Aventura residents protest controversial city plans (includes video story)

Aventura residents gathered in front of the city’s government center Tuesday evening to protest several projects that the city intends to move forward with. Many of the proposals are causing environmental and population density concerns.

The plans include replacing natural grass with artificial turf from several city parks, cutting down 33 trees to build pickleball courts at Founders Park South, a zoning amendment that would allow developers to build over 70 units/acres instead of the current 25 in specific Aventura locations and a code revision that would allow developers to build more near bodies of water.

Residents displayed signs that defended the environment, such as “No Nature No Future” and “No Fake Grass, Keep it Real.”

“The City of Aventura is a green municipality and they claim to be a green city on their website, but they are not fulfilling their role in being stewards of the environment lately,” said Alice Bonvicini, a mother protesting against the removal of natural grass.

Ariel Penzer, a resident and property owner in the building next to Founders Park South, explained how local buildings donated the space that Founders Park resides on to Aventura. The space was granted in a public records contract stating the northern side of the park would be for resident activities, such as tennis courts. The agreement also stated southern area would remain a passive green space.

“The intention of this agreement was not pickleball courts and noisy space, the intention was for developers to protect the neighbors and maintain the quiet space,” Penzer said. “The City of Aventura is deliberately going against the agreement claiming it is void, and it is not.”

After the protest, residents gathered inside the building to attend the City Town Hall meeting and voice their concerns.


Paloma Pimentel is a senior at FIU majoring in Digital Journalism and Communications, with a background in sociological studies. She is passionate about writing environmental and social issues stories, and is on her path to becoming an investigative journalist.  Having traveled to 20 countries already, she seeks to know more about the world and write stories about it.

Parsa Sadjadi specializes in video editing, graphic design and videography. He also loves a good adventure where he can find good stories.

Antonio Gimenez is a cybersecurity analyst and a journalist. He describes himself as a polemicist, essayist, and alchemist of ideas.