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Village Council Meeting Minutes - July 19, 2016

MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING

 

 

The Miami Shores Village Council held their regularly scheduled Council Meeting on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 in the Council Chambers of Village Hall. The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM with the following members present:

PRESENT:                        Alice Burch

                                           Steven Zelkowitz             

                                           Mac Glinn

                                           Herta Holly

                                           Ivonne Ledesma

ALSO PRESENT:             Tom Benton, Village Manager

                                           Elizabeth Keeley, Communications Specialist

                                           Richard Sarafan, Village Attorney

 

PRESENTATIONS

 

Dr. Kelly Andrews was introduced as the new Executive Director of Doctors Charter School and welcomed by the Council. Dr. Andrews provided a brief report regarding last year’s operations and highlights.

CONSIDERATIONS

             

1)           VILLAGE CLERK                                                                                   Barbara A. Estep

  1. APPROVAL OF THE JUNE 21, 2016 COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.

Vice Mayor Zelkowitz moved approval of the June 21, 2016 Minutes as presented. Councilwoman Holly seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

Mr. Benton introduced an emergency item to be considered with respect to a State construction grant for the Library expansion project. At this time, Vice Mayor Zelkowitz requested that agenda items be considered out of the published order as he has to leave the meeting early to attend a personal event. The Council agreed to hear the emergency item and to take the agenda items out of order in consideration of the Vice Mayor’s request.

EMERGENCY ITEM – A RESOLUTION OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL AUTHORIZING THE ADMINISTRATION TO SUBMIT, ON BEHALF OF THE VILLAGE, AN APPLICATION FOR PUBLIC LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION FUNDS TO THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE, PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

Ms. Keeley read the caption of the Resolution into the record. Library Board Member Cheryl Gowing and the Library Director, Michelle Brown, were present and explained the grant funding and the application deadline of September 1st. Councilwoman Ledesma moved to adopt the Resolution. Councilwoman Holly seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

D)       A RESOLUTION OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL SETTING TENTATIVE OPERATING AND DEBT SERVICE AD VALOREM MILLAGE LEVIES FOR FISCAL YEAR 2016-2017, BEGINNING OCTOBER 1, 2016 AND ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2017; SETTING THE TIME, DATE AND PLACE FOR THE TWO PUBLIC HEARINGS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2016-2017 OPERATING AND CAPITAL BUDGETS AND PROPOSED AD VALOREM MILLAGE LEVIES.

Ms. Keeley read the caption of the Resolution into the record. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz moved to approve the Resolution. Councilwoman Holly seconded the motion. No one from the public wished to comment on the resolution and the vote on the motion was unanimous in favor of the motion.

2)           VILLAGE COUNCIL                                                                              

  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING THE FLORIDA MAINSTREET PROGRAM.                                                                   Mayor Alice Burch

Mayor Burch spoke of the MainStreet program, indicating that there is a conference coming up and that she would like to see a Village staff member attend the conference. The Council discussed the cost of the conference as well as costs associated with initiating and maintaining a MainStreet program. Councilwoman Holly expressed concern with adding another program and additional duties to an already overtasked staff. The consensus of the Council was to have David Dacquisto attend the conference and report back with program particulars. Councilwoman Ledesma then moved to have Mr. Dacquisto attend the upcoming MainStreet conference and report back to Council. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz seconded the motion.

Patrice Gillespie Smith spoke in favor of the program and thanked the Council for their support.

Darren Patz spoke of “Public Private Partnerships” (P3) programs to work in conjunction with a MainStreet program.

Mayor Burch called for the vote which was unanimous in favor of the motion.

  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING GREEN DAY IN-KIND PROVISION OF MUNICIPAL SERVICES FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22nd, 2016.

                                                                                                                                  Mayor Alice Burch

Mayor Burch introduced the item and spoke of the Village’s participation in the previous Green Day events. The Mayor spoke about the level of sponsorship and indicated that the Village would be a major partner in the upcoming event.   Mr. Benton clarified the amount of funding the Village has contributed in past years which ranged from $6,000 to $9,000 and covered the costs of police, public works and recreation department staff. Councilwoman Ledesma moved to support funding the in-kind services for the event. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion. Chamber of Commerce President, Johnathan Meltz spoke about the planned event which is scheduled for Saturday, October 22nd. The Mayor called for a vote on the motion which was unanimous in favor of the motion.

