City commissioners vote in favor of facility for physically impaired beachgoers

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A building battle in Miami Beach now has the support of the city’s commissioners.

Commissioners voted six to one, Wednesday, in favor of a request by a non-profit organization to make it easier for people with physical challenges to enjoy the beach.

“Honored, proud, excited to vote yes. Congrats, Sabrina Cohen,” said Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine.

The Sabrina Cohen Foundation wants a permanent beach-side facility to store specialized equipment, but some residents are opposed to it.

“However, we do not wish to have a brick and mortar building in what is now a parking lot, and we do not wish to interfere with those people who are currently using the beach,” said one resident in protest.

The 10,000 square foot facility will take over part of a parking lot, resulting in the loss of 20 of 139 parking spaces.

“When we talk about access to the beach, that’s a different conversation, or it’s not the same conversation as what we’re talking about, which is the logistics of putting a 10,000 square foot facility in a relatively small parking lot,” said Miami Beach commissioner Michael Grieco.

But it was the six-to-one vote that gave this non-profit charity the approval it needed.

“I’m so proud of my city that we’ve been fighting a long time for this, and they got it right, so I couldn’t be happier,” Cohen said.

“I’m honored, I’m privileged, and this commission’s honored and privileged to be able to vote for this amazing thing,” Levine said.

There is a commitment to building the facility at this site. There will also be an additional meeting in September to discuss the fundraising benchmarks and management for the facility.

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