Planning Board Staff Report



Miami Shores Village Town Hall  Council Chambers  10050 NE 2nd Avenue  Miami Shores

Hearing Date

April 28, 2011

Meeting Time

7:00 P.M.

File Number


Folio Number



Jose Castro, 9701 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami Shores, FL 33138





Property Address

9701 Biscayne Boulevard

Legal Description

MIAMI SHORES SEC 3 PB 10-37 LOTS 1 TO 4 INC BLK 79 LOT SIZE SITE VALUE OR 18201-1642 0698 1 COC 24428-4562 04 2006 1 OR 27262-0028 0410 01

Property Size-Sq Ft


Building Adjusted Sq Ft


Flood Zone





Future Land Use Designation

Single Family Residential

Existing Use

One-family dwelling

Comprehensive Plan Consistency


Existing Structure

2-story; 3 bed/3 bath

Year Built




ARTICLE VII. ERRORS AND VARIANCES; Sec. 702 Hardship variances:  Sec 518. Fences walls and hedges. (a) Maximum height.

Action Required

Approve, Approve with Conditions, or Deny the application

Other Required Approvals

Village Building Permits


Staff Report

David A. Dacquisto AICP, Director, Planning and Zoning

Report Date

April 4, 2011






The applicant installed a 6.8 foot ornamental metal front gate without obtaining a building permit first.


The applicant is requesting a 1.8 foot variance to the 5 foot height limitation for fences and gates in the front yard on Biscayne Boulevard.




Properties on Biscayne Boulevard are permitted a 5 foot fence and 5 foot gate in the front yard, side yard and rear yard.  Hedges may be 5 feet in the front yard and up to 7 feet in the side and rear yards.


The installed gate at 6.8 feet exceeds the 5 foot height limitation by approximately 1.6 feet.


The existing fence is approximately 5 feet in height.  Existing columns are approximately 6 feet in height with the columns at the gate approximately 8.5 feet in height when including the light fixture at top. The building file does not contain any information on the fence.


The existing hedge is approximately 9 feet in height and exceeds the 5 foot height limitation for hedges in the front yard on Biscayne Boulevard by 4 feet and is therefore in violation of the Miami Shores Village Code of Ordinances, Sec. 518. (2).


Pursuant to Sec 702. Hardship variances, of the Miami Shores Village Code of Ordinances, Appendix A, the applicant must provide sufficient evidence to support a finding by the Planning Board that the variance requested meets all four (4) of the required criteria to grant a variance:


Variance Criteria


(a)                  The alleged peculiar and unusual conditions affecting the property.

(b)                  The alleged reasons why such conditions make it impossible strictly to apply specified provisions of this ordinance to the property.

(c)                  The variance in such strict application that the applicant believes to be necessary in order to enable him to make a reasonable use of the property.

(d)                  The reasons why the applicant is of the opinion that such variance would be in harmony with the intent and purpose of this ordinance, would not be detrimental to the existing use or prospective development of property in the vicinity, and would not give to the applicant an advantage with respect to the use of his property that is not enjoyed by the owners of similarly situated property.


The applicant has responded in the application to the criteria upon which the Planning and Zoning Board will consider the application.


Staff reviewed the applicants response to the four (4) criteria and Staff finds that the application has not met all four (4) of the required criteria to grant a variance:


(a)                  There are no peculiar or unusual conditions affecting the property.  There are other residential properties along Biscayne Boulevard with no fences or gates in the front yard.

(b)                  There are no peculiar or unusual conditions that would make it impossible to apply the height limitation to a gate on this property.

(c)                  The applicant has reasonable use of the property including a single family residence and five (5) foot fence.  The applicant may install a 5 foot gate.  Walls and gates in the residential areas of Miami Shores can not exceed 3.5 feet in height except for within the Biscayne Boulevard corridor.  The village has already provided for the uniqueness of Biscayne Boulevard by allowing residences along Biscayne Boulevard to have 5 foot walls and gates in the front yard.

(d)                  The granting of the request would grant the applicant a privilege not enjoyed by owners of similarly situated property.  In staff’s 5 years with the village, no gate exceeding 5 feet in height has been approved along Biscayne Boulevard.




Planning and Zoning staff recommend to the Planning Board DENIAL of the variance with a finding that the applicant has not met all four (4) of the required criteria to grant the requested variance as required in the Code of Ordinances, ARTICLE VII. ERRORS AND VARIANCES, Sec. 702 Hardship variances.


However, if the Planning Board finds that the applicant has provided sufficient evidence to support a finding that the application has met all four (4) of the required criteria to grant a variance under Section 702 of the Code of Ordinances and votes to approve the application, staff recommends the following conditions:


1)      The applicant may install a 6.8 foot high gate in the front yard.

2)      Applicant to obtain all required building permits for work previously undertaken without building permits.

3)      Applicant to obtain all required building permits.

4)      Applicant to comply with all applicable code provisions at the time of permitting.

5)      This variance is valid for a period of one (1) year from the date of approval.  Building permits must be secured and work started within that time or a new variance will be required before work can commence.