Item Coversheet

Ordinances - R5  I




COMMISSION MEMORANDUM

TO:Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission 
FROM:Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager 
DATE:June  24, 2020
 

First Reading

SUBJECT:

BUILDING REGISTRY

AN ORDINANCE OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, AMENDING THE CODE OF THE CITY OF MIAMI BEACH, BY AMENDING SUBPART A, ENTITLED "GENERAL ORDINANCES," BY AMENDING CHAPTER 58, ENTITLED "HOUSING," BY AMENDING ARTICLE Ill, ENTITLED "PROPERTY MAINTENANCE STANDARDS," DIVISION 1, "GENERALLY," SECTION 58-180, "DEFINITIONS," AND BY CREATING DIVISION 4, ENTITLED "ABANDONED AND VACANT PROPERTIES REGISTRY," TO CREATE THE CITY'S VACANT AND ABANDONED PROPERTIES REGISTRY AND ESTABLISH APPLICABLE REQUIREMENTS; AND PROVIDING FOR REPEALER, SEVERABILITY, CODIFICATION, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.


RECOMMENDATION

The administration recommends that the City Commission approve the subject ordinance at first reading and set a second reading/public hearing for July 29, 2020.

BACKGROUND/HISTORY

On July 17, 2019, at the request of Commissioner Ricky Arriola, the City Commission referred the discussion item to the Land Use and Development Committee (Item C4 O). The item was discussed at the September 18, 2019 LUDC meeting, and continued to the October 30, 2019 meeting with the following direction:

1. The administration and City Attorney’s office will research and provide recommendations regarding a process for imposing proportional fines, development and use reductions, and building registrations.

2. The administration will bring a discussion item to the October 8, 2019 meeting of the Historic Preservation Board for recommendations on posting unsafe structures on the city’s website.

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

1. The administration and the City Attorney will further evaluate the recommendations noted in the LUDC memo regarding proportional fines and building registry, as well as creating a process for as-built drawings of contributing structures.

2. Recommend that the City Commission refer the proposed amendment to chapter 118, article X, pertaining to a presumption clause, to the Planning Board.

3. The addresses of properties that have both an active unsafe structures violation and have been referred to the Miami-Dade County Unsafe Structures Board by the Building Official will be posted on the City website. This list shall be posted within the Building Department webpage, and the Planning Department webpage shall contain a direct link.

The December 2, 2019 LUDC meeting was cancelled, and the item was moved to the January 21, 2020 agenda of the newly created Land Use and Sustainability Committee. On January 21, 2020 the item was continued to the February 18, 2020 LUSC meeting. On February 18, 2020 the item was continued to March 17, 2020. The March 17, 2020 was cancelled and the item was moved to the May 6, 2020 LUSC agenda.

On May 6, 2020 the LUSC discussed the attached ordinance and recommended that the City Commission move forward and adopt the legislation.

ANALYSIS

PLANNING AND LEGAL ANALYSIS
On October 8, 2019, the Historic Preservation Board discussed the matter and recommended that the City begin the process of posting the addresses of properties that have an active unsafe structures violation and have been referred to the Miami-Dade County Unsafe Structures Board by the Building Official on the City website. The Board also recommended that this information be available on either the Building Department or Planning Department page.

Planning staff and the City Attorney’s office have researched and discussed options to address demolition by neglect in historic districts. The following is a summary of these efforts:

1. Fines. The way properties are currently fined is general and not specific to the size of the building. The administration and the City Attorney’s office have researched the concept of proportional fines and it appears that it is not pre-empted under State law. The administration and the City Attorney are exploring potential amendments that would result in more proportional fines for larger buildings.

2. Building Registry. The Building Department is researching and evaluating a method to establish a building registry process.

The administration has reviewed a model building registry ordinance from the City of Riviera Beach, as well as an updated list of abandoned commercial properties in the City. Attached is a map and list of properties in the City with vacant buildings to assist with determining appropriate, proportional fees.

The attached draft ordinance would amend chapter 58 of the City Code and create a building registry process specific to Miami Beach. The following is a summary of the key points of the proposed ordinance:

• Terms specific to the proposed Abandoned and Vacant Properties Registry have been defined.

• Division 4 has been created within chapter 58, establishing an Abandoned and Vacant Properties Registry.

• Applicability: All properties within a locally designated historic district are subject to the Abandoned and Vacant Properties Registry. Specifically, within 15 days after a property has become abandoned or vacant, property owner of record and/or mortgagee shall register such property with the Finance Department.

• Detailed registration requirements have been developed. This includes a nonrefundable annual registration fee in the amount of two hundred dollars ($200) per property, as well as a nonrefundable annual fee of thirty cents ($0.30) per square foot shall be paid for any building or structure that exceed three (3) stories. This tiered approach to assessing fees will have a greater impact on larger structures, which are typically more vulnerable to demolition by neglect.

• A responsibility for compliance section is established, requiring that is the responsibility of the owner to maintain the property in accordance with the provisions in this article.

• The one section of the legislation that still needs to be worked out is the administering City department for the registry. The administration is discussing this internally, and it is anticipated that this piece of the legislation will be ready for first reading.

The administration believes that the proposal herein will create a fair and transparent process for tracking at risk properties within the City’s local historic district. Additionally, it will allow for the City to proactively monitor the conditions of the structures, and better enforce the demolition by neglect section of the City Code.

CONCLUSION

The administration recommends that the City Commission approve the subject ordinance at first reading and set a second reading/public hearing for July 29, 2020.

Applicable Area

Citywide
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 
Legislative Tracking
Planning
Sponsor
Commissioner Ricky Arriola

ATTACHMENTS:
Description
Ordinance