Item Coversheet

Committee Assignments - C4  W




COMMISSION MEMORANDUM

TO:Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission 
FROM:Commissioner John Elizabeth Aleman 
DATE:June  5, 2019
 



SUBJECT:REFERRAL TO THE PLANNING BOARD TO DISCUSS A PROPOSED ALLEY VACATION BETWEEN ABBOTT AND BYRON AVENUES, FROM 71ST TO 72ND STREETS.

ANALYSIS

Please place on the June 5, 2019 City Commission Agenda, a referral to the July 23, 2019 Planning Board meeting to discuss a proposed alley vacation between Abbott and Byron Avenues, from 71st to 72nd Street.

The proposed vacation would be in favor of the abutting property owners: Abbott Avenue Partners, LLC., 2999 N.E. 191 Street, Suite 800, Aventura, FL 33180; Pumps at 71, LLC., 555 N.E. 185 Street, Suite #201, Miami, FL 33179; and 7433 Collins Ave Corp., 555 N.E. 185 Street, Suite #201, Miami, FL 33179.

On March 6, 2019, the Land Use and Development Committee discussed a proposal to vacate an existing alley in the North Beach Town Center Core (TC-C) District, between Abbott Avenue and Byron Avenue, from 71st Street To 72nd Street. The Land Use Committee recommended that the City Commission refer the vacation proposal to the Finance and City Wide Projects Committee (FCWPC), pursuant to City Code Section 87-37(a) as required, and the item was scheduled to be heard at the May 29, 2019 meeting. The Administration recommended a favorable approval at FCWPC to move the project forward as the proposed vacation can serve as a catalyst to the development of North Beach as envisioned in the Master Plan. Additionally, the proposed vacation would be consistent with the North Beach Master Plan (Plan NoBe) recommendations, as well as the recently adopted TC-C district regulations.

The City holds a right of way dedication to a twenty (20) foot wide alley right-of-way, known as Abbott Court, running north-south from 71 Street to 72 Street, consisting of approximately 301.4 feet in length and 6,028 square feet in total lot area (the “Abbott Court Alley”) and a right-of-way dedication to a ten (10) foot wide alley right-of-way, known as Normandy Beach Court, running east-west from Abbott Court to Abbott Avenue, consisting of approximately 100 feet in length and 1,000 square feet in total lot area (the “Normandy Beach Court Alley”), as shown on the Plat of the Normandy Beach South Subdivision, recorded in Plat Book 21, page 54 of the Public Records of Miami-Dade County (the "Plat”), and approved by the City.

The project contemplated by the developer requires the vacation of what is approximately the north 175 feet of the portion of Abbott Court running north-south from 71 Street and 72 Street (the "Abbott Court Alley") and a vacation of the portion of Normandy Beach Court running east-west from Abbott Court to Abbott Avenue (the "Normandy Beach Court Alley"). In association with the Project, the Applicant will dedicate the southern forty (40) feet of 7117 Byron Avenue connecting Byron Avenue to Abbott Court for the use of a new alley (the "Alley Dedication") and a storm water retention area which will be improved as a bioswale (the "Bioswale"). The City will permit the general public to use the alley at all times and will maintain the alley. Finally, the Applicant will not request the use of any floor area from the newly dedicated alley or Bioswale.

Pursuant to the City's existing administrative policies and procedures, to consider the vacation of the City streets, alleys and/or rights-of-way, which also require compliance with Article II, Sections 82-36 through 82-40 of the City Code (which establish procedures governing the sale or lease of public property), prior to considering a request for vacation, a list of requirements must be satisfied.

