Planning Board Minutes - December 12, 2013


DECEMBER 12, 2013

THURSDAY, 7:00 P.M. 


John Busta, Sid Reese, Robert Abramitis, Chairman Richard Fernandez. 

Absent: Steve Zelkowitz

In Attendance:

Richard Sarafan; Attorney

David Dacquisto; Planning and Zoning Director

Karen Banda; Clerk






1)     None.




1)     November 14, 2013


Mr. Abramitis questions vote regarding Item: PZ 10-13-201356: Allegra. Minutes reflect motion was approved unanimously.   

Motion: Approve minutes subject to corrections.

Action: Accept, Moved by Robert Abramitis, seconded Sid Reese.

Minutes approved unanimously.





“Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”




1)     None.




1)     PZ-11-13-201361: 1292 NE 95th Street, (Owner) Robert & Nancy Frehling, (Applicant) Same, (Agent) Aaron Sinnes; Pursuant to Articles IV, V and VI of Appendix A Zoning, Sec. 400 and Sec. 600. Site plan review and approval required. Garage conversion attached garage.


Mr. Dacquisto provided background information, summarized the information on the staff report and read the staff recommendation and conditions of approval into the record. Mr. Sinnes was present as agent for owner. Chairman asked about swinging type door for garage rather than standard roll up garage door and staff answered yes it is like any front door. Staff stated since it is no longer a garage, rather a door to a storage area and choice of applicant is that they swing out.


Motion: Approve subject to staff recommendations.

Moved by Sid Reese, Seconded by John Busta.

Motion approved unanimously. 


2)     PZ-11-13-201362: 85 NW 102nd Street, (Owner) Richard Boullon, (Applicant) Same, (Agent) None; Pursuant to Articles IV, V and VI of Appendix A Zoning. Sec. 400, Sec 518 (2) and Sec. 600, Site plan review and approval required. Fence in the front yard.


Mr. Dacquisto provided background information, summarized the information on the staff report and read the staff recommendation and conditions of approval into the record. Code allows 2 to 4inches. Mr. Abramitis asked about side yard fence, and applicant stated fence shall begin where the front façade of the house begins. Mr. Boullon was present and stated he does not really have a backyard and rather has a front yard. For security purpose among other reasons he is requesting to have front yard area and shadow box fence, staggered and then it will change to a picket fence. Staff clarifies, that application submitted for approval was that a picket fence would be installed all the way around property. Mr. Abramitis asked about color of fence and Mr. Boullon stated it would be white. Mr. Abramitis also asked applicant if he thought about landscaping to obtain final objective. Owner commented that he had tried to use landscaping but was not successful and has dogs and would love to keep them contained. Chairman asked questions regarding board inches and clarifies applicants proposal of a white picket 5FT fence in the side and rear and a then goes down to 3 ½ in the front. Applicant and girlfriend differ on painting fence. Chairman asks applicant if they would like some time and table item to the end of meeting so that they can concur on what they would like to have as an end result. Board gives opinion on what they would approve. Mr. Busta and Mr. Reese would like to see fence painted or stained, Mr. Abramitis and Chairman would like fence painted.


Motion to table,

Moved by Robert Abramitis, seconded by Sid Reese.  

Motion approved unanimously.


3)     PZ-11-13-201363: 333 NE 103rd Street, (Owner) John Pegg, (Applicant) Same, (Agent) Douglas West; Pursuant to Articles IV, V and VI of Appendix A Zoning, Sec. 400 and Sec. 600. Site plan review and approval required. Addition.


Mr. Dacquisto provided background information, summarized the information on the staff report and read the staff recommendation and conditions of approval into the record. Staff states they will correct square footage on condition number 1. Douglas West agent for applicant gave summary of new space which will consist of a master bedroom, bathroom and new Kitchen. Existing Kitchen will be converted into a laundry room. Attorney Richard Sarafan clarifies with agent that pool is not part of application and Mr. West concurs.


Motion: Approve subject to staff recommendations.

Moved by John Busta. Seconded by Sid Reese,

Motion approved unanimously. 


4)     PZ-11-13-201364: 9099 Biscayne Boulevard, (Owner) Shore Square Properties LLC, (Applicant) Burger King Holding Inc., (Agent) Carlos Cardoso; Pursuant to Articles IV, V and VI of Appendix A Zoning. Sec. 400 and Sec. 600. Site plan review and approval required. Commercial building, freestanding fast food restaurant, remodel and site improvements.


