Item Coversheet



TO: Finance and Citywide Projects Committee Members

Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager

DATE: October 26, 2018



At the July 13, 2018 Finance and Citywide Projects Committee Budget Briefing Meeting, multiple options were presented as alternative ways to provide revenue to the City.  The options included Advertising on the exterior of trolleys, large-scale sponsorships throughout the City such as park naming rights and naming rights to the Miami Beach Convention Center, advertising on the exterior of Parking Garages and advertising on the back side of the fleet-management building. 


The advertising on the trolleys, sponsorships and advertising on the fleet building have all been moved forward and the exterior advertising on the garage exteriors remains for discussion.  Staff have since met to discuss the parking garage advertising in detail.  Discussions included potential legal, planning and historic preservation implications.  Details of the discussions are expanded further below. 


Exterior advertising in the City of Miami Beach is controlled through various areas including our City Code, County Code and FDOT regulations.  Therefore, there have not been many instances of this type of advertisement throughout the City.  Due to this, staff met internally to discuss what would need to be done if direction was given by commission to begin allowing it.  Staff also met with representatives from the companies that began the City of Miami exterior advertising program. 

The Marketing and Communications team has purchased various wallscapes and billboards in the City of Miami for various marketing campaigns.  Based on this, we are aware that a wallscape in midtown can cost around $30,000 per month or $360,000 per year/per sign.

During discussions with the City’s legal team and planning department, various obstacles were mentioned that would need to be addressed to allow for this type of advertising throughout the City.  The Planning Department provided the following feedback regarding this type of signage:

  1. Legal Implications: Collectively both Planning and Legal have a major concern that allowing ads on City garages will result in a court challenge that forces the City to allow these ads on private buildings. Under our LDR’s, General Advertising is prohibited City Wide, with some very limited exceptions on Public ROW (Per Chapter 82). The more we chip away at the foundation of this prohibition, the more likely that it could crumble.  Additionally, we have been very successful at preventing advertising barges in our territorial waters. Allowing large ads on the backside of the fleet management could jeopardize that as well. Additionally, if these types of ads were allowed on private buildings, we would have no way of controlling the content.


  1. Architecture of Individual Garage Structures: Virtually all of our parking structures in the City (both public and private) each have a unique and distinct architectural identity. NONE were designed in a manner that could accommodate large advertising banners. The introduction of these large advertisements would significantly impair the architectural integrity of the garages. In furtherance of this, attached is a short piece, published in 2011, entitled "BEEN THERE HAVEN'T DONE THAT Miami's Beached Cars". It nicely and succinctly summarizes the architectural value of the City's parking structures.


  1. Visual Blight and Urban Design Standards: Citywide, Miami Beach is a very unique concentration of well-planned and cohesive architectural forms. We have architectural representation from numerous eras both inside and outside of our historic districts. The introduction of large ads on parking structures will significantly compromise this carefully balanced urban form.


Staff is seeking further direction from the Finance and Citywide Committee on these items. 


Reference Article Memo