Item Coversheet

Committee Assignments - C4  B


TO:Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission 
FROM:Raul J. Aguila, Interim City Manager 
DATE:February  10, 2021



The Administration recommends that the City Commission refer the attached draft Ordinance to the Planning Board.


On September 16, 2020, at the request of Commissioner Ricky Arriola, the City Commission referred a discussion item pertaining to lot aggregation, lot size and parking requirements in the Sunset Harbor area to the Land Use and Sustainability Committee (item C4K). On October 14, 2020 the item was discussed by the LUSC and continued to December 15, 2020.

The item sponsor convened a community meeting on December 1, 2020 involving affected residents of the Sunset Harbor area. Topics of discussion included the mix of uses that make Sunset Harbor unique, as well as the need to maintain the exceptional character and identity of the neighborhood. The concept of a Neighborhood Vision Plan was also discussed at the December 1, 2020 community meeting. The concepts proposed in this plan included modifications to the height regulations in the larger Sunset Harbor area, as well as minimum setbacks for higher floors.

On December 15, 2020 the LUSC discussed the item and continued it to the January 2021 LUSC, with direction to the Administration to prepare a draft ordinance based upon the recommendations in the LUSC memo, as well as the applicable concepts included in the Neighborhood Vision Plan prepared by the residents of Sunset Harbor. On January 20, 2021, the LUSC reviewed and discussed the draft Ordinance prepared by the administration and recommended that the City Commission refer the item to the Planning Board, with the following modifications:

1. The proposed increase in height to 65’ shall only be applicable to office uses.

2. The areas where 65’ in height are permitted shall incorporate a distance separation from residential uses along Dade Boulevard and 20th Street.

3. Parapets shall be limited to a maximum height of four feet above roof decks.

4. No recommendation of the LUSC is provided regarding the proposed modifications to Chapter 130, pertaining to off-street parking requirements. Instead the LUSC recommended that the Planning Board provide input regarding the proposed amendments to Chapter 130.


Recently, the City Commission approved a neighborhood identity overlay district for the Sunset Harbor area. In furtherance of this overlay, staff recommended that the outer portion of the Sunset Harbor area, generally including those lots fronting on Dade Boulevard and Alton Road, be further studied regarding the potential proliferation of oversized uses.

In this regard, given the overall size of the lots facing these thoroughfares, and the ability to provide an excessive amount of onsite vehicular storage, additional regulations to ensure the unique character of the Sunset Harbor area have been recommended. With the availability of parking in the Sunset Harbor parking garage the need for excessive vehicle storage within private sites becomes less critical. Also, the aggregation of multiple lots for the express purpose of creating oversized development would be contrary to the established scale, character, and context of the Sunset Harbor area.

To address these issues, staff identified the following potential development regulations for the Sunset Harbor area:

Required Off-Street Vehicle Parking
The Sunset Harbor parking garage, which is centrally located and under capacity, provides a tangible option for the operational parking needs of retail, restaurant and other commercial uses in the area. As such, a reduction or elimination of parking requirements for all commercial uses is recommended. Within larger development sites, this regulation would significantly control the oversized scale, massing and volumes of larger developments by removing the need for large parking pedestals.

Lot Aggregation
Limits on the number of lots that can be aggregated for retail, personal service or restaurant uses is recommended, to avoid out of scale developments.

Lot Size
Like the lot aggregation proposal, a limit on overall lot size for development would foster a more cohesive, context sensitive type of infill development pattern, particularly along the outer edges of Sunset Harbor.

Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for Large Establishments
Currently a CUP is required for developments that exceed 50,000 square feet in the CD-2 and I-1 districts. In order to further limit the potential concentration of larger developments, the requirement for a CUP for establishments over 25,000 square feet should be considered. A similar requirement exists in the North Beach Town Center (TC-C district). The TC-C district also limits the number of establishments over 25,000 square feet to two establishments. Similar limitations could be considered for the Sunset Harbor neighborhood.

