Ordinances - R5 V
|Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission
|Alina T. Hudak, City Manager
|June 23, 2021
|AN ORDINANCE OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, AMENDING CHAPTER 46 OF THE MIAMI BEACH CITY CODE, ENTITLED "ENVIRONMENT," BY CREATING ARTICLE X, TO BE ENTITLED "WATER QUALITY", ESTABLISHING PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE ARTICLE; PROVIDING FOR DEFINITIONS, SEDIMENT AND CONTROL REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN DEVELOPMENTS, STANDARDS FOR SEDIMENT AND EROSION CONTROL, PERMIT ISSUANCE CONDITIONS, ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES ENFORCEMENT OF SEDIMENT AND EROSION CONTROL REQUIREMENTS, PROHIBITION OF ILLICIT DISCHARGE, REPORTING OF ILLICIT DISCHARGES; AND PROVIDING FOR ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES; AND AMENDING APPENDIX A, "FEE SCHEDULE," TO PROVIDE FOR AN APPLICATION FEE ESTABLISHED FOR THE SEDIMENT AND EROSION CONTROL PLAN; PROVIDING FOR REPEALER, CODIFICATION, SEVERABILITY, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
The Administration recommends the adoption of the attached Ordinance.
The illicit discharge of pollutants and hazardous materials poses an environmental and public health risk. Land-disturbing activities, such as construction and demolition, accelerate the process of soil erosion and expose sediment to surface stormwater runoff, resulting in the damage and loss of natural resources, including the degradation of water quality in Biscayne Bay.
On May 26, 2021, the Land Use and Sustainability Committee (LUSC) discussed the adoption of an ordinance to address sediment and erosion controls and illicit discharge to reduce the harmful impacts to the municipal separate stormwater system and Biscayne Bay. The LUSC referred the proposed attached Ordinance by acclamation to City Commission for first reading.
The health of Biscayne Bay is critical to the environmental, recreational, cultural, and economic well-being of the community. Although the challenges facing the Bay are complex and regional in nature, the City of Miami Beach plays an important role in its protection and preservation.
In 2019, Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners created the Biscayne Bay Task Force (BBTF) to study the causes of the degradation of the bay and develop recommendations on how to address these issues. In August 2020, BBTF released Report and Recommendations: A Unified Approach to Recovery for a Healthy & Resilient Biscayne Bay. Of the 62 recommendations, 44 are applicable to Miami Beach. On December 10, 2020, Miami-Dade County released the first Report on Development and Implementation of and Annual Report Card Program on the Health of Biscayne Bay. It found that the areas adjacent to Miami Beach, Southern North Bay (SNB) A and B, were both ranked poor. Miami-Dade County released its second Annual Report Card on the Health of Biscayne Bay on this year’s Earth Day, April 22, 2021. It revealed the same trend of poor health in Northern Biscayne Bay and concludes that the health of the Bay is largely driven by water quality.
The City’s stormwater management strategy is part of the requirements of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, which was created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act. The NPDES permit program addresses water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States. Miami Beach is one of 32 municipal co-permittees with Miami-Dade County for NPDES Permit No. FLS000003, that own and operate Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). As an MS4 operator and NPDES co-permittee, the City should utilize its legal authority to control the quality of stormwater discharge into Biscayne Bay and surrounding waterways, which are critical to environment, economic, and recreational property of the City of Miami Beach.
The City’s Environment and Sustainability Department reviews building permits when land disturbing activities are proposed, including demolition. During this review, staff requires that plans include sediment and erosion control notes to ensure that construction site operators use best management practices to reduce the erosion of soils. Soil erosion exposes sediment, allowing it to enter the right-of-way, our stormwater system, and eventually Biscayne Bay. The Environment and Sustainability Department has an environmental inspector who inspects construction sites to ensure sediment and erosion controls are properly employed and works closely with Building Department officials to ensure compliance. Building Department Officials are able to enforce the absence of sediment and erosion controls when such notes are included in plans. However, as City Code does not explicitly address construction site requirements for sediment and erosion controls or illicit discharges, enforcement of such has proven difficult when Building Department Plan review does not trigger the need for sediment and erosion control notes or when un-permitted activities are occurring.
Similarly, private properties including construction sites are capable of discharging construction materials, such as paint and concrete, into the right-of-way or directly into Biscayne Bay. This activity can occur even in the absence of land-disturbing activities, such as through “wash-out” areas for interior construction work. Illicit discharge is also not exclusive to construction related activities. Restaurants, businesses, and homes can be responsible for the introduction of hazardous materials into the City’s stormwater system and Biscayne Bay. Strengthening the City Code to explicitly address these abundant issues will close many gaps that facilitate the degradation of water quality in Biscayne Bay.
The attached draft Ordinance was developed using language provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as existing ordinances that are in place in municipalities throughout Florida, including City of Destin, City of Fort Pierce, City of Doral, Village of Key Biscayne, and City of Miami. The Ordinance requires the use of best management practices on construction sites and prohibits certain activities that contribute to the degradation of water quality in Biscayne Bay. The Ordinance regulates the following:
- Establishes activities that constitute an illicit discharge and those discharges that are exempt.
- Establishes the required use of sediment and erosion controls and other best management practices on construction sites and during other land-disturbing activities.
- Establishes prohibited activities that contribute sediment and other pollutants to Biscayne Bay and surrounding waterways.
- Requires submission of a Sediment and Erosion Control Plan (SECP) to be approved by the Environment and Sustainability Director to obtain a building permit for land disturbing projects.
- Establishes permit fee in the amount of $144 for each SECP application reviewed.
- Establishes investigation, monitoring, and enforcement procedures and penalties.
- Establishes the following penalty pay schedule:
o First violation within a 12-month period: $500.00
o Second violation within a 12-month period: $1,000.00
o Third or subsequent violation within a 12-month period: $5,000.00
SUPPORTING SURVEY DATA
62% of Miami Beach residents are not satisfied with the City’s efforts to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff through filtration systems. Strengthening the City code to address illicit discharge and requiring the use of sediment and erosion controls on construction sites will reduce the harmful effects of pollution and sedimentation to Biscayne Bay.
Fines collected will be deposited into the Miami Beach Biscayne Bay Protection Trust Fund dedicated to further water conservation, nonpoint pollution prevention activities, water quality improvements, and marine and coastal ecosystems enhancements. Contribution to this Fund, established by the City’s Fertilizer Ordinance, is an important step in protecting Biscayne Bay. All fees collected from the review of the SECP shall be first utilized to fund admirative expenditures in administering this Ordinance, including Environment and Sustainability review and Code Compliance Enforcement, if necessary. Any additional funds shall be placed in the Biscayne Bay Protection Trust Fund. In 2019, there were a total of 1,315 building permits which would have been applicable to the proposed Ordinance. Revenues generated by SECP review fees are estimated to be $189,360.00.
The Ordinance is not anticipated to have an impact on the City’s resources. Code Compliance currently responds to illicit discharge occurrences; however, the existing code does not have specific provisions related to illicit discharges. This Ordinance will allow for more streamlined compliance. The Building Department currently issues stop work orders as part of their normal operations. The Environment and Sustainability Department is already completing plan review. The proposed changes now require a permit fee of $144 for land disturbing activities. These fees collected will help offset administrative costs.
The Administration recommends the adoption of the attached Ordinance.
|Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14?
|Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?
|Environment & Infrastructure - Work regionally and nationally to protect Biscayne Bay water quality and to maintain a healthy dune and beach system.
Environment and Sustainability
Commissioner Micky Steinberg