Item Coversheet

Ordinances - R5  N




COMMISSION MEMORANDUM

TO:Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission 
FROM:Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager 
DATE:May  17, 2017
 

5:01 p.m. First Reading Public Hearing

SUBJECT:

MEDICAL CANNABIS ORDINANCE - LAND USE REGULATIONS:

AN ORDINANCE OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, AMENDING CHAPTER 114 OF THE CITY CODE, ENTITLED "GENERAL PROVISIONS," TO DEFINE THE FOLLOWING DEFINITIONS: CANNABIS, MEDICAL CANNABIS DISPENSARY, DERIVATIVE PRODUCT, LOW-THC CANNABIS, AND RELATED DEFINITIONS; AMENDING CHAPTER 130, ENTITLED "OFF-STREET PARKING," ESTABLISHING MINIMUM PARKING REQUIREMENTS FOR "MEDICAL CANNABIS DISPENSARIES" AND PROHIBITING PARTICIPATION IN THE FEE IN LIEU OF PARKING PROGRAM; AMENDING CHAPTER 142, ENTITLED "ZONING DISTRICTS AND REGULATIONS," BY CREATING DIVISION 10, ENTITLED "CANNABIS REGULATIONS AND USE," AND AMENDING SECTIONS 142-1501 TO 142-1504, RELATING TO APPLICABILITY, DEFINING MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS, DESIGNATING AREAS FOR THE USE, ZONING REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO THE USE, AND PROHIBITING CULTIVATION, PRODUCTION OR POSSESSION OF CANNABIS PLANTS; PROVIDING FOR REPEALER; SEVERABILITY; CODIFICATION; AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.


RECOMMENDATION

The Administration recommends that the City Commission approve the ordinance at First Reading and set a Second Reading Public Hearing for June 7, 2017.

ANALYSIS

BACKGROUND

On February 10, 2016, at the request of Commissioner Michael Grieco, the City Commission referred this item to the Land Use and Development Committee (Item R9F).

On November 9, 2016, the City Commission adopted a 5 month moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries (Ordinance 2016-4051 / Item R5A), retroactive to October 19, 2016. Additionally, the City Commission referred the draft legislation pending in the Land Use & Development Committee to Planning Board.

On November 16, 2016, the Land Use and Development Committee (LUDC) discussed the item and continued it to a date certain of December 12, 2016. The Committee also directed the Administration to prepare a draft ordinance, taking into consideration the following:

1. A planning / map study with safe, convenient location options, as well as distances from parks, schools and houses of worship;
2. Zoning district options, including parking requirements;
3. Security and proximity to schools, residential uses and houses of worship;
4. A limit on the use to North, Middle and South Beach zones, and include no residential zones.

On December 12, 2016 the LUDC discussed the item and recommended that the City Commission extend the current moratorium on medical marijuana facilities for three months and continued the item to January 18, 2017. The Committee also requested that staff analyze additional areas for the location of medical marijuana facilities, and bring these findings back on January 18, 2017.

The moratorium extension was approved by the City Commission at First Reading on January 25, 2017. However, the extension failed at Second Reading on February 8, 2017 and was NOT extended. The current moratorium that was adopted on November 9, 2016 expires on March 18, 2017.

On January 18, 2017, the LUDC discussed the item and continued it to a date certain of February 15, 2017, to allow for the review of related proposed amendments regarding the issuance of Business Tax Receipts for medical cannabis facilities. On February 15, 2017, the LUDC recommended that the Planning Board transmit the proposed Ordinance to the City Commission with a favorable recommendation, with the following modifications, which are included in the attached ordinance:

1. That the three South Beach areas exclude areas with RO zoning.
2. That the three individual South Beach areas be considered a single area.
3. That the Mid Beach area includes CD-3 properties along 41st Street east of Sheridan Avenue.
4. That the North Beach area be expanded to include commercial (TC-1) properties south of 71st Street.
5. That Section 142-1502 (j) be modified to apply to “ceilings” rather than “roofs.”

PLANNING ANALYSIS
On November 8, 2016, Florida voters approved Amendment 2 to the Florida Constitution, entitled “Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions.” Amendment 2 generally provides for the following in the Florida Constitution:

“Allows medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not immunize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.”

