Item Coversheet

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

 Item 2

TO: Land Use and Sustainability Committee

FROM: Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager

DATE: February 18, 2020



Discuss the item and provide a favorable recommendation on the proposed ordinance to the Planning Board.


Conclude the item and recommend that the Planning Board transmit the ordinance to the City Commission with a favorable recommendation.


On June 5, 2019, at the request of Commissioner Ricky Arriola, the City Commission referred the discussion item to the Land Use and Development Committee (Item C4 Q). The item was discussed at the September 18, 2019 LUDC meeting, and continued to the October 30, 2019 meeting with direction to include copies of existing formula establishment regulations for reference.

On October 30, 2019, the item was discussed and continued to the December 2, 2019 LUDC, with the following direction:

1. The City Attorney will draft an ordinance for review by the LUDC.

2. The Administration will place a C4 referral item on the December 11, 2019 City Commission agenda, as a place holder, in anticipation of a recommendation for referral to the Planning Board.

The December 2, 2019 LUDC meeting was cancelled, and the item was moved to the January 2020 agenda of the newly created Land Use and Sustainability Committee (LUSC). On December 11, 2019, the City Commission referred the proposed ordinance to the Planning Board (Item C4I).

On January 21, 2019 the LUSC deferred the item to the February 18, 2020 meeting.


On October 28, 2019, a town hall meeting was held in Sunset Harbour to discuss the above proposal. The discussion, led by Commissioner Arriola, focused on (i) the current mix of restaurants and retailers that primarily serve residents in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood, and (ii) the appropriateness of adopting regulations on formula commercial establishments. Sixteen residents attended the meeting, and a consensus of the residents present expressed support for placing restrictions on formula commercial establishments in the neighborhood, in order to ensure that restaurants and retailers in Sunset Harbour continue to serve the needs of local residents.

The following is a summary of additional issues raised at the meeting:

• The need to achieve a balance between zoning restrictions vs incentives to businesses and property owners;
• The need for a diversity of uses;
• The high rents in the area; and
• The need to ensure a proper mix of retail and restaurant uses around a vision for the area.

The following additional suggestions were proposed:
• Consider hosting a focus group with restauranteurs;
• Consider additional activation of the area through special events; and
• Conduct a survey of residents on what they would like to see in their community;

The administration and the City Attorney’s office have retained a land use consultant to study the appropriateness of regulations on formula commercial establishments in Sunset Harbour.

The attached draft ordinance establishes the “Sunset Harbour Mixed-Use Neighborhood” overlay district. The overlay prohibits formula commercial establishments and formula restaurants. Similar prohibitions exist in portions of the Art Deco/MiMo Commercial Character Overlay District that front Ocean Drive and Ocean Terrace. As it may be difficult to establish whether a business is a formula establishment from floor plans, the ordinance is primarily enforced through the requirement that an applicant provide a signed affidavit affirming that the applicant’s business operation is not a formula retail or formula restaurant establishment.

The Art Deco/MiMo Commercial Character Overlay District also contains restrictions on Pawnshops, Tobacco/Vape Dealers, Check Cashing Stores, Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores, Occult Science Establishments, Souvenir and T-Shirt Shops, and Tattoo Studios. Accordingly, the administration recommends that the LUSC consider recommending a separate referral to the Planning Board regarding the prohibition of the aforementioned uses in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood.

The subject ordinance and a companion comprehensive plan amendment are scheduled to be reviewed by the Planning Board on February 25, 2020. The City's land use consultant is in the process of finalizing a planning analysis of the appropriateness of regulations on formula commercial establishments in Sunset Harbour. The consultant’s analysis, which will inform the final version of the draft legislation, is expected to be issued prior to Planning Board action.

The administration also recommends that the boundaries of the district be further discussed in order to address the planning goal of preserving and promoting the Sunset Harbour neighborhood’s unique ‘small-town’ character. The businesses within Sunset Harbour that promote the neighborhood’s unique identity (namely, its vibrant, neighborhood-serving restaurants and retailers) are primarily concentrated in the interior of the neighborhood. Planning staff therefore recommends that the proposed overlay exclude properties fronting Alton Road, which currently contain businesses that have a greater tendency to draw customers from outside of the neighborhood, as opposed to the businesses in the interior. The Alton Road corridor, which is a major arterial road, is a more appropriate location for non-neighborhood-oriented retail uses. However, the LUSC may wish to consider size restrictions for the Alton Road corridor to ensure greater compatibility between the businesses along the corridor and the interior of the neighborhood.

Applicable Area

South Beach
Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14? Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?
Yes No 


Draft ORDMemo