Item Coversheet

City of Miami Beach, 1700 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, Florida 33139,

 Item 4.

TO: Land Use and Development Committee

FROM: Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager

DATE: June 12, 2019
On April 11, 2018, at the request of Commissioner Mark Samuelian, the City Commission referred the discussion item to the Land Use and Development Committee (Item C4N). On May 23, 2018, the LUDC discussed the item and continued it to a date certain of July 18, 2018, with direction to staff to look at different potential options. On July 18, 2018 the item was deferred to September 28, 2018.

On September 28, 2018 the item was deferred to the December 2018 LUDC meeting. Since the December 2018 LUDC was cancelled, the item was moved to the January 2019 LUDC agenda. The January 2019 LUDC agenda was moved to February 20, 2019.

On February 20, 2019, the item was deferred to the April 3, 2019 LUDC meeting. On April 3, 2019 the item was continued to the May 22, 2019 LUDC. On May 22, 2019 the item was deferred to the June 12, 2019 LUDC.
Since this item was first discussed in May of 2018, staff has had internal discussions regarding potential options for public participation in the review of neighborhood projects. The Manager’s READY Team discussed the proposal and concluded that the input of the recently appointed Master Design Consultant for Integrated Water Management, Jacobs Engineering, would be beneficial. Jacobs Engineering has a number of task orders, one of which includes roadway infrastructure projects. In this regard, Jacobs will be taking into account the totality of the City’s water management efforts when evaluating proposals for roadway elevations.

Additionally, the City has initiated a comprehensive review of the development review process, including all staff and land use board processes. The consultant hired to conduct this analysis, the Matrix Group, presented their recommendations to the LUDC on May 22, 2019 and to the City Commission on June 5, 2019. The City Commission endorsed and accepted the recommendations of the Matrix Group. 

The administration is also in the process of implementing an internal Development Review Committee (DRC). This internal DRC will be evaluating all city infrastructure projects, including roadway elevation projects, from a multi-disciplinary standpoint, including input from the public works, environmental and planning departments.

In summary, since the elevation of roadways is primarily an engineering project, and the land use boards, particularly the Design Review Board (DRB), are structured to review above ground, exterior aesthetics, the administration would not recommend formalizing a process within the LDR’s that mandates DRB review. In the event that a significant roadway elevation project, which may entail substantial above ground improvements such as landscaping, guard rails and differentiations in sidewalk, is proposed, the City Commission could always refer a discussion item, as needed, to the DRB, for more specific input and recommendations.

In view of the foregoing, the administration recommends that the item be concluded and that the LUDC make a recommendation to the City Commission to refer future roadway elevation projects containing substantial above ground improvements to the DRB as needed for more specific input and recommendations.