Item Coversheet

New Business and Commission Requests - R9  AC




COMMISSION MEMORANDUM

TO:Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission 
FROM:Alina T. Hudak, City Manager 
DATE:October  13, 2021
 



SUBJECT:PALM VIEW NEIGHBORHOOD STUDY - FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS.

RECOMMENDATION

The Administration recommends that the City Commission discuss and conclude the item with no further action.

BACKGROUND/HISTORY

On March 18, 2020 the City Commission referred a discussion item pertaining to the Palm View Neighborhood Study to the Land Use and Sustainability Committee (LUSC) and Historic Preservation Board (Item C4 W). On June 30, 2020 the item was deferred to the September 22, 2020 LUSC at the request of Palm View residents.

On September 22, 2020 the LUSC discussion was continued to October 20, 2020. On October 20, 2020 the City consultant, KCI, provided a presentation to the LUSC and the item was discussed. In order to obtain feedback from the Historic Preservation Board (HPB), the item was continued to the November 24, 2020 LUSC meeting.

On November 10, 2020 the HPB discussed the item and provided some preliminary feedback and recommendations. The HPB continued the discussion to their March 8, 2021 meeting. On March 8, 2021 the HPB deferred the item to July 13, 2021.

On November 24, 2020 the LUSC deferred the item to the January 20, 2021 meeting. On January 20, 2021 the LUSC discussed the proposal and continued the item to the March 24, 2021 meeting with the following direction:

1. Recommend that the City Commission discuss and move ahead with potential infrastructure improvements in Palm View, including prioritizing the area.

2. City staff shall coordinate a discussion forum with residents of the Palm View Neighborhood and MDPL.

3. City staff shall provide any additional recommendations of the Historic Preservation Board.

On March 24, 2021, the item was deferred to the June 21, 2021 LUSC meeting.

On May 12, 2021, the City Commission discussed the proposed infrastructure and resiliency enhancements recommended for the Palm View area by KCI consultants. The City Commission directed the Administration to schedule a meeting with the residents of Palm View to go over what has been completed, what is pending, and the prioritization of work identified under the Jacobs study. On July 19, 2021 members of the City Public Works and Planning Departments met with residents of the Palm View area to provide an overview of the infrastructure and resiliency enhancements proposed for their neighborhood, as well as obtain their input and feedback.

On June 21, 2021 the LUSC discussed and concluded the Palm View Neighborhood Study item with the following recommendations:

1. The City Commission consider the recommendations of the Planning Board and Historic Preservation Board.

2. The Administration will coordinate an additional meeting with the Palm View community and include representatives of MDPL.
NOTE: On July 20, 2021 City staff participated in a community meeting with Palm View residents and representatives of MDPL.

3. The Administration will bring back a separate item to the LUSC to provide options for streamlining the review process and reducing fees for single family homes.

On June 22, 2021 the Planning Board discussed the Palm View Neighborhood Study and provided the following recommendations:

1. Provide economic assistance on behalf of the City to the residents for making improvements to their home or making improvements to infrastructure surrounding their homes such as septic systems.

2. Provide flexibility for residents to have additional income, such as ADU’s (Accessory Dwelling Units), or other flexible zoning ideas.

3. Create a clearing house or space on a website sponsored by the City or a tangential agency of the City that could provide information on vendors or programs that are in place to assist these homeowners on how they can make resiliency improvements.

4. Seek federal funding for mitigation on flooding.

5. Look at projects being developed in the area or that may be developed in the area on City-owned land in the vicinity to see if the revenue can be directed to the Palm View neighborhood.

6. Look at assets in the area, including open spaces such as parks and golf courses so that they can enhance resiliency without affecting those members of the community that enjoy those assets.

7. Maintain the historic designation of Palm View.

On July 13, 2021 the Historic Preservation Board discussed the Palm View Neighborhood Study and provided the following recommendations (including a re-affirmation of the recommendations of the Board issued on November 10, 2020):

1. The Board recommends that the City continue to explore the concept of resiliency districts and the development of resilient design standards for the Palm View Neighborhood.

2. The Board is not supportive of any proposal to de-designate the Palm View Historic District.

3. The Board is not supportive of the wholesale reclassification of all buildings constructed after 1929 to non-contributing.

4. The Board is supportive of exploring changes to the land development regulations that would incentivize the retention and restoration of contributing buildings within the Palm View Historic District.

