Item Coversheet

New Business and Commission Requests - R9  D


TO:Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission 
FROM:Alina T. Hudak, City Manager 
DATE:June  23, 2021

9:05 a.m.



The Administration is pleased to inform the City Commission that the drafting of much needed updates to the City’s current Land Development Regulations (LDR’s) and the Resiliency Code are well underway and proceeding as scheduled. The Administration has been engaged in scenario planning with the consultant since last fall and has been providing relevant data to the consultant. Additionally, focus group sessions with affected stakeholders have commenced and are ongoing, and community workshops will be taking place in the coming months.

On June 5th, 2019, City Commission authorized the issuance of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a firm to analyze and update the City’s current Land Development Regulations (LDR’s) to better meet the City’s current regulatory needs with a primary focus on resiliency. On October 16th, 2019, the City Commission accepted the recommendation of the City Manager and authorized the Administration to enter into negotiations with Perkins & Will Architects, Inc., the top ranked proposer. On August 21st, 2020 the City awarded the contract to the firm of Perkins & Will.

Miami Beach is comprised of 27 barrier islands and extends 7.5 miles in overall length from south to north. The City is located 2.5 miles off the mainland coast, and 97 percent of the land mass and 93 percent of the buildings are located within a FEMA Special Flood Hazard Area. Over the last eight years, the LDR’s have been amended numerous times for current and projected impacts of climate change. Notwithstanding, a more holistic update is necessary to ensure that the entire City has regulations in place to reduce the risk of sea level rise, as well as address future shocks and stresses such as the ongoing pandemic.

The primary anticipated outcome of the Resiliency Code is a comprehensive and flexible document that will address known impacts and provide necessary tools to manage circumstances that may impact the viability and economic security of the City. The Resiliency Code will also provide a much needed update our current LDR’s, which were drafted over 30 years ago, and well before sea level rise was understood to be a serious risk.

The new Resiliency Code will address all types of land uses and buildings, as well as strengthen the economic foundation necessary for a thriving community. The updated code will also contain innovative methods for the mitigation and adaptation of the City’s historic resources so they can continue to maintain their historic character and serve as a vital part of the city’s economy. The following is an initial summary of some of the key components identified in scenario planning exercises:

• The effects of climate change and the impacts of zoning on the economy will both be analyzed to provide options for businesses’ continued operations in non-traditional spaces at times when low lying and/or enclosed premises become compromised.

• The safety of residents and visitors will be addressed by encouraging development that provides ‘more eyes on the street’, and by better incorporating Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) Principles. These are strategies for the built environment that provide for natural observation through the placement of physical features, activities and people in a way that maximizes the visibility of the space and its users.

• The updated code will help economic development in the City and provide mechanisms to promote more streamlining of the development review processes so that both residents and developers have a clear and transparent understanding of applicable regulations.

The lead consultant is Perkins & Will and the following are the primary individuals who will lead the sub disciplines:
• The Managing Principal and leader of the implementation team is Jose Gelabert-Navia from Perkins & Will.
• Urban Design will be led by Paul Kulig, from Perkins & Will.
• Landscape will be led by Leo Alvarez, from Perkins & Will.
• The legal framework necessary for enactment will be led by Nancy Stroud, a Professional Planner and Attorney with the firm of Lewis, Stroud and Deutsch.
• The development of comprehensive written standards will be led by Doug Pierce from Perkins and Will.
• Public outreach and implementation will be led by Ana Gelabert-Sanchez, from Perkins and Will.
• The creation of a user-friendly and fully illustrated document will be led by Juan Mullerat of Plusurbia.
• Engineering systems and sea-level rise details will be coordinated by Harvey Sasso of Coastal Systems.

The project will be managed by Rogelio Madan, Chief of Community Planning and Sustainability, in collaboration with Amy Knowles City’s Chief Resilience Officer. Nelson Perez-Jacome, City Engineer, and Elizabeth Wheaton, Director of Environment and Sustainability, along with their key staff, will also play an important role. In addition to the Planning Department, a number of other City departments, as well as applicable local and state agencies, will be consulted to ensure a holistic resilience strategy for the city.

At this time the project team is well into Task 1, which is the fact gathering phase. To date the team has received data from several City departments including Planning, Public Works, Environment & Sustainability, and others. The project team has made initial introductory presentations to the Ready Team and the City Manager Executive staff and is working with Miami Dade County and other relevant regulatory agencies.

The consultant will hold a total of 15 meetings that will include community, public, and focus group meetings. This robust public process will ensure that the public, City land use boards and the elected officials are updated regularly and that their input is considered as regulations are drafted. Once the work is complete, staff will take the necessary legislative steps with the City Commission for approval and implementation.

The ongoing focus group meetings are to receive input from key stakeholders, These include, but may not be limited to, Homeowner Associations, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, Miami Beach Conventions and Visitors Bureau, Historic Preservation and Design Review Board, Sustainability and Resilience Committee, Miami Design Preservation League, as well as Landowners and Developers.


Improvements to Development Process

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?
No No 
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