Planning Board Minutes - April 28, 2015



Village Hall Conference Room

10050 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami Shores


APRIL 28, 2015

TUESDAY, 7:00 P.M.




Mr. Robert Abramitis, Mr. John Busta, Mr. Richard Fernandez (Present)

Mr. Sid Reese (Absent)


Mr. David Dacquisto, Planning and Zoning Director

Mariana Gracia, Secretary 


Mr. Abramitis made a Motion to suspend the rules.  Mr. Busta seconded it.  The Motion passed unanimously.




1)     Village Council request for Planning Board to review the current zoning for the annexed area and to consider comprehensive plan, zoning code and map amendments for the area.

Mr. Dacquisto said we need to oblige some type of Miami Shores zoning to the annexed area.  He spoke about the university zoning are and the Miami-Dade duplex zones.  The question really is do we want to maintain the duplex as a legal use of the area.  That can go two ways.  One is to create a duplex zone or the existing single family zone.  You can say either they can be replaced or they can’t.  He expressed the concern about if someone has a duplex you run the risk of paying the difference at valuation.  The Board asked some questions.  Mr. Dacquisto said that you run the potential of reducing the value.  The other part is how we apply our zoning. Right now Miami-Dade zoning has the setbacks that are different than ours. You also notice the difference in the height of fences. He said that is where we were at our last workshop.  In our last workshop we were discussing the lot sizes and setbacks.  He continued to add that in a nutshell that’s kind of what we were at. Mr. Dacquisto said that we don’t want to create non conformities. He doesn’t want to rely on amortization.  Over time they are replaced but we see these 200 year old houses sitting were they were before.  Overtime potentially but that’s not the best way to handle it.  Mr. Busta expressed that he likes the idea that if we have an existing duplex, someone can come in and tear it down and they can improve the value of the property.  The Board asked Mr. Dacquisto if he feels that the current RU2 that the places are under, does he think that would suffice and it wouldn’t need to be changed.  Mr. Dacquisto responds that with the zoning code from Miami-Dade is so interconnected that he can’t just go in and take the RU1 and change it.  He said that happens is that he has to take from different places and put together a single zone that would have Miami-Dade setbacks.  So you would allow Miami-Dade zone housing.  He spoke about the parking setbacks. The only reason to leave 6’ fences in the front yard is if you truly believe that it’s a security issue.  The board discusses the security issue. Mr. Abramitis says that if we are going to have duplexes in Miami Shores and everyone says now you are in Miami Shores makes it less unattractive.  He asked if Mr. Dacquisto sees a difference in the zoning for duplexes. The Board continues to inquire about the duplex and separate ownership situation. Mr. Dacquisto answers that normally speaking a side by side townhouse its one ownership.    Mr. Abramitis asked if a person comes down and tore it down no bigger than the duplex could they do it.  Mr. Dacquisto answers no.  The Board asked why not and gives examples of where it is done now on Biscayne Park.  Mr. Dacquisto says right but are they subdividing property and gives a brief explanation.  He adds it depends on how you set the zone.  The Board is looking at what the overall general direction of the area will look like.  Mr. Dacquisto adds that he does not think we have one particular single they are all side by side.  Mr. Dacquisto says side by side or one behind the other.  Mr. Abramitis asked about increasing the zoning somehow making the zoning so you can convert, without increasing density, you can convert townhouses with the hope homeowners will come in.  Mr. Dacquisto says it could be done the only thing is that you have to change the minimum lot size, for a duplex, convert it to individual ownership.  The problem is going to be, after the fact you actually would have to have almost no minimum.  The dilemma when you are building a duplex, split down the center the dilemma is contractors are generally bad in figuring out where that line is.  That’s why a lot of times they actually do the survey after it is built. They do a subdivision after the fact. So, someone gets 49’ and the other 51’ because it’s not perfect.  Mr. Fernandez, everybody agreed that we don’t want to keep the tri-homes. The Board agrees.  The Board discusses the fact that the annexed area will eventually be an extension of Barry University.  The Board points out that you have to maintain the minimum cubage.  The mentioned the mistake that North Miami had made.  Mr. Dacquisto gave an example of the smaller square footage of 12,500 for a single family unit.  You would have two minimum size units. It would be 12,500 and 12,500.  The other way we have is the Liaison that goes by square footage. They go by number of rooms.  He said he doesn’t think that that would work.  If we go back to square footage, you double that.  The Board asked the size of a smaller duplex.  The Board expresses their concern with the proposed lot size.  The Board discusses the option of ownership in Miami Shores versus the renters.  The homeowners have a stake in the community. Mr. Dacquisto says that the State wants us to provide a variety of housing.  He said is not a bad idea to allow homeownership to split the duplex.    The Board would like to see that option available.  Mr. Dacquisto says that it would be a subdivision to us in the County.  We could create two zones one could be a family zone and one a duplex zone.  The duplex obviously a duplex zone and the family zone the duplex with the option to create different lots.  The Board asked questions about the setbacks between Miami-Dade versus ours.  The Board discusses the issue with setbacks.  Mr. Dacquisto discusses the setbacks and is in agreement with the Board about them being 5’ on the side and 15’ on the back.  The Board continues the discussion about setbacks.  The Board expresses concern about changing the setbacks and then people would be adding more floor space to a duplex.  The Board continues to add that you can only do that if you convert it to homeownership.  The Board mentioned other towns where this was done and it was very good for middle class people.  There is a lot of positive to this if we give it the single family look.  The Board gives examples of this happening in other areas in Miami-Dade.  The Board agrees that this is a good proposition.  Mr. Dacquisto says that you can create that by what we are doing right now which is improving the area.   The Board discusses the issue.  Mr. Dacquisto mentioned that if you look at the trend right now people are buying them and fixing them up and it improves the area even more.  Mr. Dacquisto said that the downside is that it you make it more attractive they do probably not want to get rid of them now.  Mr. Dacquisto said that we pretty much reduced crime in the annexed area.  He said that right now it looks like he is creating two new zones called the RU1 and RU2.  RU1 is single family and RU2 is duplex.  Looking at kind of a mix of regulations, one of the things he will do is Miami-Dade doesn’t have a minimum cubage, he said he will put one in.  He will make to 12,500 X 7.  The Board asked Mr. Dacquisto to give them an example. Mr. Dacquisto proceeded to explain that if there is an 8’ ceiling.  He says it is in the neighborhood of 40X40.  The Board discusses the Barry University expansion and the way the Universities are now offering online courses.  The Board discusses the plus of going to the University on campus.  The Board asked about the business district.  Mr. Dacquisto explains that he will be changing the zoning to include everything that Barry owns will get the zoning we had talked about.  Barry had said to Mr. Dacquisto that they would submit when they are ready.  Mr. Dacquisto mentioned that Barry can provide a master plan and Mr. Dacquisto could make changes to it administratively.

