Item Coversheet

Ordinances - R5  C




COMMISSION MEMORANDUM

TO:Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission 
FROM:Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager 
DATE:June  5, 2019
 

10:15 a.m. Second Reading Public Hearing

SUBJECT:

ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW OF OPERABLE STOREFRONTS

AN ORDINANCE OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, AMENDING THE LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, BY AMENDING CHAPTER 118, “ADMINISTRATION AND REVIEW PROCEDURES,” ARTICLE VI, “DESIGN REVIEW PROCEDURES,” AT SECTION 118-260, ENTITLED “ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW PROCEDURES,” TO AUTHORIZE THE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW OF OPERABLE STOREFRONTS AND/OR FAÇADE ALTERATIONS UTILIZING AN EXTERIOR COMPONENT WITHIN THE STOREFRONT; AND PROVIDING FOR CODIFICATION, REPEALER, SEVERABILITY, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.


RECOMMENDATION

The administration recommends that the City Commission adopt the subject ordinance.

ANALYSIS

HISTORY
On January 16, 2019, at the request of Commissioner Ricky Arriola, the City Commission referred the subject discussion to the Land Use and Development Committee (LUDC) for consideration and recommendation (item R9N). On February 20, 2019 LUDC meeting, the item was discussed and continued to the March 6, 2019 meeting, with direction to staff to draft an ordinance allowing for an administrative review process for operable storefronts.

On March 6, 2019 the LUDC recommended that the City Commission refer the proposed ordinance to the Planning Board, with an additional modification to increase the minimum distance separation from residential districts to 300 feet. On April 10, 2019 the City Commission referred the proposed ordinance to the Planning Board for review and recommendation (Item C4 R).

PLANNING ANALYSIS
Under the Land Development Regulations (LDR’s) of the City Code, any exterior improvements or modifications proposed for buildings that are located in commercial or multi-family zoning districts require the review and approval of the Design Review Board. Sec. 118-260 of the LDR’s contains certain exterior improvements that may be reviewed at staff level, such as the replacement of windows, doors, storefront frames and windows. Currently, such administrative review does not extend to alterations to storefronts or façades that would substantially alter the window and door systems from the original configurations.

Glass garage doors, retractable or telescopic wall systems and sliding glass doors are sometimes used to create operable storefronts, primarily on restaurants or cafés, as they allow for a more seamless merger of indoor and outdoor seating for patrons, as well as the blending of interior and exterior spaces. This can directly lead to a more vibrant and active street experience and create a quality pedestrian-oriented streetscape and facade design with more eyes on the street to enhance the sense of security. These building enhancements also lead to increased façade transparency.

This discussion pertains to the current regulations for operable storefronts, which require the review and approval of the Design Review Board (DRB). In order to allow for administrative review of operable storefronts, an amendment to Sec. 118-260 would be required to modify the administrative review procedures relating to storefronts, openings, façade alterations of existing commercial buildings, as well as new construction. Such a modification would expand the review powers of the Planning Director, or designated representative, to have the authority to approve operable storefronts administratively on behalf of the DRB. This would provide staff with more flexibility to review modifications to commercial storefronts that endeavor to provide an indoor /outdoor component.

In looking at different ways the current regulations could be modified, one concern identified by staff is the proximity of an operable storefront to residential zoning districts. In this regard, as operable storefronts can, potentially, generate more noise and activity than a conventional storefront, certain safeguards would be recommended. The DRB, when reviewing applications for operable storefronts, will typically include conditions related to noise, queuing and, in some instances, hours of operation. As DRB meetings are noticed to all property owners within 375 feet, affected persons tend to participate in the review discussions at the DRB.

The following are the specific proposed revisions to Section 118-260 of the city code that would allow for administrative review of operable storefronts:

Sec. 118-260. - Administrative review procedures.

(a) The planning director or designated representative, shall have the authority to approve, approve with conditions or deny an application on behalf of the board, for the following:

* * *

(4) Modifications to storefronts and/or façade alterations in commercial zoning districts that support indoor/outdoor uses, with the exception of vehicular drive-through facilities, and which are compatible with the architecture of the building.This may include the installation of operable window and entry systems such as pass-through windows, take-out counters, sliding or folding panel doors, french doors, or partially-transparent overhead-door systems. Additionally, compliance with the following shall be required:

a. the property shall not be located within 300 feet of any residential zoning district, measured following a straight line from the proposed operable storefront of the commercial establishment to the nearest point of the property designated as RS, RM, RMPS, RPS, RO or TH on the city's official zoning district map;

b. the extent of demolition and alterations to the façade of the building shall not permanently alter the character of the architecture by removing original architectural features that cannot be reversed, as well as by compromising the integrity of the architectural design.

Should the proposed storefront modification not meet any of the above, the proposed modifications to storefronts and/or façade alterations shall require design review board review and approval.

(5) Modifications to storefronts and/or façade alterations utilizing an exterior component within the storefront and/or façade, and which are compatible with the architecture of the building; this may include the installation of walk-up teller systems and similar 24/7 ATM-style pickup openings, dry-cleaning drop-off and pick-up kiosks, and similar self service facilities. Any new openings shall be architecturally compatible with the building and minimally sized to facilitate the transfer of goods and services. This shall not apply to vehicular drive-through facilities.


This proposal is specific to those properties that are currently subject to design review approval and would allow for administrative review of more substantial alterations to commercial façades. The DRB process for an operable storefront system is at least three months in length, and costs approximately $5,000.00. By allowing for administrative review in commercial districts, it would be less onerous on a business owner, and allow for a more streamlined process.

Additionally, staff will be tasked with a more detailed review of any operable storefront proposal, as not all would be the same. This is important because the demolition and alteration of a building façade can, potentially, modify the character of the architecture by removing certain original features that cannot be reversed, as well as by compromising the integrity of the architectural design. If staff determined that a particular operable storefront proposal compromised the architectural integrity of a building, the owner would still have the option of making an application to the DRB.

In those zoning districts and neighborhoods where residential and commercial uses co-exist next to each other, or within the same building, the compatibility issues are part of the DRB review process. While a mix of uses in buildings can promote active, urban and pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, they can also create acoustical and quality of life issues. Specifically, a number of commercial districts in the City are immediately adjacent to residential zoning districts. To address potential compatibility issues, the draft ordinance, as noted above, contains a minimum distance separation requirement from residential zoning districts of 300 feet, for operable storefronts that can be approved administratively.

Also, more specific design criteria are provided, and the planning director's decision must be based upon the criteria listed in the code. The applicant may still seek approval for an operable storefront application from the design review board, or appeal a decision of the planning director pursuant to the procedural requirements of section 118-9. The proposal herein is not applicable to properties located within a locally designated historic district or site.

PLANNING BOARD REVIEW
On April 30, 2019, the Planning Board held a public hearing and transmitted the ordinance to the City Commission with a favorable recommendation by a vote of 7-0.

 

UPDATE

The subject ordinance was approved at first reading on May 8, 2019, with no changes.

 

CONCLUSION

The administration recommends that the City Commission adopt the subject ordinance.
Legislative Tracking
Planning
Sponsor
Commissioner Ricky Arriola

ATTACHMENTS:
Description
Ordinance