In attendance: 

David Dacquisto, Planning and Zoning Director

Chris Miranda, Public Works Assistant Director

Mariana Gracia, Clerk


$11)    Roll Call

Mr. Carlos Diaz, Mr. John Busta, Mr. David Snow, Ms. Irene Hegedus, Chairman Richard Fernandez.


There was no objection from the Board to moving this item to be heard first. 

$11)    Council request: Planning board to hold a public hearing and provide recommendation on Downtown “Architectural Design Manual.”

$1a)    Consider recommendation that village council adopt the Downtown “Architectural Design Manual” and Village Code of Ordinance amendments to apply the regulations. 

Mr. David Dacquisto gave a brief introduction of the item and the RMA Consultants. 

Natasha Alfonso, Director of Urban Design and Planning for RMA Consultants and Maria De Leon Fleites, Senior Urban Designer for RMA Consultants were present and wished to give a presentation.  The Chair asked if they could limit their presentation to 10 minutes.  The Chair asked if they were getting paid by the hour.  Ms. Alfonso responded that no, these presentations to the Board are part of the contract.

Ms. Natasha Alfonso said that RMA was hired to basically compose three studies 1.  The Architectural Design Manual.  2. The Parking Analysis.  3.  The Street scape analysis.  She mentioned that back in February they presented the Architectural and the Streets and never got a chance to do the parking.  As they were talking about the street scape analysis they heard a lot of concerns not only from the Board but also from the community in terms of the impact that it will have in parking and the reduction in parking.  What she would like to do tonight is go through the parking design.  She went over the parking analysis and explained to the Board what they found.  Their intent is to encourage the redevelopment of the downtown Miami Shores Village.  They would like to encourage more pedestrian activity. More active usage.  They want to be able to activate the corridor. She says that they would like to encourage the retail and restaurants along the corridor.  She spoke about compatible usage along the corridor.  Allowing the residential usage is one the things they are considering.  Looking for night time activities not just during the day.  One of the things that they looked at is that the Code allows retail stores. Some store like a Wal-Mart could be allowed, so they suggested some changes to the Code to prohibit any kind of big box retailer from moving in the downtown.  Ms. Alfonso went over the businesses that they would like to come in the downtown.  After they looked at the business inventory they looked at the parking inventory.  Counted what we have and what they found is that about 44% of the entire parking inventory in the downtown is provided by the public or the Village.  Ms. Alfonso says that on street parking is something that will have to look at as we are looking at the street scape.  She admits that they have a challenge, how to make the streets more walkable, more pedestrian and bicycle friendly and still provide the appropriate parking that we need.  They looked at what we have on the ground along the corridor and figured out that the parking deficiency based on the current Code Standards is 289 spaces.  When they looked at it further they realized that a lot of the Village minimum parking requirements for office, specially the non-medical usage are much higher than the minimum requirement for other downtown and similar areas like North Miami or North Miami Beach.  Ms. Alfonso continues to say that our offices are one space for 250 square feet and other municipalities are one per 400 square feet.  These are pretty general standards that are used for many downtown areas.  That is one of the reasons you see a parking deficiency.  She said that when they applied different parking Code standards they only found a parking deficiency of 17 spaces.  There is no parking issue according to her.  Most people feel there is a parking issue when it encroaches into the residential neighborhoods.  Today, based on the parking that you have there is no parking issue. 

The Chair asked for clarification on the map she is using regarding parking.  Ms. Alfonso said that this numbers are applying current code standards.  One space for 200 square feet or 250 square feet for medical use offices which is not a realistic standard.  Mr. Snow clarified that what she was saying is the standard is out of date and is time to look at a revamp.  Ms. Alfonso agrees with the clarification.  She said, again that these are industry standards and this is what we have come across.  We look at what would happen if the downtown area grows and we keep the upper floors for offices, medical offices or professional offices.  If you fill the entire corridor you will have a parking deficiency.  If you really want to grow your downtown attracting more retail you have to think about that long term vision 5,10, or 15 years. We talked about all the things you can do to improve your street scape to make it more pedestrian, walkable. Ms. Alonso went over the roads and how wide they are. Perhaps we need to change from angle parking to parallel parking.  She spoke about the overall parking strategy that the Board should be thinking about.  We have to start thinking about public parking.  The other thing that they are recommending has to do with public parking.  Ms. Alonso went over what the current Code permits and what it restricts.  Valet parking and the last thing she mentioned is landscaping and what our current Code requires. 

Ms. Alfonso was asked about height recommendations and said that there are no five story buildings in this report.

Mr. Dacquisto clarifies that there are two different projects the 5 story figure was mentioned in the P3 report. 

Chairman Fernandez said that he has not heard anything regarding the issue of parking.  There is an issue.  He is yet to hear solutions.

Mr. Snow offered a few solutions to the parking issue.