The amendment requires that the Florida Department of Health provide rules for the implementation of the Amendment within six (6) months of the effective date of the amendment, which is January 6, 2017. Due to the potential for impacts to surrounding areas, the City is considering regulations regarding the location and requirements for medical marijuana dispensaries, in advance of any potential state regulations taking effect, to ensure that potential impacts are minimized and mitigated.

At the direction of the LUDC, the Administration undertook an analysis of uses that may generate conflicts with a medical marijuana dispensary. Initially, the Administration looked at provided buffers around educational facilities, religious institutions, and parks and this effectively zoned the use out of the City (See the “Facilities for Analysis” map and “1,000 Foot Buffers Analysis” map at the end of the report). As a result, a different methodology was utilized that looked at concentrations of educational facilities, religious institutions, parks, single family residences, and multifamily apartments. Additionally, healthcare facilities were utilized as a use that was compatible with a potential dispensary. This information was then utilized to generate a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Spatial Analysis Suitability Study to determine the most appropriate locations within the City for a dispensary.

On December 12, 2016, the LUDC requested that staff analyze additional areas for the location of medical marijuana facilities to ensure that the use is not effectively zoned-out and that the potential financial benefits are not limited to a select number of property owners. To this end, staff identified additional areas that were suitable or moderately suitable within the Suitability Study that was performed.

On January 18, 2017, the LUDC determined that some of the areas did not provide for sufficient opportunities, and requested that a revised Suitability Study be provided that removed ‘Religious Institutions’ as one of the factors to be considered. On February 15, 2017, the revised suitability study was presented to the LUDC and the committee recommended that the Mid Beach and North Beach districts be expanded slightly. (See the “Medical Cannabis Suitability Study” attached). The proposed ordinance identifies the following three (3) areas where one (1) medical cannabis dispensary would be allowed in each area:

(1) Area One (South Beach):

a. Lots zoned CD-2, generally located along Alton Road between 6th Street and 8th Street; lots zoned C-PS2 located north of 5th Street between Ocean Court on the east and West Avenue on the west; and lots zoned C-PS2 between 5th Street on the north and 4th Street on the south between Washington Avenue on the east and Meridian Avenue on the west; and lots zoned C-PS2 fronting the south side of 5th Street between Lenox Avenue on the east and Alton Road on the west.

b. Lots zoned CD-1 and CD-2 fronting Alton Road between 13th Street and 16th Street.

c. Lots zoned CD-1, generally located between Alton Road on the east and north, Dade Boulevard on the south, Michigan Avenue on the west.

(2) Area Two (North Beach):

a. Lots zoned TC-1 south of 71st Street and lots zoned TC-2 and TC-3(C), generally located between Collins Avenue on the east, 71st Street on the north, the west lot line of lots fronting Harding Avenue on the west, and 69th Street on south.

(3) Area Three (Mid Beach):

a. Lots zoned HD located north of the Julia Tuttle Causeway / Interstate 195, as depicted in the map below:

b. Lots zoned CD-3 and fronting 41st Street between Sheridan Avenue and the Indian Creek Waterway.

The proposed ordinance is based on the Miami-Dade County draft with input from the Miami Beach Police Department. It also recommends requiring Conditional Use approval from the Planning Board and that the following documentation be required as part of the application:

• A General Security Plan that incorporates enhanced security measures and natural disaster security measures, with Police Department review and approval.

• A Business Plan that demonstrates the ability to operate.

• An Operating Plan that indicates how compliance with City and State regulatory requirements will be achieved.

• An Odor Management Plan that will ensure that odors are not perceptible in the exterior of the building or adjoining properties.

The proposed ordinance also includes the following general requirements:

• A prohibition on dispensing outside of the facility, with the exception of deliveries permissible by state law.

• A limitation on hours of operation from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.

• A prohibition of other uses and the sale of unrelated goods within the facility.

• That required off-street parking shall be located on the same site as the facility, or within 500 feet of the site either in private parking facilities or a public parking facility with a lease, unity of title, or covenant-in-lieu of unity of title, or other document of a similar nature. Additionally there is a prohibition on participating in the fee-in-lieu of parking program.

• Limitations on signage and advertisement.

• A prohibition on merchandise being displayed to the public.

