The ongoing legislative battle in the background of the Miami Grand Prix continued in County Chambers in Miami-Dade on Tuesday.
Having already successfully managed to push out the crucial vote amongst County Commissioners on her proposal to change ordinance for zoning rights at the Hard Rock Stadium, Commissioner Barbara Jordan further delayed the vote by another two weeks by invoking the ‘four-day’ rule for matters before the Board.
This rule requires a copy of each agenda item is given to each member of the Board of County Commissioners no later than four working days before the meeting. As this wasn’t done, Commissioner Jordan managed to further delay the crucial vote until the meeting on February 19th.
The vote is whether or not to amend ordinance that would remove ‘auto racing’ from permitted uses for the Stadium. If passed, a public hearing would be required and special exceptions would have be granted at a municipal level – including from Miami Gardens. The proposal is for a ten year contract, with the first race being held in May 2021.
The race was agreed ‘in principal’ between F1 and the Miami Dolphins’ Stephen Ross last October, but has met with constant protests and bureaucratic obstacles ever since. This led to the revision of the track layout just two weeks ago, with organisers revealing a layout fully within Stadium bounds by using the venue’s car parks.
Last October, elected representatives of Miami Gardens voted unanimously against the race going ahead. According to a statement from the protest group, they are hopeful of getting support from the City of Miami Gardens in order to bring an environmental injustice lawsuit against the applicant (ie. F1/Miami Dolphins).
At the last meeting two weeks ago, the County Commissioners who spoke were all largely supportive of the race going ahead but were willing to defer the vote until this date until this additional delay was enforced.
At that meeting, Mayor Carlos Giminez, who has been supportive of the Miami Grand Prix from the start, warned that these delays risk pushing Formula 1 away: “If Formula 1 wants to be in Miami, it’ll be at the Hard Rock Stadium – not at Homestead or anywhere else. It takes 18 months to two years to build a track so, if we defer this, or pass this ordinance, we can pretty safely say Formula 1 is not coming to Miami. We’d have another process where it goes to the city of Miami Gardens before it comes back over here and that takes months and months. They wouldn’t be able to build the track for a 2021 race and they’re not going to wait for 2022.”