NEWS & UPDATES
Sept. 5, 2023
8777 Collins Avenue Building Application to be Reviewed by Surfside’s Town Commission at Sept. 27 Special Quasi-Judicial Hearing
The Town Commission will be holding a Special Commission Quasi-Judicial Hearing following the Planning and Zoning Board’s 4-1 Recommendation Vote on Aug. 31
After receiving numerous inquiries following last week’s Planning and Zoning Board meeting where the application for the new building at 8777 Collins Avenue was submitted, the Town of Surfside would like to clarify information regarding the application process for the property and applicability of the Planning and Zoning Board’s decision.
The Planning and Zoning Board acts as a recommending committee that provides recommendations on new site plan applications. The vote that occurred at the Aug. 31 meeting recommended that the submitted application move forward as the application met Town Code.
Plans are reviewed for codes and legal sufficiency and a recommendation is provided to the Town Commission as all applications are subject to Town Commission approval.
The application will move forward and the Commission will be reviewing the application along with any additional information they may request from the developer at the upcoming Sept. 27 Special Commission Quasi-Judicial hearing.
The Town is reviewing comments and feedback from family members and is currently organizing a meeting between Surfside Memorial Committee members, the developer and stakeholders with the goal of working towards a sanitation collection strategy that will work for all parties while respecting the future memorial park site, localized traffic flow and ensuring the safety of the Town’s sanitation collection workers.
The Town is currently finalizing the selection of a design firm that will ensure the 88th Street Memorial Park Project is designed with the utmost sensitivity taking into account all the concerns and respect this memorial park deserves.
The Special Commission Quasi-Judicial hearing will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. in the Town Commission Chambers at Town Hall. The meeting can be streamed live on Channel 663 on the Town website.
Aug. 18, 2023
Upcoming NCST Advisory Committee Meeting on CTS Collapse: Registration Open for In-Person and Web Conference Participation
The upcoming National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee (NCSTAC) meeting concerning the CTS collapse is scheduled to take place at the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD. The meeting is set for Thursday, September 7, commencing at 9 a.m. and concluding at 5 p.m.
To ensure widespread participation, the event will be accessible both in-person and via a web conference. Interested individuals who wish to attend are required to complete a registration process. Registration entails submitting full name, affiliation with an organization (if applicable), email address, and contact number. All registration details should be forwarded to Taylor Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org. To secure a spot at the meeting, registrations must be completed no later than Monday, August 28, by 5 p.m.
Further information and details about the meeting can be found on the provided link:
July 21, 2023
Remembrance Torch Extinguished
On July 20 at 8:03 pm, Elected Officials, Surfside police officers, staff and first responders from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue gathered to extinguish the symbolic remembrance torch lit at 1:22 am on June 24 in memory of the 98 souls lost on June 24, 2021. July 20th at 8:03 pm marks the end of the heroic search and recovery efforts when the final person was recovered.
July 13, 2023
Town of Surfside Announces Special Commission Meeting to Discuss Surfside Memorial
The Town will discuss a mechanism to accommodate part of the memorial onto private property
In the weeks following the second anniversary of the tragic 2021 building collapse in Surfside, the Town Commission is rallying behind numerous pleas from the community, family members and relatives to ensure a portion of the permanent memorial grounds will have a presence on the site of the former Champlain Towers South (CTS) property which was sold as part of the settlement that was reached by Former Florida Circuit Court Judge Hanzman in 2022. This meeting is seeking to create a framework for a goal that initiated last year with discussions between Mayor Danzinger and DAMAC Properties.
Mayor Danzinger and the Town Commission have called for a Special Meeting on Tuesday, July 25 at 5 p.m. to discuss a process to create a mechanism, that will allow the Town to expand part of the 88th Street Surfside Memorial footprint onto private property.
