Item Coversheet

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

 Item 11.

TO: Land Use and Sustainability Committee

FROM: Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager

DATE: May 6, 2020



Discuss and conclude the item with a recommendation to the City Commission.


The administration recommends that the LUSC endorse the C4 referral of the attached ordinance to the Planning Board.


On February 12, 2020, at the request of Commissioner Ricky Arriola, the City Commission referred the discussion item to the Land Use and Sustainability Committee (Item C4 X). The item was discussed at the February 18, 2020 LUSC meeting and continued to March 17, 2020 with the following direction:

1. The item proposer shall engage in community outreach to gauge public and neighborhood support for the proposal.

2. A C4 referral item shall be placed on the March 18, 2020 agenda of the City Commission, to refer an ordinance to the Planning Board that would permit outdoor theater uses along the west side of Alton Road.


The March 17, 2020 LUSC meeting was postponed and the item was placed on the May 6, 2020 LUSC agenda. The above noted C4 item is currently pending before the City Commission.


The developer of the 1212 Lincoln Road project, which is located on the west side of Alton Road, from 16th Street to Lincoln Road, is proposing to introduce a roof-top, outdoor movie theater use, with an accessory outdoor bar. Attached is an illustration of the proposal.

The developer has proposed the following operational components:

• A single screen theater with one showing each evening; movies would commence once it is dark.
• A concession stand with food and beverage, similar to indoor movie theater.
• The hours of operation are 5:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on weekdays and 5:00pm to 1:00 am on weekends. The outdoor bar counter would cease operations at 11:00 pm on weekdays and 12:00 midnight on weekends.
• The theater seats 250 persons, using both single seats and couch seats.
• The sound of the movie is heard only through headsets.
• All of the parking spaces proposed to be converted to theater area are excess, surplus parking and not required parking.
• Food preparation is proposed to take place in the restaurant downstairs, but sales, including table service, will occur upstairs.

Under the current regulations of the City Code, the proposed use is not permitted on the roof top of a structure on the west side of Alton Road. Specifically, the Alton Road corridor, which includes properties on the west side of Alton Road and east of Alton Court, between 14th Street and Collins Canal, has explicit regulations pertaining to roof-top uses and alcoholic beverage establishments, and the proposal herein is inconsistent with some of the current regulations.

It should also be noted that an outdoor movie theater meets the definition of an outdoor entertainment establishment. As such, pursuant to section 142-303 of the LDR’s, conditional use approval from the Planning Board would be required (with or without an accessory outdoor bar). Additionally, pursuant to section 142-304 of the LDR’s, the accessory outdoor bar counter proposed would not be permitted to operate past 12:00 midnight.

In order to allow for the proposed outdoor theater use at the subject location, the developer has drafted the attached ordinance, which proposes to amend sections 142-305, 142-310, 142-1109 and 142-1161 of the LDRs, as well as section 6-4 of the City Code, in order to allow for an outdoor movie theater use with an accessory outdoor bar. The following is a summary of the specific code sections that are proposed to be amended:

Sec. 142-305. - Prohibited uses AND Sec. 142-310. - Special regulations for alcohol beverage establishments.

The following new text is proposed:

Notwithstanding the foregoing, outdoor movie theaters with accessory outdoor bar counters may be permitted, including on rooftops, subject to conditional use approval and the following operational limitations:

a. The use shall front on Alton Road.

b. No music may exceed ambient, background levels. On rooftops, audio from the theater presentation may be delivered to patrons only through individual headphones.

c. The use shall cease operations no later than 12:00 a.m. on weekdays and 1:00 a.m. on weekends. Any accessory bar counter shall cease operations no later than 11:00 p.m. on weekdays and 12:00 a.m. on weekends.

Section 142-1109 - Accessory outdoor bar counters.

