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, and approved by the City.
The project 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.
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 (ATTACHED).
The proposed area to be vacated is a portion of Abbott Court and Normandy Beach Court, contained within the proposed developer's site, of 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).
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 4,740 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.