Chairman Fernandez said he has heard multiple studies being presented to the Board.  He does not see solutions here.  He mentioned that we have all the retail areas surrounding Miami Shores.  He asked what will be the impact on the houses on 2nd Avenue.  He asked the public if there was anyone present from 2nd Avenue.  There was one member of the public present.

The Board asked questions.  

Ms. Alfonso said that we are 95% business occupied. 

The Board made comments as to what is being proposed and what is coming to our area to help the neighborhood continue to thrive.

Ms. Alfonso and Ms. De Leon Fleites concurred that the business owners were on board with this project.

Ms. Fleites clarifies the two styles they are proposing which will increase the property values in the area. 

The Board spoke about the triggers to require the upgrading of buildings.

The Board was in agreement to hold a public hearing at our next meeting on June 22, 2017 and then make a decision.

#2 Council request: Planning board to hold a public hearing on an amendment to Chapter 20 Streets, Sidewalks and Other Public Places to create a resident only parking district adjacent the Miami Shores Downtown.

$1b)    Consider recommendation that village council adopt “Resident Only Parking” and Village Code of Ordinance amendments to apply the regulations.

Board discussion took place at this time about this item.

Mr. Dacquisto spoke about how the Ordinance can be amended.

The Board spoke about the usage of the swale for parking. 

Mr. Dacquisto explains that as of now you can park on the swale or on the street.

Board discussion about signage and parking stickers took place.  Valet parking was discussed.  Mr. Dacquisto clarifies that this has already gone to Council.

Public Hearing to be held at our next meeting on June 22, 2017. 

$12)    Staff request: Planning board to hold hearing to amend the code deleting planning and building review of swale projects and provide for review by the public works department, Chapter 20 and Appendix A Zoning Sec. 521.

$1a)    Consider adoption of “Public Works Permits” and Village Code of Ordinance amendments to apply the regulations.

Mr. Dacquisto gave a brief overview of this item to the Board.  The amendment was explained in more detail.

Mr. Chris Miranda, Assistant Director from the Public Works.  Mr. Miranda explained the process for the Public Works Department issuing of permits to build on the swales which has been switched from the Building Department to the Public Works Department.

The Board asked questions to Mr. Miranda.

Mr. Miranda said that it depends on the policy.  Policies will be in writing and there would be a process to put them in writing.  It would mimic the county’s public works policies.

The Board discussed regulation for parking on the swale.    

The Board asked questions. 

Mr. Miranda said that we would use Miami-Dade County’s policies.

Chairman Fernandez asked questions about the appeal process.

Mr. Dacquisto explained the process for the appeal for the swale.

Chairman Fernandez expressed concern about putting one Staff to make a decision.  You have to provide an appeal process.

Chairman Fernandez, if we could figure out an appeal process to make the appeal come back to P&Z.

Mr. Dacquisto said that the swale it’s our property we can set the regulations for Miami Shores.  The Building Department has no authority over the swale.

Board discussion took place about the appeal process.

Mr. Dacquisto said that Public Works determines what the criteria is to grant the permit. 

The Chair suggests to run this item through the Village Attorney for his input.

Mr. Dacquisto clarifies what the Board can have as a recommendation to Council.

The Board asked questions.

This item will be on the agenda for June 22, 2017.  Mr. Miranda is requested to be here on that date.

  1. Discussion took place about the procedures in accepting plans at the Planning and Zoning Department for the Board. 

            July 13, 2017 there will be a workshop.


            Precedures or requirement the Board expressed concern about the material we are receiving.


            Mr. Dacquisto said that the dilemma we have here is for him to be nice to people.  Some of the documents he receives are good and some are not. We have people signing plans that they don’t do.  The Building Official has the same problem. 

            The Board discussion took place at this time about the signage of plans. 

            Mr. Dacquisto is okay with the Board giving more direction as what he accepts as an Application.

            The Board discussed the issue of looking at google while on the meeting.  The Board would like to put this information on the screen for everyone to see.

            The Board discussed the issue of massing and one of the houses that is being built.

            Mr. Dacquisto spoke about the rules in term of how much house you can build. 

            Discussion took place about reducing the size of houses in Miami Shores.

            The Board is charged with looking for things to propose to Staff like a checklist for the Applications. 


            Mr. Dacquisto says that we have a checklist and the first thing on the list is to have a meeting with the P&Z Director.  He already tells people that the Board would accept when they bring in their applications.  People insist in doing things even though he advises them not to.  Most of the houses are peaked not flat roof. 

            The Board says that the landscaping in Miami Shores is what makes us different. 

            Board discussion took place about landscaping and what other municipalities are doing with the massing of buildings.  The Board wishes to have more input when it comes to landscaping to have more regulations where you cannot cut certain trees. 

            The Chair spoke about a case that came before the board that had to do with transplanting an oak tree that ended up dying. 

            The Board discussed these cases and how even FPL takes down trees like these.

            The Board will discuss more details at our next meeting on June 22, 2017.


$1III)   NEXT WORKSHOP – July 13, 2017

$11)    Agenda TBD.


$11)    Agenda TBD.