  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION TO ESTABLISH A RENT AMOUNT FOR DOCTORS CHARTER SCHOOL.                                            Ivonne Ledesma

Councilwoman Ledesma reviewed past discussions regarding the School’s rent payment. Board Member Francine Steelman and Executive Director Dr. Andrews addressed the Council regarding budgeting issues, including the capital outlay funds received last school year. Dr. Andrews indicated that the School was presenting a balance budget assuming a rent payment of $90,000 as discussed between the Village Administration and the prior Finance Committee Board Member, Steve Mumby.   Dr. Andrews indicated that a fixed rent payment would be easier to budget and plan for in the future rather than a rent payment based on some percentage of funds received. Council Members discussed various aspects of the School’s budget and the paperwork which had been provided to the Council prior to the meeting. Mr. Sarafan confirmed that there had been no additional School Board action taken regarding the rent issue. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz spoke of the fact that the Council had tabled the issue of the rent payment months ago because the Council needed more information and which is still not available. He further spoke of the inappropriateness of the Council conducting negotiations, rather the Manager and Attorney being authorized to do so. Vice Mayor Zelkowitz reminded the Council that the School’s Board had rejected the Village’s negotiated offer. Additional Council discussion followed relating to the capital outlay funds. At the conclusion of the discussions, Vice Mayor Zelkowitz moved to approve a rent reduction payment of $90,000 for one year. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion. It was clarified that the future rent payment will need to be agreed upon before May, 2017, and that the rent reduction referenced in the motion applies to 2015/2016. The motion was voted upon with a unanimous vote of the Council.

  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING THE EXPLORATION OF ENTERING INTO A PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TO DEVELOP THE NEWLY ACQUIRED 9900 BUILDING.                                            Mac Glinn

Councilman Glinn provided the Council with information regarding his reason for placing the item on the agenda, indicating that the Village has a unique opportunity with the purchase of the building and would like to have a discussion regarding the possibilities. He spoke of the on-going maintenance issues and the age of the current Village Hall as well as the Police Department building. He spoke of the possibility of a mixed use building configuration and the new “Public/Private Partnership” (P3) statutes, for which the Village should adopt a corresponding ordinance to accommodate a P3 scenario. Councilman Glinn further spoke of the feasibility of advertising a Request for Letters of Interest (RLI). Vice Mayor Zelkowitz spoke of the many municipalities that are currently in the process of building or developing new government centers and mixed use complexes. Council Members spoke of the firm, RMA, that has been contracted to conduct the downtown design study and to ask them to also evaluate the Village owned parcels.  

Residents Frederick Kaufmann and Victor Bruce spoke in support of developing a plan for the Village properties.

It was the consensus of the Council to have the Village Manager speak to RMA regarding a review of the three Village owned properties where the Village Hall, Police Department and the 9900 building currently are located.  

Vice Mayor Zelkowitz left the meeting at this time.

3)           VILLAGE MANAGER                                                                                          Tom Benton       

  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING THE HIRING OF A LOBBYIST TO REPRESENT VILLAGE INTERESTS IN THE KMART PROPERTY ANNEXATION.

Following up on a discussion taking place at the Budget Workshop, Mr. Benton requested direction from the Council regarding engaging a lobbyist to work on the Village’s behalf on the proposed K-Mart corner annexation application. Council discussion centered on whether the lobbyist should focus solely on the annexation issue or should be engaged with a broader scope of services to include all Village lobbyist services. In addition, the process of hiring the lobbyist was discussed, with a majority of the Council Members voicing their preference to issue an RFP for the services. There was additional discussion amongst the Council regarding the status of the annexation application, timeframes for the County Commission hearing, and opinions on the usefulness of a lobbyist for the annexation issue.    Councilman Glinn moved to issue an RFP for a lobbyist to assist with the K-Mart Annexation application. Councilwoman Ledesma seconded the motion. Councilwoman Holly voiced her opposition to issuing an RFP and would rather have the process handled through recommendations and an interview process.

Resident Janet Goodman spoke about the proposed annexation and asked the Village to look into the availability of sewers for the parcels being proposed for annexation.

Mayor Burch called for the vote which was 3 to 1 in favor of the motion with Councilwoman Holly dissenting.

  1. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING MAKING OUR PARKS DOG FRIENDLY.

Mr. Benton provided the Council with information regarding details of making Village parks (Optimist, Constitution and Bayfront) dog friendly parks.   Mr. Benton indicated that the Village’s Public Works staff will attempt to absorb the additional duties within their existing staffing levels and that the waste receptacles would be funded through the Waste Department expense budget.   Councilwoman Holly moved to accept the Administration’s recommendation. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion.   Councilwoman Ledesma questioned the number of receptacles proposed for installation, thinking that fewer may be sufficient for the parks. She further spoke of the possibility of using biodegradable bags.

Resident Frederick Kaufmann spoke in support of the dog friendly concept and asked about sponsorship opportunities for the various waste stations.  