“We have dedicated significant effort towards securing a portion of the property for the memorial. During my meeting(s) with DAMAC last year, they showed openness to the idea, understanding the significance of this site. It holds a deep emotional connection for survivors, families, and the wider community. It serves as a tangible reminder of the profound loss suffered and the enduring strength that emerged from the tragedy. By securing this land for the memorial, we create a sacred space where individuals can come to reflect, remember, and find solace. I am truly grateful to everyone involved for making this crucial initiative a tangible reality,” said Surfside Mayor Shlomo Danzinger.
The Town recently launched a Request for Qualification (RFQ) to seek qualified design firms to perform architectural, engineering and landscape design services for the Surfside Memorial Project; submissions are due August 3rd.
On June 24 of last month, the Town held its second Remembrance Ceremony event on the lawn of Veterans Park, just across from the site of the collapse. Hundreds of family members, survivors, first responders, community members and Elected Officials came together to honor those impacted by Florida’s worst non-weather-related disaster.
In the weeks leading up to and following the event, many family members continued to express their desire to have a portion of the permanent memorial directly on the former building’s site.
“We hope to find a path forward that will result in a beautiful space of reflection – and to have part of that space coordinated with the Champlain Towers South site,” said Town Manager Hector Gomez.
Surfside Town Hall is located at 9293 Harding Avenue. Meetings are streamed publicly on the Town’s Channel 663, available on www.townofsurfsidefl.gov.
For more information on the Surfside Memorial Project, please visit the Town website.
June 26, 2023
Town Hosts Second Annual Remembrance Events
On Saturday, June 24 at 1:22 a.m., the Town of Surfside hosted a lighting of the torch in order to commemorate the 98 souls lost on June 24, 2021. Mayor Danzinger and Town staff were joined by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Raied Jadallah and Officer Maggie Castro who represented the first responders at the scene. The names of the 98 deceased were also read out loud by Surfside Chief of Police John Healy and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue PIO Erika Benitez.
During the 10 a.m. ceremony led by Vice Mayor Jeff Rose, hundreds gathered to pay their respects two years after the collapse. Florida Governor Ron Desantis was on hand in addition to other State and local elected officials who spoke touchingly about the event. Relatives Talia Naibryf and Mike Noriega commemorated their loved ones while survivor Mara Chouela spoke about her experience in the years since the tragedy. A temporary exhibition was set up on the tennis courts featuring items from the Wall of Hope memorial which were preserved by HistoryMiami museum and photos of each of the 98 along with flower arrangements.
WATCH THE 2023 REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY VIDEO
June 23, 2023
New Videos Available on the NCST Champlain Towers South Investigation
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has made available new video interviews of National Construction Safety Team (NCST) members and footage from recent sample concrete coring, as well as videos of presentations made at the June 15, 2023, NCST Advisory Committee meeting.
The two NCST Insider videos feature remote sensing and data visualization project co-leader Georgette Hlepas and project team member Vincent Lee explaining their work. Hlepas discusses the work that the project has been conducting on integrating all of the data from the investigation into an easy-to-use visualization tool to help the teams, while Lee discusses the process of scanning the evidence specimens in 3D in order to provide a digital record of each specimen that can be used by the investigation.
June 16, 2023
Town Commission Presents 2023 Surfside Heroes Month Proclamation
The Town of Surfside learned first-hand that heroes stand among us from all walks of life. On June 24, 2021, and for many weeks after, these individuals and organizations tirelessly poured every ounce of effort, heart and sweat into their support for Surfside when it was most needed. At the June 13 Commission Meeting, Mayor Danzinger and the Town Commission were joined by State Senator Shevin Jones in presenting Town Employees, Surfside Police, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Miami-Dade County Police, Israeli Consul General Maor Elbaz Starinsky on behalf of the State of Israel and Hatzallah of South Florida with the 2023 Surfside Heroes Month proclamation.
Additional honorees include: Fire rescue members for the City of Miami and the City of Miami Beach, all local and out-of-state search and rescue teams, local municipal law enforcement, volunteers from Chessed Shel Emes, Yeddim USA, Jewish Community Services, Red Cross, Global Empowerment Mission, EZS, the Shul and Strong for Surfside.