Mr. Dacquisto provided background information, summarized the information on the staff report and read the staff recommendation and conditions of approval into the record.  Agent Carlos Cardoso was present on behalf of Burger King Corporation. Mr. Busta asked staff for clarification if all tile mansard roofs would be eliminated and the drive thru would be a standing seam metal roof and staff answered yes to both inquiries. Chairman asked if color scheme was in keeping with the color scheme of the shopping center. Staff stated only the wall color which is yellowish beige but as noted in the staff report the use of the color black as shown on the tower features is not common in Miami Shores. Mr. Cardoso gave presentation regarding Burger King Corporate is modernizing its locations and gave explanation about black archon. Mr. Reese asked if black was the company’s color and Mr. Cardoso answered yes it is the trademark. Mr. Abramitis asked about metal roof above drive thru and if Mr. Cardoso had a sample or color of roof and the reflectivity. Mr. Cardoso stated it would be silver but did not have a sample. Mr. Abramitis referenced a chart that is usually presented when a metal roof is proposed to determine reflectivity. Mr. Cardoso looks at one handed to him by another architect and stated it would be along the line of a dove gray. Chairman gave summary of where business is located and because of dark outlook it is not in keeping with look of shopping plaza. Mr. Cardoso stated he would have to relay information to corporate company because this is the new look they are proposing for all the renovations   


Public Comment Open.


Eddie Lewis 9490 NW 1st Avenue; asked question regarding plans and proposed handicapped section.


Mr. Cardoso presented site plan visuals.


Public Comment Closed.


Chairman addresses how he cannot recall any other stores in Miami Shores that have as many signs as Burger King has advertised on business. Mr. Cardoso states that sign application will come after and proposed signs are not part of this application.


Mr. Abramitis asked about LED light plan that would be illuminated. Mr. Cardoso shows the light band on plan that goes around top of building. Mr. Abramitis states he thought the red on picture was paint. No lights underneath awnings but there will be underneath drive thru area. Mr. Abramitis asked if they were changing any existing lighting other than the band and Mr. Cardoso stated only if it was within the mansard area in the building itself.


Chairman clarifies that light plan and sign plan are not part of approval. Parking plan is part of site plan approval.


Board discusses concerns on approval of application. Mr. Abramitis comments about not knowing color of roof and lights around building. An exterior lighting plan will be needed. A complete package regarding signage needs to be submitted. Metal coping and reflectiveness with product approval should also be submitted with package.


Motion: Table to January 23, 2014 meeting.

Moved by Robert Abramitis, seconded by Sid Reese.  

Motion approved unanimously.         


5)     PZ-11-13-201365: 1420 NE 103rd Street, (Owner) Marc Litzenberg, (Applicant) Same, (Agent) Mark Campbell; Pursuant to Articles IV, V and VI of Appendix A Zoning, Sec. 400 and Sec. 600, Schedule of Regulations, Site plan review and approval required. New residence. Sec. 523.1 (f) (5). Metal roof. Sec 518 (2) Fence in the front yard.


Mr. Dacquisto provided background information, summarized the information on the staff report and read the staff recommendation and conditions of approval into the record. Agent Mark Campbell was present on behalf of owner. Mark Campbell clarifies setback pool in regards to staff’s report. Mr. Abramitis asks staff question regarding height of the crown of the road based on staff’s report. Staff stated he was not given crown of the road measurement by architect and so he measured from 5 FT 5 IN. Chairman Address’s height issue and a possible policy that states the height of the crown of the road must be given when applying. Chairman asked staff if they were looking at front wall because it’s retaining the septic tank and since it is in the front yard. Staff stated fences in the front yard always come before the board and the fence will have to be built to a standard that will accommodate any earth that will be up against it so it may be designed slightly different than our normal masonry fence but from outside it will look like a masonry fence.


Richard Sarafan asks staff to elaborate over solar panel metal roof with thin solar film applied directly to metal.  Staff stated applicant is proposing to apply a material that is going to serve for the pool heater. It’s stick on material that would fit between the ridges on the standing seam metal roof. In staff report it is stated that this is prohibited for the hybrid roofs which is something that was looked at before but there is nothing in the code that prevents you from doing it other than this board under site plan review. Color of stick on will be black and color of roof will be charcoal. Mr. Sarafan also asks about a 5ft metal cable gate. Cable gate is a metal frame with cables to minimize blockage from railing itself.


Mr. Abramitis asked if solar panel would look like stripes on a roof. Staff stated they would look more like a stripe with light color material.   Mr. Campbell gives presentation of proposed project after demolition of the existing home. Mr. Abramitis asked if there are other colors that would match the solar panel. Mr. Campbell stated the other option is black. The entire back roof of the house that faces the water will be solar panel. Mr. Abramitis also ask about front view of home and if there is anything that can be done with big blank wall. Mr. Campbell state they can place windows on both sides to match rest of home. Chairman asks Mr. Campbell questions regarding in which direction the solar panel would be facing. The panel would be facing south towards the canal. Chairman asked about height of wall in the front and Mr. Campbell stated right now it is 3.6ft but depending on how much is needed for septic system that will determine wall height. Chairman discusses disapproval of the large area that will be covered in black. Mr. Abramitis asks about a possible look of a two tone roof, with one side being a light color and the back being the dark color.


