Village Council Meeting Minutes March 19, 2013





The Miami Shores Village Council held their regularly scheduled Council Meeting on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 in the Council Chambers of Village Hall. The meeting was called to order at 7:03 PM with the following individuals present:


PRESENT:                        Jim McCoy

                                           Hunt Davis

                                           Al Davis

                                           Steve Loffredo

                                           Jesse Walters


ALSO PRESENT:            Tom Benton, Village Manager

                                           Barbara Estep, Village Clerk

                                           Richard Sarafan, Village Attorney






1)       VILLAGE CLERK                                                                     Barbara A. Estep




Vice Mayor Davis moved approval of the March 5, 2013 Council Meeting Minutes as submitted. Councilman Davis seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.




Vice Mayor Davis moved approval of the 2013 Election Poll Worker list (Election Board). Councilman Loffredo seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.







             C)   AN ORDINANCE OF THE MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE COUNCIL, MIAMI SHORES                                  VILLAGE, FLORIDA, AMENDING APPENDIX A “ZONING” OF THE VILLAGE’S CODE                        OF ORDINANCES BY REPEALING THE CONTENTS OF THE APPENDIX IN ITS                                    ENTIRETY AND ADOPTING A NEW APPENDIX A, “ZONING”, PROVIDING FOR                                 SEVERABILITY, PROVIDING FOR CONFLICTS, AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE                      DATE.                                                                         (2nd Reading)


Ms. Estep read the caption of the ordinance into the record. Vice Mayor Davis moved approval of the ordinance to amend the zoning appendix without the proposed parking amendment. Councilman Loffredo seconded the motion. Mayor McCoy asked to hear from the individual Council Members prior to opening the public hearing.


Councilman Loffredo expressed his belief that something needs to be done regarding the parking regulations but likened the proposed elimination of parking requirements to writing a blank check for five years.


Vice Mayor Davis voiced strong objections to the possible elimination of parking as he does not want to shift the burden of parking from the commercial area to the residential neighborhood. Vice Mayor Davis questioned how the Village would handle the five year sunset – in reality needing to accommodate any business grandfathered in until the business closed or until the property had a change of use. Vice Mayor Davis believes that the need to further reduce the parking requirements (other than what is already proposed in the code rewrite) is premature.


Councilman Walters indicated that the type of downtown businesses is the problem; they are all professionals rather than retail and/or restaurants, the latter requiring more parking.


Councilman Davis spoke of seeing both sides but believes the proposed change is too early. He expressed concern that the Planning & Zoning Board had not had the opportunity to review the change nor was public comment requested.


Mr. Benton provided the Council with background information, indicating that the Council had asked that he and Mr. Dacquisto meet with Councilman Walters regarding his concerns with the downtown parking requirements. Concerns include having building/property owners pay for infrastructure improvements yet still unable to lease space due to parking restrictions. The current re-write includes alternatives to the parking requirements including parking spot sharing, time of day accommodations, and the provision to consider a parking/traffic study for individual businesses.   Mr. Benton also outlined some of the possibilities for parking should commercial parking spill over into the residential neighborhoods. One of those possibilities would be to issue residential parking decals for residents abutting the downtown area.


Mr. Dacquisto responded to a number of questions posed by the Council. Mr. Dacquisto indicated that the Council could lower the parking requirements but to allow for ultimate flexibility, eliminating the parking requirement would be the answer. He indicated that it is a policy question for the Council to direct the Administrative Staff.


Mayor McCoy opened the Public Hearing.  


Richard Fernandez            Mr. Fernandez indicated that the P&Z Board did not recommend the additional amendment. He questioned whether the business district is here to serve the residents or are the residents here to serve the business district.         He spoke of the number of meetings and hours that went into the zoning code re-write and proposed passing the ordinance and deal with the parking later as an amendment to address the Floor Area Ration (FAR) will be introduced in the near future.


Ann Mennes                      Ms. Mennes spoke of the problems she deals with by being close to the 9999 Building: noise, trash, and deterioration of her swale. She understands the need for businesses but does not want them in her front yard.


Susan Dombrowsky         Dr. Dombrowsky wanted to echo the comments made by Mr. Fernandez and Ms. Mennes. She urged the Council not to do away with the parking requirements.


Ivonne Ledesma                Ms. Ledesma indicated that she had not received any notice of this issue coming before the Council but spoke of the parking requirements as an obstacle for expanding businesses. She stated that it should not be businesses versus residents, as many business owners are residents.


Richard Caccamise           Mr. Caccamise stated that having a crowd is not necessarily a bad thing using the recreation department fields as an example.


Sarah Herald                      Ms. Herald stated that the University objected to the zoning code re-write as they had not been considered during the process.


Patricia Gispert                 Ms. Gispert stated that she lives behind the 9999 Building and not only do people park on her swale and leave their trash, but they have been seen parking in her driveway. Additionally, she stated that she is against the parking decal issue.


Bekky Leonard                 Ms. Leonard stated that the Village is not Lincoln Road or Coconut Grove and should not be compared to those areas. Believes that it is too soon to discuss eliminating the parking restrictions. Ms. Leonard wondered about the need for police resources that would be used to ticket the offenders.


Julio Martinez                   Mr. Martinez admitted that parking is a problem at the 9999 Building but believes that the changes to allow for parallel parking, shared parking and the possibility of a parking study will help to alleviate the current problems. He stated that as a resident that lives close to the downtown district, he does not want to see parking restrictions eliminated.


Seeing no one else come forward to speak, Mayor McCoy closed the public hearing and asked for additional Council comments.


Councilman Walters spoke of serving 10,000 residents not just the 10 residents that live by the theatre or the 9999 building and expressed the need for additional parking leniency for the downtown businesses.


Councilman Loffredo reiterated that he has real concerns about the parking situation and his insistence that he cannot support the elimination of the parking requirements.


Vice Mayor Davis proposed adopting the code re-write and having the Planning & Zoning Board review the parking alternatives once again.


Mayor McCoy summarized the discussions and indicated that the parking decision is very important and will have long term, dramatic effects. He stated that he believes some changes need to be made to the parking requirements but that eliminating them altogether “overshot the mark”.


Upon Mayor McCoy calling for a vote, the original motion by Vice Mayor Davis was clarified. Vice Mayor Davis indicated that it was his intention to adopt the proposed ordinance with the new zoning appendix to include only the changes voted upon by Council during the February 19, 2013 Council Meeting.  Council Members indicated that they understood the motion on the floor, including Councilman Loffredo who had seconded the motion. The motion passed by a 4 to 1 vote with Councilman Walters voting against the motion.




Ms. Estep read the announcements.




Bekky Leonard   Ms. Leonard announced the upcoming Candidate Forum scheduled for April 3 at the Community Center.





Jesse Walters      Councilman Walters spoke of the Council election and the campaigning.


Steve Loffredo   Councilman Loffredo urged residents to vote based on the candidate’s stand on issues. Additionally, Councilman Loffredo spoke of the Green Corridor Board for which the new Council will need to select a new representative.


Al Davis              No comment.


Hunt Davis         Vice Mayor Davis encouraged residents to attend the candidate forums.


Jim McCoy         Mayor McCoy thanked the Council and the residents for their discussions and input.


5)         ADJOURNMENT


The March 19, 2013 Council Meeting was adjourned at 8:25 PM.






                                                                                                                   Jim McCoy, Mayor




Barbara A. Estep, MMC

Village Clerk