The following amended text is proposed:

Accessory outdoor bar counters shall be prohibited as a main permitted use and shall only be permitted as an accessory use to an outdoor movie theater fronting on Alton Road as provided in section 142-310, article IV, division 2 of this chapter, an outdoor cafe with a minimum of 30 chairs, or as an accessory use to a hotel pool deck. Accessory counters shall not be visible from any point along the property line adjacent to a public right-of-way.

Section 142-1161 – Height Exceptions.

The following new text is proposed:

For all districts, except RS-1, 2, 3 and 4 (single-family residential districts).
* * *
(20) Movie screens, lobby, and concession space serving an outdoor movie theater fronting on Alton Road as provided in section 142-310, article IV, division 2 of this chapter.

Sec. 6-4. - Location and use restrictions.

The following modified text is proposed:

(4)  Motion picture theaters. No alcohol beverages shall be sold or offered for consumption in any motion picture theater, or in any room opening directly or indirectly into or in connection with any motion picture theater, except alcohol beverages may be served in motion picture theaters (i) of at least 15,000 square feet in total floor area, (ii) containing at least 300 permanent auditorium seats, and (iii) which are located in CD-3 commercial, high intensity districts. Additionally, alcohol beverages may be served in outdoor motion picture theaters fronting Alton Road that meet the requirements of section 142-310, article IV, division 2 of this chapter. Notwithstanding chapter 142, article 5, division 6 of the city Code, a an indoor motion picture theater in which the sale and consumption of alcohol beverages is permitted shall not be considered a neighborhood impact establishment. Motion picture theaters shall not be permitted to operate between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., except that motion picture theaters may apply for up to three special event permits from the city per calendar year to operate during such hours. This section shall not relieve any person, entity or establishment from the restrictions contained in chapter 6, article II or the land development regulations of the city Code.

(10)  Entertainment establishments. The minimum distance separation between entertainment establishments licensed to sell alcohol beverages, and not also operating as restaurants with full kitchens and serving full meals, shall be 300 feet. This shall not apply to outdoor movie theaters fronting Alton Road that meet the requirements of Section 142-310.


The concept of an outdoor, roof-top movie theater venue is intriguing, as it would provide a unique and forward-thinking level of roof-top activation. Additionally, with the use of individual headphones, the negative impacts of spillover noise are reduced. Based upon the information provided by the developer to date, the administration has identified the following areas that will require more information and/or further development:

1. According to the Building Permit for the main building (B1505070) only 20 parking spaces are excess / surplus parking. A detailed roof top plan and floor plans for the proposal will be needed, in order to verify whether the operational attributes of theater utilize more than 20 parking spaces. Such roof plan will need to clearly delineate all of the components of the proposed theater, including, but not be limited to seating, café space, bar counter, concession areas, restrooms and all points of access. If more than 20 parking spaces are needed for the theater operation, an additional amendment to Chapter 130 may be required.

2. Detailed elevation and section plans will be required, in order to determine whether any other components of the proposed theater exceed the height limits of the code. If other elements should exceed the maximum building height permitted, an additional amendment to section 142-1161, pertaining to height exceptions, may be required.

3. The location and operation of the accessory bar component of the proposal needs to be further studied, in order to prevent the venue from becoming an outdoor bar with an accessory theater use. To this end, it is suggested that the bar component be located closer to the east side of the roof, and that the areas for outdoor bar congregation and theater seating be segregated and tightly controlled. These types of operational components are typically addressed in greater detail as part of the planning board conditional use process.

4. The location of the movie screen should be placed on the west side of the roof top, with the projection facing east. This could also be addressed as part of a future DRB application, should the theater use be permitted.

The administration recommends that any referral of the subject ordinance address all the aforementioned issues.


The administration recommends that the LUSC endorse the C4 referral of the attached ordinance to the Planning Board.

Applicable Area

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 


Planning Time Certain 11 a.m.

Strategic Connection

Neighborhoods - Modernize and streamline our old and complex land development regulations and City codes.
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Theater RenderingMemo