State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez and State Representative Nicholas Duran visited the Village on January 15, 2019 to present a grant check of $828,000 to help fund the community's first pocket park at 401 Hampton Lane. Prior to the Council Meeting presentation, Sen. Rodriguez and Rep. Duran visited the park for a tour hosted by Parks and Recreation Director Todd Hofferberth and members of Key Biscayne's Simon family. See photos below.
The park, at the corner of Hampton Lane and West Heather Drive, is a popular destination for residents of all ages.
The 0.3 acre property was purchased by the Village on February 26, 2016 with funds from the Parks and Recreation Open Space Lands Trust Fund on recommendation of the Land Acquisition Committee on December 1, 2015. Long-time resident Steve Simon and his children, Arielle and Brett, volunteered to oversee design and construction of the 401 Hampton property as a passive botanical park with bocce court. Arielle served as the horticultural advisor, Brett as architectural designer, and Steve as project manager.
Public participation was encouraged at a March 10, 2016 Workshop and a Community Planting Day on April 19, 2016. Installation of plant materials, hardscape elements and the bocce courts continued into 2018. The Village's Public Works Department took over routine maintenance on October 1, 2018 after substantial completion.
The next steps will be to name the park and dedicate a plaque.
Director Hofferberth applied for a State of Florida Community Trust grant on August 17, 2016 that could provide up to 40% reimbursement of the $2,090,000 purchase price. The Village received notice of the $828,000 award, representing 39.6% of the property cost, on April 29, 2017. The grant proceeds will be deposited into the Village's Parks and Recreation Open Space LandsTrust Fund.
Scott Hardie and members of the Land Acquisition Committee played key roles in negotiating the purchase of the corner lot. Former Councilmember Michael Kelly championed the idea of the Parks and Recreation Open Space Lands Trust Fund. The Fund is funded annually with 1% of ad valorem taxes to ensure that monies are available for the future purchase of land for parks and open space.
The efforts of the Simon family were supplemented by resident volunteers. Mauricio Salazar, a structural engineer, ensured the pergola’s design would withstand the stringent Miami-Dade hurricane codes. Patrice M. Scemana, a realtor and builder, scheduled his employees to complete miscellaneous tasks.
Village officials and resident volunteers welcomed our State Senator and State
Representative to 401 Hampton Lane Park on January 15, 2019. From left:
Parks and Recreation Director Todd Hofferberth, resident Mauricio Salazar,
resident Patrice M. Scemana, State Representative Nicholas Duran, residents
Arielle Simon, Steve Simon and Brett Simon, State Senator Jose Javier
Rodriguez, Mayor Michael Davey, former Councilmember Michael Kelly
and Councilmember Katie Petros.
Presentation of the Florida Community Trust grant check to the Village in
Council Chambers on January 15, 2019. From left: Parks and Recreation
Director Todd Hofferberth, Councilmember Edward London, Councilmember
Luis Lauredo, Vice Mayor Allison McCormick, Councilmember Brett Moss,
State Representative Nicholas Duran, State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez,
Councilmember Katie Petros and Councilmember Ignacio Segurola.