5. The Board is supportive of the proposed infrastructure upgrades outlined in the Palm View Neighborhood Plan.

ANALYSIS

BACKGROUND
In 2019, the firm of KCI (formerly Keith & Schnars) was retained by the City to develop a comprehensive 20-year plan for the Palm View neighborhood. KCI has held several public meetings and has received input from key stakeholders, representatives from the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser’s office, as well as City staff from Planning, Public Works, Environment and Sustainability and the Office of Resiliency.

The final draft of the Palm View Master Plan was presented at a public meeting held on February 18, 2020. A copy of the presentation can be found on the City’s website at the following link: https://www.miamibeachfl.gov/city-hall/planning/studies/.   A copy of the full report is also attached.

The Palm View Neighborhood Study includes an analysis of incremental changes that have occurred in and around the Palm View Neighborhood over the past two decades, discusses the impacts these changes have had on the neighborhood and provides for a series of recommendations. The plan is divided into five chapters as follows:

1. Infrastructure.
2. Resiliency Districts & Climate Adaptation.
3. Land Development Requirements.
4. Historic Preservation.
5. Property Sales & Valuation.

Each chapter includes short, mid and long-term recommended strategies intended to increase investment and resiliency within the neighborhood. In summary, the recommendations include improving existing infrastructure, creating a resiliency district, changing allowable land uses and reevaluating the local historic district designation.

It is important to note that while the area could be studied for potential rezoning to allow for new multi-family uses, this option would require an amendment to the City’s Comprehensive Plan and an amendment to the Land Development Regulations. Additionally, voter approval would be required for any increase in FAR. Also, modifications to the designation of all or part of the Palm View District would require both legislative action by the City Commission, as well as voter approval.

ANALYSIS
The Palm View Neighborhood study provides a very detailed and thoughtful analysis of existing conditions and future challenges, as well as suggested recommendations. This study has been well vetted at the appropriate Land Use Board and Commission Committee levels.

As it pertains to the resiliency and infrastructure recommendations, some of the proposals identified in the study are ongoing. The remainder will be implemented, in some form, as part of the schedule adopted in the Jacobs Engineering study.

Regarding the land use and historic preservation recommendations, at this time the Administration does not recommend moving forward with ballot initiatives to de-designate the Palm View area, nor to up zone all or part of the neighborhood. To this end the Palm View area, which is very unique in terms of scale, context and character, is appropriately zoned and can still benefit from being a local historic district.

The Administration is aware of concerns expressed by residents regarding the complexity associated with the adaptation of existing homes and possible challenges in obtaining HPB approval for substantial modifications that may be required for future resiliency. Since 2010, there have been only three Certificate of Appropriateness applications reviewed by the HPB for properties within the Palm View RS-4 (single family) zoning district. A request for partial demolition, restoration and construction of a new 2-story addition was approved in 2011, a request for the total demolition of a garage accessory structure was approved in 2014, and a request for partial demolition, restoration and a new 2-story addition was withdrawn by the applicant in 2015.

Notwithstanding the limited number of applications submitted for this specific neighborhood, Planning staff has been steadfast in recommendations to the HPB that all projects need to include tangible, and sensitive resiliency and sustainability attributes if historic districts are going to thrive into the future. Additionally, with forward thinking guidelines such as the recently completed Buoyant City study, Planning staff believes that the HPB will be taking a more progressive approach to improvements proposed within the area. As such, the Administration believes the current Certificate of Appropriateness process can work, and that action on future projects will dictate that success. If, after a period of time, it is concluded that the HPB is not being reasonable with regard to improvement projects in the Palm View neighborhood, at that point the City Commission may want to consider placing a de-designation item on a future City ballot.

With regard to land use and zoning, given the access challenges to the area, as well as its location abutting 2 major roadways (17th Street and Meridian Avenue), the Administration believes that additional study regarding the impact of increased density and intensity is needed. Given the current parking requirements for new construction, as well as the level of service on surrounding roadways and intersections, adding more intensity and density within the area could be challenging. Additionally, any such increases should be looked at strategically, and on a more limited basis. One potential avenue to address the land use issues identified in the area would be to study a future Transit Oriented Development (TOD) district along the north side of 17th Street and the west side of Meridian Avenue. Such a district could, potentially, compliment the goals of the adopted transportation master plan and allow for limited increases in intensity and density without significantly impacting congestion and levels of service.

SUPPORTING SURVEY DATA

Neighborhood Resiliency

CONCLUSION

In view of the foregoing, the Administration recommends that the City Commission discuss the recommendations provided herein and conclude the item with no further action.

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
Planning

ATTACHMENTS:
Description
Palm View Neighborhood Study - KCI