Per the direction of the LUSC, the attached ordinance includes the recommendations noted above, as well as the measurable concepts proposed in the Neighborhood Vision Plan for Sunset Harbor. The following is a general summary of what is included in the attached ordinance:

• An overlay area has been created within the CD-2 and I-1 district regulations that is specific to the Sunset Harbor area.

• A clear pedestrian path of ten (10’) feet is required; the DRB may allow for the path to be reduced to five (5) feet subject to the design review criteria.

• The DRB may increase the maximum building height to 65 feet for office uses on the following properties:

o Properties fronting Dade Boulevard between Alton Road and Purdy Avenue;
o Properties fronting Alton Road; and
o Properties fronting Purdy Avenue between 18th Street on the north and Dade Boulevard on the south.

• In addition to approval from the design review board, the increase in the maximum height to 65 feet for the above noted properties shall be subject to the design review criteria and the following regulations:
o The property shall have a minimum lot size of 10,000 square feet.
o The ground floor shall contain retail, personal service, restaurant, and similar types of active uses fronting the clear pedestrian path.
o Portions of the building exceeding 55 feet in height that abut a residential use shall be setback a minimum of ten (10) feet from the residential use.

• Portions of the building exceeding 55 feet in height that are located on Alton Road shall be setback a minimum of 150 feet from 20th Street.

• Portions of the building exceeding 55 feet in height that are located on Dade Boulevard shall be setback a minimum of 100 feet from Bay Road.

• Height exceptions located within 25 feet of a street facing façade of the building or an interior lot line abutting a residential use shall not exceed 10 feet in height.

• Maximum Lot Aggregation. No more than six (6) platted lots may be aggregated for non-office, retail, personal service or restaurant uses.

• Maximum Lot Size. The maximum lot size for non-office, retail, personal service or restaurant uses shall not exceed 36,000 square feet. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any lot larger than 36,000 square feet that existed prior to January 1, 2021 shall be considered legally conforming.

• Number of Large Establishments and Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Requirements. For non-office, retail, personal service or restaurant uses establishments over 25,000 square feet conditional use approval from the Planning Board shall be required. Additionally, no more than two non-office, retail, personal service or restaurant uses establishments over 25,000 square feet shall be permitted within the Sunset Harbor area.

• Minimum Parking. Non-residential uses located above the ground floor, regardless of square footage, shall have no parking requirement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, office uses may provide required parking on site as specified in parking district no. 1. Such required parking, if provided for office uses, shall be exempt from FAR, in accordance with the regulations specified in chapter 114 of these land development regulations,

The Administration believes that the attached draft Ordinance is an accurate reflection of the proposed Neighborhood Vision Plan for Sunset Harbor.

The subject amendment is proposed for referral to the Planning Board on a comprehensive, citywide basis, and not on behalf of a private applicant or third party. Pursuant to section 118-162(c) of the Land Development Regulations of the City Code, amendments to the City Code require the payment of the applicable fees in section 118-7 and Appendix A. These fees may be waived by a five-sevenths (5/7ths) vote of the City Commission, based upon one or more of the following circumstances:

1. The City Manager determines, in writing, that the proposed amendment is necessary due to a change in federal or state law, and/or to implement best practices in urban planning;

2. Upon written recommendation of the city manager acknowledging a documented financial hardship of a property owner(s) or developer(s); and/or

3. If requested, in writing, by a non-profit organization, neighborhood association, or homeowner's association for property owned by any such organization or association, so long as the request demonstrates that a public purpose is achieved by enacting the applicable amendment.

The City Manager has determined that the proposed amendment implements best practices in urban planning.


Improved Development Regulations


The Administration recommends the following:

1. In accordance with section 118-162(c) of the City Code, the City Commission waive the applicable application fees based upon the legislation implementing best practices in urban planning.

2. The City Commission refer the attached draft Ordinance to the Planning Board.

Applicable Area

South Beach
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
Commissioner Ricky Arriola