The attached Resolution is the first step under Chapter 170, Florida Statutes, to create the proposed special assessment district and is hereby submitted for consideration by the Mayor and City Commission.
A. The Proposed “41st Street Business Improvement District”
The attached Resolution creates, subject to the approval of a majority of the affected property owners, a special assessment district, to be known as the “41st Street Business Improvement District” (the “District”), for a term of ten (10) years, to stabilize and improve the 41st Street business district, which consists of properties abutting 41st Street and generally bounded by the Indian Creek Canal on the east and Alton Road on the west, through promotion, management, marketing, and other similar services.
The Resolution provides for the creation of a preliminary assessment roll; provides for the annual levy and collection of special assessments, in the amount of $195,246; indicates the location, nature, and estimated cost of those services which costs are to be defrayed by the special assessments; provides the manner in which such special assessments shall be made; provides when such special assessments shall be made; designates the lands upon which the special assessments shall be levied; provides for publication of this Resolution; and authorizes other related actions.
The material terms for the proposed District are as follows:
1. District Boundaries
The District shall consist of those commercial properties abutting 41st which are generally bounded by the Indian Creek Canal on the east and Alton Road on the west; provided, however, that the following properties shall be excluded and exempted from the District: (1) residential properties; (2) any property owned by a City, County, State, or Federal governmental entity or school district; and (3) any property owned or occupied by a religious institution and used as a place of worship or education (as defined in Section 170.201(2), Florida Statutes).
Pursuant to Section 170.04, Florida Statutes, at the time of the adoption of the attached Resolution, there shall be on file with the City Clerk an assessment plat showing the area to be assessed, which assessment plat shall be open to the inspection of the public. A proposed assessment plat is attached as Exhibit “D” to the Resolution.
2. Term/Duration of the District
The term/duration of the proposed District is ten (10) years.
3. Total Annual Amount of Special Assessments to be Levied and Collected
The initial total amount of special assessments to be levied and collected annually shall be approximately $195,246.
Every two (2) years, the assessment rate for each property shall increase by five (5%) percent. Each year, prior to preparing an annual Budget and prior to the City levying any assessments, the BID shall be responsible for reviewing the assessment roll to verify the actual use of each assessed property. If the BID determines that an amendment to the assessment roll is necessary, consistent with the District’s assessment methodology, the BID shall submit a written request to the City. Any change to the assessment roll would require the City’s prior written approval.
4. Assessment Methodologies
To ensure a fair and equitable assessment consistent with Florida law, each property’s assessment must be proportionate to the special benefit derived therefrom. To that end, the assessment methodology is based on the predominant use on the ground floor, specifically, whether the ground floor contains retail or commercial use. Given that the District primarily serves as a retail business improvement district, the assessment rate is higher for properties with ground floor retail or commercial use:
a. Properties with a ground floor retail commercial use of fifty percent (50%) or greater will be assessed at the rate of fifty cents ($0.50) per square foot of lot size.
b. All other non-exempt properties will be assessed at a rate of twenty-five cents ($0.25) per square foot of lot size.
5. Services to be Provided
The special assessments shall be used to fund those Services described in Exhibits “B” and “C” to the Resolution. Per the District’s budget and workplan strategy described in Exhibit B, in addition to general and administrative costs, the first year budget projection “prioritizes the development of a strong foundation for the future of the district. This includes the creation of a website and marketing plan to promote and enhance economic vitality in the area. Additionally, the BID is committed to advocating for the interests of businesses and property owners within the district by working in a unified voice to establish positive and productive relationships with the City of Miami Beach.”
The District will fund consulting, advocacy, and marketing services related to issues germane to the District. Further, as noted in the scope of services narrative, “[a]s the district evolves and changes over the 10-year lifespan of the BID, services will adapt to meet the evolving needs of the district. This may include expanding marketing efforts to attract new businesses, implementing new programs to improve the district's, safety, walkability and accessibility, and advocating for new policies that benefit the district.”
Should the BID expend funds on programming, events and activations on 41st Street, any ny activities on public property within the District are subject to City approval. The BID may conduct programming on City property by either (i) obtaining a special event permit, or (ii) partnering with the City or a City permittee.
B. Procedure for Creating the District, Following the Adoption of the Attached Resolution
1. Notice Requirement
Upon adoption of the attached Resolution, and pursuant to Section 170.05, Florida Statutes, the City shall cause the Resolution to be published one time in a newspaper of general circulation published in the City.
2. Preliminary Assessment Roll
Additionally, upon adoption of the attached Resolution, and pursuant to Section 170.02, Florida Statutes, the Administration shall cause to be made a preliminary assessment roll, in accordance with the method of assessment provided for in the Resolution, which assessment roll shall show the lots and lands assessed, the amount of benefit to and the assessment against each lot or parcel of land, and the number of annual installments in which the assessment is divided. Upon completion of the preliminary assessment roll, it shall be made available for public inspection in the City Clerk’s office. (A draft of the preliminary assessment roll is attached hereto as Exhibit “E”).
3. Special Mail Ballot Election
Following adoption of the attached Resolution by the Mayor and City Commission, and completion of the preliminary assessment roll, the City Clerk, in consultation with the City Attorney’s Office, shall conduct a special mail ballot election for the majority (50% plus one) of the affected property owners to approve the proposed special assessment.
4. Final Hearing for the Mayor and City Commission to Hear Testimony, Decide Whether to Levy Special Assessments, and Meet as an Equalizing Board to Adjust and Equalize the Assessments on a Basis of Justice and Right
Upon completion of the preliminary assessment roll, and upon the approval of the District by a majority of the affected property owners, the Mayor and City Commission must adopt a subsequent Resolution to schedule a public hearing at which the owners of the properties to be assessed or any other persons interested therein may appear before the Mayor and City Commission and be heard as to the propriety and advisability of the assessments proposed to be levied, or the provision of the Services, the costs thereof, the manner of payment therefor, or the amount thereof to be assessed against each lot so serviced.
Following the public hearing, the Mayor and City Commission shall make a final decision on whether to levy the special assessments. At that time, the Mayor and City Commission shall also serve as an “equalizing board” to hear and consider any and all complaints as to the special assessments, and shall adjust and equalize the assessments on a basis of justice and right. When so equalized, and approved by Resolution of the Mayor and City Commission, a final assessment roll shall be filed with the City Clerk, and the special assessments (as set forth in the final roll) shall stand confirmed and remain legal, valid, and binding liens upon the property against which such assessments are made, until paid.