Public comment open.


Albert Toussaint resident of 1421 NE 103 St. made comment about design in regards to walls, walls are 8 inch blocks and not fences. Looking at the pictures presented the height of the wall can be minimized and slope the ground normally. On east side there is also a drainage box and we cannot build on top of that.


Carlos Arrieta resident of 1431 NE 103 St. raised concerns about draining, wall retention and possible flooding. Mr. Arrieta is also concerned with the esthetics regarding roof color and reflectivity of roof into his home and disruptiveness to family with construction.


Sally Pumo resident of 1500 NE 101 St. lives across the canal and is concerned about roof color and darkness.


Eddie Lewis resident of 9490 NW 1st Avenue raised concerns about statements made in regards to dark color and Miami Shores. Beatification is presented in many different colors and a little change can be good.


Public hearing closed.


Board discusses proposed plans and would like more information regarding better elevations that more accurately show slopes and mounds. A landscaping plan, a two tone approach to roof and what it would look like. Samples of what solar panel might look like. Information about water table because that determines the height of the mound and wall.


Motion: Table to next meeting.

Moved by Robert Abramitis, seconded by John Busta.       

Motion passed unanimously.      


6)     PZ-11-13-201366: 1490 NE 101st Street, (Owner) Richard & Teresa Caccamise, (Applicant) Same, (Agent) Victor Bruce; Pursuant to Articles IV, V and VI of Appendix A Zoning, Sec. 400 and Sec. 600, Schedule of Regulations, Site plan review and approval required. Variance, Sec. 702, Hardship variances. Schedule of Regulations, Building height. Sec 518 (2) Fence in the front yard.


Mr. Dacquisto provided background information, summarized the information on the staff report and read the staff recommendation and conditions of approval into the record. Chairman addresses board and Attorney to bifurcate issue and deal with the variance item first. Chairman raises opinion that if the variance is not approved then there is no need to address the site plan. Attorney Richard Sarafan comments that staff’s report acknowledges that if the variance does not pass the application is not in conformity with the code and cannot be approved. 


Chairman addresses issue with variance first and asks staff about four points with the law and states all four points have to be met. Is the understanding correct that staff’s testimony was that there are no unusual circumstances that affect this property? Staff answered that there are no unusual circumstances that affect this property that don’t affect other properties. Chairman asks next variance question, can you get reasonable use of this property without the variance?

Staff answered yes you can. Chairman asks if the height of the interior is reduced can you still get reasonable use of the property and not exceed the height limitation. Staff stated he believed so.  Chairman recognizes that all points have to be met and by staff’s testimony 50% have not been met.


Victor Bruce agent gives presentation and states the reason the house was torn down was because it could not be improved any further. The Florida Building code states that in order to improve house one can only spent 50% the value of the building, the structure at time of appraisal. Pictures are presented of the coastline that begins on 86th Street to 104th St. of all the homes that are affected by this rule. Homes that need to be renovated cannot go over 50% rule then they have to raise the floor. All the homes will eventually have to torn down and this is the first project all the homes. Everyone has 30 feet in height limitation but everyone along the coastline will lose 7 feet and that is part that it’s almost unique to everyone else. Variance is addressed to this house because it’s the first house that meets this issue dead on. In order to make project work variance request is only 1ft and 10 inches.


Mr. Abramitis asked about height of ceilings inside of the living space. Mr. Bruce stated the first floor will be 12ft and the second floor 10ft.  Mr. Abramitis asked if they were to have two 10ft ceilings would that solve the problem. Mr. Bruce stated they need space for A/C duct work and lighting. Mr. Chairman asks Mr. Bruce as per code what is the minimum height that one can have from floor to ceiling and Mr. Bruce states it is 7ft 1 inch. Chairman clarifies that minimum height is 7ft 6 inches but using Mr. Bruce’s figure you can have two floors at 7ft 1 inch and without any difficulty reach the 30 Ft and be in compliance with the code and have reasonable use of the property because that’s the minimum height. Chairman states that all the properties in the VE zone are affected by the same issues and therefore Mr. Bruce is showing that there is nothing special about this property and that all these other properties are affected the same. Mr. Bruce states they will be eventually have to confront the same issue.


Chairman states that duty of board is to enforce code and does not believe board has any choice as to granting variance. They must follow law until someone else changes it.


Mr. Busta asks Mr. Bruce how possible it would be to re-design the HVAC as far as smaller duct work to go through space and still being able to lower it some between first and second floor. Mr. Bruce stated engineers say anything is possible. Mr. Busta stated it as a possible option for applicant.