ALLEY APPRAISAL:
The City has hired an independent consultant, J. Alhale Appraisals, Inc., Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants, at the request of the applicant, to prepare an appraisal related to the area being vacated. The proposed area to be vacated is a portion of Abbott Court and Normandy Beach Court, contained within the proposed developer's site, adjacent to Lots 1 through 4, and Lots 7 through 18, Block 6, Normandy Beach South, as recorded in Plat Book 21, Page 54 of the Public Records of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The consultant's estimate that the contributory value of the Fee Simple Interest in the proposed “vacated” property, as of April 2, 2019, was:

CONTRIBUTORY MARKET VALUE OF THE FEE SIMPLE INTEREST IN THE PROPOSED “VACATED” PUBLIC ALLEY AREAS TO BE UTILIZED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE DEVELOPER’S SITE AS DESCRIBED HEREIN TWO MILLION THREE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS ($2,350,000).

Should the FCWPC agree that the proposed portions of Abbott Court and Normandy Beach Court, between 71st Street and 72nd Street be vacated, Public Works will proceed with adding a title to the next City Commission agenda, accepting the recommendation of the Committee, followed by a Planning Board (4/7ths vote needed for approval), and two readings before the City Commission, with the second reading being a public hearing (needing a 6/7ths vote).

PUBLIC BENEFIT
The Applicant is proposing to redevelop almost an entire block with a mixed use project consisting of commercial and residential uses. As it stands now, the assemblage is 53,980 square feet in size. The applicant is asking the City to vacate one alley in its entirety, Normandy Beach Court, which is 1,000 square feet. In addition, the Applicant is asking that the City vacate a portion of another alley, Abbott Court, which is 3,522 square feet.

As proposed, the floor area from Normandy Beach Court and Abbott Court will be absorbed into the Applicant’s project. However, as stated by the Applicant, the purpose of the vacation request is to have a more efficient building.

The Applicant proposes to dedicate a portion of its property to the City to be used in two ways. First, the Applicant proposes to dedicate to the City a sufficient amount of property for a new alley that will connect the remaining portion of Abbott Court westward to Bryon Avenue. The amount of this dedication is 2,542 square feet. The Applicant will also dedicate to the City a sufficient amount of property for what will used to construct a bioswale. The amount of this dedication is 2,198 square feet. In combination, both areas total 4,750 square feet, which is greater than the square footage obtained by the Applicant through the proposed vacation process.

In summary, at the beginning of the vacation process, the area of the assemblage is 53,980 square feet. Once the square footage of the alleys being vacated is added to the assemblage and then the square footage amount being dedicated to the City is subtracted, the area of the assemblage is reduced to 53,762 square feet. This represents a net loss of square footage and, therefore, a loss of development rights for the applicant. Based upon the foregoing described loss in development rights, the Applicant’s motivation in seeking the vacation of these alleys is to have a more efficient building and not to obtain a greater amount of development rights.

Accordingly, the public benefit analysis is not based on increased development rights because the Applicant is actually losing development rights rather than obtaining them by undergoing the vacation process. The Applicant is proposing to construct a bioswale which represents an innovative way to handle the stormwater drainage. The Applicant has valued such construction in excess of $350,000.

Due to the item being heard after June 1st, the item is subject to Planning Board Application fees. Specifically, Pursuant to section 118-162(c) of the City Code, an application that is filed on behalf of a private applicant is required to pay all applicable planning department fees and costs associated with the application, as specified in in section 118-7 and Appendix A to this Code. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the fees and costs associated with this application may be waived by a five-sevenths (5/7ths) vote of the city commission, based upon one or more of the following circumstances:

 

  1. The city manager determines, in writing, that the proposed amendment is necessary due to a change in federal or state law, and/or to implement best practices in urban planning.
  2. Upon written recommendation of the city manager acknowledging a documented financial hardship of a property owner(s) or developer(s).
  3. if requested, in writing, by a non-profit organization, neighborhood association, or homeowner's association for property owned by any such organization or association, so long as the request demonstrates that a public purpose is achieved by enacting the applicable amendment.

 

For additional information, please contact my office at extension 26437.

Legislative Tracking
Commissioner John Elizabeth Aleman