June 13, 2023
Town of Surfside Launches RFP for Permanent Remembrance Memorial
(Press release excerpt) - Surfside is currently working on plans for a permanent memorial on 88th Street just a few feet away from the Champlain Towers building site. An informal Memorial Committee provided ideas and input for a commemorative remembrance park. An RFP for Professional Landscaping Services has officially been launched to initiate the project. The Pre-Submittal Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 29 at 10 a.m. in the Commission Chambers.
June 13, 2023
Follow Updates from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Investigation
(Press release excerpt) - The Town is also monitoring investigational updates from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which has been working with federal, state and local authorities to identify and preserve materials and information that will help determine why the collapse occurred.
The National Commission For Scheduled Tribes (NCST) Advisory Committee to the Surfside collapse will be holding a meeting that will include updates on nondestructive testing and other work related to the investigation on Wednesday, June 14 from Maryland which can also be viewed online. Please click here for more updates from the NIST investigation.
Town of Surfside Planning Second Annual Surfside Remembrance Event
Honoring those impacted by the June, 2021 Champlain Towers South Building Collapse
SURFSIDE, Fla. — This June marks two years since the worst non-weather-related disaster in Florida’s history, the Champlain Towers South building collapse in Surfside. To commemorate the 98 souls lost and all those impacted around the world, the Town will be hosting a second Surfside Remembrance Event on Saturday, June 24 at 10 a.m.
The ceremony will take place on the green lawn at Veterans Park located at 8750 Collins Avenue, directly across from the site of the former building.
Family members, survivors, local Elected Officials and community members will be on hand for the second consecutive year to pay their respects to all those affected.
“June 24, 2021 marked a devastating tragedy that profoundly impacted countless lives. From the grieving families who lost their loved ones that fateful night to the individuals whose lives were forever altered, the effects were far-reaching. Our Remembrance Ceremony serves as a poignant occasion to honor and cherish the memory of those we have lost and acknowledge the profound impact on all those affected. It also presents an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable display of compassion and assistance demonstrated by numerous individuals during this challenging time, highlighting the innate kindness and unity that resides within us as human beings,” said Surfside Mayor Shlomo Danzinger.
Due to the event timing coinciding with Sabbath, Mayor Danzinger will be unable to lead the ceremony because of religious observance, but will be in attendance
Vice Mayor Jeffrey Rose leads the daytime ceremony on behalf of the Town. In addition to the 10 a.m. event, there will be a symbolic lighting of the torch at 1:22 a.m. led by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Raied Jadallah and an exhibition display featuring items from the Wall of Hope Memorial which were preserved by HistoryMiami Museum from 9 a.m. to noon on event day.
Last year, the Town held the first remembrance event at the former building site thanks to permission from a court-appointed Special Master. The site was eventually sold to a developer and is now private property.
Surfside is currently working on plans for a permanent memorial on 88th Street just a few feet away from the Champlain building site. A Memorial Committee comprised of relatives of the 98 deceased provided ideas and input for a commemorative remembrance park. An RFP for Professional Landscaping Services has been launched to initiate the project.
Since the memorial has yet to be established, the Town selected Veteran’s Park, often the location for the Town’s most ceremonious events, as the best possible site for this year’s event.
“We are looking forward to creating a beautiful memorial on 88th Street where we can also host these annual remembrance events. This year, we are organizing a more intimate, personal event than the previous year,” said Town Manager Hector Gomez.
The Town is also monitoring investigational updates from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which has been working with federal, state and local authorities to identify and preserve materials and information that will help determine why the collapse occurred.
The National Commission For Scheduled Tribes (NCST) Advisory Committee to the Surfside collapse will be holding a meeting that will include updates on nondestructive testing and other work related to the investigation at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 15 from Maryland which can also be viewed online.
Please click here for more updates from the NIST investigation.