedestrian bridge and viewing docks. The new property will be named Bayshore Park, and also feature six tennis courts, a playground, dog park and parking lot. The lake will double as a stormwater-retention area.
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The project is being funded by $15.7 million in general obligation funds approved by voters in 2018.
After the City Commission approved the project in 2015, an environmental survey found the site was contaminated with arsenic in the soil and groundwater, “which may have resulted from the historic use of the property as a golf course,” Planning Director Thomas Mooney wrote in a memo.
The property stopped serving as a golf course in 2005.
The firm designing the park, Savino & Miller Design Studio, proposes using “golf-like land forms to cap contaminated soil,” according to a presentation given before the city’s Design Review Board on Monday.
The city’s Design Review Board approved the concept in 2017, but the city did not obtain the required permits within the given 18-month time frame. The design firm again came before the board on Monday with updated plans, including new signage that requires City Commission approval due to its location near a single-family neighborhood.
Miami-Dade County must approve environmental reports related to soil management at the site and grant a permit to the city for its site and stormwater system, a city spokeswoman said.
The firm has submitted its design plans to the city’s building department for review and approval, and the city anticipates completing the permitting process and then putting the project out to bid by the end of the year, the spokeswoman said.
Jason Koslowe, a resident and board member with the Bayshore Homeowners Association, said the presence of arsenic at the site does not concern him because of the planned mitigation and that he is excited about the project.
“It’s been a long time coming for neighborhood residents,” he said. “All of our neighbors are excited.”
This story was originally published on The Miami Herald by Mario Vassolo and can be found here.