By Dana Robin Goldman, Mayor
(Friday, May 6, 2022) – Sunny Isles Beach is undergoing yet another renaissance. After 25 years, and more recently following the pandemic, we are experiencing a greater presence of “nesters” and full-time residents. This translates into additional activity in our residential buildings, shopping centers, sidewalks, roadways, and of course our precious beach.
It’s natural for cities to evolve over time. With only 25 years behind us, Sunny Isles Beach’s ecosystem is changing again. It is no surprise that with a healthy economic region, high quality services and amenities, a consistently A-rated school, and attractive year-round weather, our community is becoming the destination of choice for more full-time residents.
This metamorphosis is a major reason why we need to take stock of where we are as a community and what we envision for the next 25 years. As the city grapples with how best to acclimate to these changes, we are attempting to respond timely and efficiently. Many of the Commission’s recent actions are a result of our changing population. We are at a turning point and we must put a greater focus on zoning, planning, programming, services and public safety by making long-standing improvements now.
Already in 2022 we have accomplished a lot behind the scenes. We have engaged with an objective zoning professional to take a hard look at our Comprehensive Plan and our Zoning Code to ensure that we do not overbuild what our founding Commission envisioned 25 years ago. We are contracting for a Parks Master Plan to set the course for future park and public space needs based on this increased population. And with the appointment of our new Chief of Police, Edward Santiago, we are working toward accreditation and an evaluation of staffing levels and public safety needs.
Even with all of these new initiatives, we are still left with some unanswered questions. How will increased activity impact our city in the long-term? What will Sunny Isles Beach look like as a result? What direction do we want to go in to best suit our residents? These are all questions your City Commission and City staff are looking into and addressing as we plan for the future.