Theresa Caccamise owner of property gave information regarding property and hardship. They bought home and want to take advantage of today’s decade design and the 7ft ceilings are not in conformity with such design. They are trying to accommodate their HVAC system and lighting and maintain uniformity. They want to be maintain uniformity with neighbors and do not want to build a stilt house therefore are investing money into a breakaway system that will grow greenery where it looks like it belongs in the neighborhood. The variance requested of 1ft 10 inches is a small variance in which it should have been addressed when the building codes came out in 2010 and in effect in 2012. Saying that this area is not a hardship is incorrect because of laws placed by FEMA and they have taken 8ft away. Instead of having 30ft they are saying we only have 22 ft. to work with.  Mrs. Caccamise is asking board to consider not postponing this item and consider this a hardship.


 Richard Sarafan asked Mrs. Caccamise if they bought home before or after FEMA changed the rules.


Mrs. Caccamise stated they bought home after and did not realize problem until they got into construction part of home. They bought home in September of 2013. 


Public Comment Open

Sally Pumo resident of 1500 NE 101 St. is neighbor to property and addressed safety issue when houses are demolished. Mrs. Pumo thinks this is a beautiful home but does not believe it is in conformity with neighborhood and is concerned about pilings and does not know that they cannot build home without raising it like homes in the keys.


Jerry Pumo resident of 1500 NE 101 St. addressed variance with regards to height and thinks it could be worked out to maintain the 30ft height by changing the architecture.  Mr. Pumo does not like the flat roof and likes tile roofs because it’s part of the village. Mr. Pumo also stated because property is affected by the salt spray, vines do not grow in that salt spray so they may have to reconsider on the screening if it is going to be metal.


Eddie Lewis resident of 9490 NW 1st Avenue is in favor of project and wonders if Miami Shores is not moving forward and progressing.


Public comment closed.


Motion: Move to deny variance.

Moved by Robert Abramitis, seconded by Chairman Richard Fernandez


Discussion by board. Mr. Abramitis addresses that variance does not meet code and therefore cannot grant variance. The criteria’s have been already set out. There are tradeoffs when one invests in a property and this property may have to lower ceilings inside home. Chairman states that this is not a problem brought on by this board or community, rather Federal mandates. Chairman’s obligation is to enforce laws already placed and law says very clearly what you can and can’t do. By testimony given the applicant bought home this year and law was already in effect, and proper notice was given that this existed. The comment that board should not be stuck in the 30’s and 40’s is not valid because board undertook almost a two year process of revising the whole code to bringing up and modernizing it. There were multiple reviews and the elected council voted approved it. Mr. Busta commented that after speaking with Mr. Bruce anything is possible and maybe some changes can be worked out without altering to the point where it’s taking away from the height of the ceilings. Mr. Busta agrees with statements made by fellow board members.


Vote: Yes: John Busta, Robert Abramitis, and Richard Fernandez.

No: Sid Reese.

Motion passed.


Motion to lift item PZ-11-13-201362 from table.

Moved by John Busta, seconded by Chairman Richard Fernandez.

Motion passed.


Mr. Boullon stated they chose a picket wood fence that would be 3 ½ ft. in height in the front and 5ft in the side and rear. A stained and sealed fence and the color would be earth tone brown. The board would be a 4 inch wide board with 1 inch space.  


Motion: Approve subject to staff recommendations.

Moved by Sid Reese, seconded by Robert Abramitis.

Motion passed unanimously.



Motion to lift item PZ-11-13-201364 from table.

Moved by Sid Reese, seconded by Robert Abramitis


Mr. Cardoso agent for Burger King Corporation stated he drove by Burger King Site on 135 and Biscayne Boulevard as recommended by Chairman and presented pictures to show board members what LED will look like. Staff asked how wide the LED band would be and Mr. Cardoso stated 9 to 10 inches going around building and it will be a solid color. Staff stated the code does reference neon banding but it is a small measurement. Neon banding is not allowed in Miami Shores other than what is stated in the code but no other buildings in Miami Shores have any type of neon. Mr. Cardoso took pictures in order to get more feedback from board so that he can take information back to Burger King. Board would like sample of proposed roof.


Motion to table item to next meeting.

Moved by Robert Abramitis, seconded by Sid Reese.            




1)     None.


IX)   NEXT WORKSHOP – TBA. January dates.


1)     FAR, Green Space, Open Space and Village Height Limit.


X)    NEXT REGULAR HEARING – January 23, 2013.


1)     Regular agenda.




Pursuant to Chapter 286.0105, Florida Statutes, if person decides to appeal any matter considered at such meeting or hearing, he may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which record includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is based.


Miami Shores Village complies with the provisions of the American with Disability Act.  If you are a disabled person requiring any accommodations or assistance, including materials in accessible format, a sign language interpreter (5 days notice required), or information, please notify the Village Clerk’s office of such need at least 72 hours (3 days) in advance.