On December 12, 2018, at the request of Commissioner John Elizabeth Aleman, the City Commission referred the discussion item to the Land Use and Development Committee (Item C4 L). On February 20, 2019 the item was continued to the March 6, 2019 meeting, and on March 6, 2019 the item was continued to April 3, 2019.
On April 3, 2019 the LUDC discussed the item and recommended that the City Commission refer the attached ordinance to the Planning Board. On April 10, 2019, the City Commission referred the attached ordinance to the Planning Board (Item C4 AB).
Due to the impacts of sea level rise, the City of Miami Beach is currently undergoing a process of elevating roads to ensure that they do not flood and remain passable. As part of these projects, a harmonization process takes place with adjacent properties, which may be at a different elevation than the road. In single family districts this process often involves raising or sloping yards and driveways to match the new roadway elevation.
There are some instances where attached or detached accessory or non-habitable structures may have been built at a lower elevation than the primary home or roadway. These structures were likely built prior to recent amendments to the land development regulations (LDR’s) for single-family homes and are therefore legally non-conforming as to current LDR requirements, such as setbacks, lot coverage, and unit size.
The proposed code amendment provides for the ability to rebuild accessory structures at a higher elevation. The raising of such structures must be part of the raising of an existing yard. To accomplish this, the amendment would grandfather the structures for non-conforming setbacks, provided there is a minimum setback of four (4) feet from any property line. The structures would also be grandfathered in terms of unit size and lot coverage. The proposal also requires that the rebuilt structure be harmonious with the primary structure.
Additionally, for code consistency purposes, the proposed ordinance moves existing requirements for nonconforming single-family homes from the “Single Family Districts” division in Chapter 142 (Section 142-105) to the article for “Nonconformances” in Chapter 118 (Section 118-395).
The proposed amendment will facilitate harmonization with future road elevation projects. It is intended to be a practical measure to support residents in adapting their own private properties for sea level rise, climate change, and for the City’s municipal infrastructure project plans.
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 5-0.
The subject ordinance was approved at first reading on May 8, 2019 with no changes.