Demolition of Star Island historic home - Miami Beach - MiamiHerald.com: "... Older single-family homes across the Beach have a vocal community supporting their preservation because of histories like the one held within the walls of 22 Star Island, the home Miller is seeking to tear down. Built in 1931 by Miami Beach pioneer Carl Fisher and designed by renowned architect Martin Hampton, 22 Star started out as one third of a complex that made up the island’s yacht club. Fisher later sold the club to Col. Ned Green, the one-legged son of wealthy Wall Street financier and noted miser Henrietta “Hetty” Green. Her personality earned her the nickname “The Witch of Wall Street.” Col. Green brought his fortune and excesses to the island, always keeping several young women around the mansion and amassing a large collection of pornography, according to stories passed down by homeowners. On occasion, he’d bring the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to his front lawn. Preservationists argue that homes with colorful stories and significant architecture add character to their neighborhoods, which is why local groups like the MDPL and Miami Beach United have pushed for more stringent preservation laws. Changes the city commission made to development rules earlier this year were meant to provide incentives for owners to preserve single-family homes. Under the old laws, homeowners who tore down a pre-1942 house would be limited in the size of the new home, depending on the size of the lot. Approval from the Design Review Board would have been required to exceed the standard of a home occupying between 15 and 30 percent of the lot. Now, all homeowners simply get 30 percent lot coverage regardless of the lot size. Critics say the new law actually widens development rights by removing a process typically required for larger lot coverage. Supporters say it evens out the playing field...." (read more at link above)
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