Mr. Dacquisto says he just wanted to give the Board a heads up.  We have to update our comprehensive plan and he had been trying to find out exactly how to do it.  The valuation and the analysis report.  He mentioned that there is a lot that goes into it.  There is two ways of doing the other changes, sometimes they go into details.  We are going to look into climate change.   He said he saw one that he really likes.  Mr. Dacquisto spoke about what he would be writing to the State.  The Board talks about the way to go about this.  Mr. Dacquisto explains the way he does this proposal to the State.  The question Mr. Dacquisto poses to the Board is how much we will change things.  Basically this is what happens, we send a letter to the State, and then they give you a year to respond.  Mr. Dacquisto discussed the manner in which we would make changes.  One of them being having to have a Workshop if need be.  He mentioned that last time he had come in at the last time and re-wrote everything that the consultants had done.  The Board discussed the way this was done last time.  They discussed the different scenarios we might have regarding this proposal.  Mr. Abramitis mentioned that he would have to understand all these changes before he could vote on them.  Mr. Dacquisto offered to give the Board the basic information about it. He mentioned that this is generically written to deal with expanding communities. The Board continues to discuss the proposal to be written.  Mr. Dacquisto says that one of the things that might come up is the water supply.  The Board agrees that if all they are voting on is that the community will have water supply then that’s an easy thing to do.  Mr. Dacquisto said he just got a letter from the State that says that if you don’t supply water, if it comes from outside the community, then we don’t need to supply a water plan.  To be consistent all we need to provide is that we get our water plan from North Miami which means is that will have a clause there that says we get our water from Miami-Dade and North Miami.  So we don’t have to deal with that because that’s in Miami-Dade water plan.  So that makes us compliant.  The issue for all of us would be the other.  Mr. Dacquisto emphasizes that he rather not go in the other part of the proposal.  The Board asked questions and made comments.  Mr. Dacquisto says he is not going to tell them up front what we are going to do.  Climate changes is going to be one of the big ones.  The Board expresses concern about not mentioning.  Mr. Dacquisto talks about the clause that he is talking about which is that we can put that we may make other changes based on workshops. The Board asked questions.  Mr. Dacquisto responds says that the clause he was talking about is that we may make other changes based on workshops.  Mr. Dacquisto says that he will say that we are only bringing into compliance minimal work.  We will be having workshops to work out the details.  The Board asked questions.  Village council is going to want changes.  The Board says we could leave it out and that makes more sense.  Mr. Dacquisto says that there is two ways to do it is he could write it up like that and then let the Village Council make a determination.  The Board says they want the Village Council to have the final say.  Mr. Dacquisto says we are sending the letter first. 






1)     Regular agenda.


2)     Possible Discussion and Action Items: Recommendation to Village Council:


a)     Village Council Request: Planning Board to review the current zoning for the annexed area and to consider comprehensive plan, zoning code and zoning map amendments for the area.


V)    ADJOURNMENT – The workshop adjourned at 7:55 PM.