• A prohibition on activities being visible from the exterior of the business.

• A requirement for separate ventilation, security, and fire suppression systems.

• A limitation of 7,500 square feet for each establishment.

• A parking requirement of one (1) space per 250 square feet.

• A prohibition on obtaining special events permits.

The proposed ordinance would also prohibit the following marijuana related activities:

• Cultivation, production or possession of cannabis plants or cannabis plants.

• Sale of cannabis from any motor vehicle.

• Medical cannabis product and derivative manufacturing.

• Medical cannabis testing.

• Storage of marijuana or marijuana-related products off the site of the medical cannabis dispensary.

• Marijuana membership clubs.

• Vapor lounges.

There is also a proposed companion ordinance, which is a non-LDR amendment, and creates a process for the issuance of Business Tax Receipts (BTR’s) for medical cannabis facilities. This ordinance is expected to be considered on May 17, 2017 at First Reading.

PLANNING BOARD REVIEW
On February 28, 2017, the Planning Board transmitted the proposed Ordinance Amendment to the City Commission, with a favorable recommendation. The Planning Board also recommended that the City Commission consider the following modifications to the proposed ordinance:

1) Modify section 142-1502 (c) to allow for parking to be provided within 500 feet, as follows:

(g) Required parking shall be located on the same parcel or unified development site as the medical cannabis dispensary, or within 500 feet of the site either in private parking facilities or a public parking facility with a lease, unity of title, or covenant-in-lieu of unity of title, or other document of a similar nature. Participation in the fee-in-lieu of parking program is prohibited.

2) Request that the City Commission discuss the process for issuing a BTR’s and when in the application process it the BTR locked in from other applicants.

3) Require that the Planning Board review the ordinance within 18 months of the issuance of the first business tax receipt.

UPDATE / SUMMARY
On April 26, 2017 the subject ordinance was continued to a date certain of May 17, 2017. Commissioner John Elizabeth Aleman in now the sponsor of the item.

At the request of the item sponsor, the attached draft of the ordinance for First Reading was amended to include the following recommendation from the Planning Board pertaining to parking, amended slightly with regard to off-site locations:

(g) Required parking shall be located on the same parcel or unified development site as the medical cannabis dispensary, or within a non-residential zoning district 500 feet of the site either in private parking facilities or a public parking facility with a lease, unity of title, or covenant-in-lieu of unity of title, or other document of a similar nature. Participation in the fee-in-lieu of parking program is prohibited.

Additionally, at the request of the sponsor, the following additional modifications were made to the ordinance:

1. Two (2) separate areas have been created within the proposed mid-beach zone, consisting of Mt. Sinai hospital and the remaining area of inclusion in the mid-beach zone. This would allow Mt. Sinai, if it so chooses in the future, to have a dispensing facility, in addition to an allowable mid-beach facility.

2. The Planning Board CUP criteria has been updated to require State licensure of any applicant prior to Planning Board application submission.

The previously approved Medical Cannabis Moratorium expired on March 18, 2017. However, upon the Planning Board transmitting the ordinance to the City Commission with a favorable recommendation, Zoning in Progress took effect, requiring any potential medical cannabis dispensaries to comply with the proposed regulations.

In regards to the Planning Board’s second recommendation pertaining to the process for the issuing of BTR’s, the Administration has researched options to better organize the issuance of BTR’s. As proposed, the ordinance allows for up to three medical cannabis establishments in three different areas of the City. In this scenario, the BTR’s would be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. This could result in applicants spending the time and money to go through the process of obtaining a CUP and Building Permit, with no guarantee of obtaining a BTR. In order to better organize the application process, the City Commission could consider issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the issuance of the BTR’s. Proposals could then be ranked, and the BTR’s would be issued in the order of the rankings. For the purposes of ranking proposals, the RFP could utilize the Conditional Use and BTR criteria in the ordinance, along with other factors such as expected revenue to the City.


CONCLUSION

The Administration recommends that the City Commission approve the Ordinance at First Reading and set a Second Reading Public Hearing for June 7, 2017.
Legislative Tracking
Planning
Sponsor
Commissioner John Elizabeth Aleman

ATTACHMENTS:
Description
Updated Suitability Study
Ordinance
Ad