Mayor Burch called for a vote on the motion.   Council Members voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

1)           VILLAGE CLERK

  1. AN ORDINANCE OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL, AMENDING DIVISION 17 LANDSCAPING, SECTION 536 DESIGN STANDARDS, SECTION 537 MAINTENANCE STANDARDS AND SECTION 538 LANDSCAPING DESCRIPTIONS AND DEFINITIONS; OF ZONING APPENDIX A, OF THE VILLAGE’S CODE OF ORDINANCES BY REPEALING THE CONTENTS OF DIVISION 17 IN ITS ENTIRETY AND ADOPTING ANEW DIVISION 17 LANDSCAPING, SECTION 537 MAINTENANCE STANDARDS AND SECTION 538 LANDSCAPING DESCRIPTIONS AND DEFINITIONS; PROVIDING FOR CONFLCITS, PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY, AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.                                                                                                             

Ms. Keeley read the caption of the ordinance into the record. Councilwoman Holly moved to accept the proposed ordinance. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion. The Village’s Zoning Director, David Dacquisto, provided information regarding the Planning Board’s work on the landscaping code and the numerous draft amendments that the Board considered. He further indicated that the Board reviewed all aspects of the Code, including the regulations regarding planting in the Village’s swales, the use of grass and ground cover in the front yards, and that the current Code encourages and allows for Florida Friendly principles.   Mr. Dacquisto stated that the Board is supportive of multiple types of ground cover and recommends an acceptable height of 24” for live ground cover material and that 37 ½ % of the front yard be grass/sod with no requirement in the side or rear yard. Mr. Dacquisto spoke of the site distance triangle and the need to have an illustration in the landscaping section of the Code as well as in the parking section of the Zoning Code. The Village Clerk will be asked to check with the codification company regarding the inclusion of an illustration.

Council Members discussed various points brought up by Mr. Dacquisto and the question of whether or not to move forward with amending the language presented for consideration.

Councilwoman Ledesma reviewed her concerns and proposed alternative text which was submitted by residents. Council Members continued their discussions regarding the proposed amendments followed by Mayor Burch opening the floor for public comment.

Doug Barnes       Mr. Barnes thanked the Council and all involved with the process for their patience and consideration of the amendment proposed by Councilwoman Ledesma.

Gwen Burzycki   Ms. Burzycki indicated that she also contributed to the proposed amendments and suggested that there not be any requirement for grass/sod in the Code and to adopt regulations which do not require the Village Code Officers to be botanical experts.

Mary Benton       Ms. Benton suggested that the landscaping code relate to the projected sea level rise and stressed the importance of the right type of trees to be planted.

Bekky Leonard    Ms. Leonard talked about how important it will be to educate the residents about the Code changes so that they are aware of the amendment.

Councilwoman Holly restated her motion to accept the proposed ordinance with suggested amendments. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

  1. AN ORDINANCE OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL, AMENDING SECTION 518 FENCES, WALLS & HEDGES: CONTAINED IN THE ZONING APPENDIX OF THE VILLAGE’S CODE OF ORDINANCES BY REPEALING THE CONTENTS OF SECTION 518 (2) “MAXIMUM HEIGHT OF HEDGES IN R DISTRICTS” IN ITS ENTIRETY AND

ADOPTING A NEW SECTION 518 (2) “MAXIMUM HEIGHT OF HEDGES IN R DISTRICTS” PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY, PROVIDING FOR CONFLICTS AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.                                                                  

Ms. Keeley read the caption of the ordinance into the record. Mr. Dacquisto summarized the Council’s directive to the Planning Board and reviewed the Board’s recommendation which is to raise the allowable hedge height to 8 feet for the side or rear yards in all areas of the Village. Councilwoman Holly moved to approve the ordinance on first reading. Councilman Glinn seconded the motion. Councilwoman Ledesma voiced her opinion that 8 feet is really not high enough and suggested 12 feet. Councilman Glinn spoke about not wanting to pass legislation that will put a number of residents in a non-compliant situation as soon as adopted. He would rather have the ordinance be more representative of the scenarios throughout the Village. Mayor Burch agreed with Councilman Glinn regarding the heights of some current hedges and the compliance issue.   Mayor Burch spoke about the use of Areca Palms that are planted as a property border around many properties and how those would be treated relating to the Code amendment.

Resident Mary Benton echoed the concern expressed by the Mayor relating to Areca Palms.

The vote when taken was unanimous in favor of passing the ordinance on first reading. As a majority of the Council agreed with Councilwoman Ledesma’s suggestion of amending the allowable hedge height to 12 feet, the proposed ordinance will reflect that change for second/final reading.

4)         ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ms. Keeley read the announcements.

5)         PUBLIC COMMENTS

Bekky Leonard                  Ms. Leonard announced that the Property Owners Association would be conducting a Candidate Forum for the State Representative seat.

6)         COUNCIL COMMENTS

Herta Holly                        Councilwoman Holly spoke of Amendment 4 contained on the August 30th ballot which relates to tax incentives for solar power.

Mac Glinn                          Councilman Glinn thanked everyone for their attendance and contributions, including the Village Staff.

Ivonne Ledesma                No comment.

Alice Burch                       Mayor Burch thanked the residents and staff for their participation.

7)         ADJOURNMENT

The July 19, 2016 Council Meeting was adjourned at 9:09 PM.

                                                                                                                   __________________________

                                                                                                                   Alice Burch, Mayor

________________________

Barbara A. Estep, MMC

Village Clerk