|Dedicated to improving the quality of life for Miami Beach residents,
managed and measured growth of our city, and ethical leadership of government
– for a vibrant city rooted in HISTORY, its PEOPLE, RESOURCES
and NEIGHBORHOODS, with focus on the FUTURE.
Dear MBU Members,
Many thanks to Sandy Money for doing our minutes. It was her test run prior to being elected Secretary of MBU. Great job!
MBU will have a new board elected on January 24 6PM at the Miami Beach United Annual Meeting to be held at St.John's
Church on Pine Tree Drive at 48th Street. You will receive a formal invitation to the event. Andres Duany, the world-renown
architect and planner will be the guest speaker for MBU's "What makes a Great American City" series.
Following the meeting at 7:30, the newly elected board will have a short meeting to elect the 2013 officers, hear reports
from the committee chairs, and discuss new committees for the organization. I am copying the committee chairs and
future board members on this so everyone can be on the same page in the future.
Just a few updates since the December 7 Board meeting:.
Mike Hammon, Paul Janas and I met with Fred Beckman to discuss 2 MBU issues: Energy Reforms and a Bicycle/Mobility
Plan. (Both issues were reviewed by the MBU Sustainability Committee, and the Bicycle/Mobility Reforms were reviewed at
an MBU Panel Discussion held on the subject in November ). Mr. Beckman updated us about the Energy issues and gave
us some direction about how to engage the city in moving forward with a comprehensive street plan that addresses all
forms of mobility.
As for the Short Term Housing and Special Master issues, MBU has scheduled a meeting with City Attorney, Jose Smith for
January 17th. The issues and problems surrounding Short Term Housing in the city surfaced in November at the MBU
Pension Reform became another issue addressed at the MBU General Meeting in November and a committee has been
formed to research the strengths and weaknesses of the system and potential ways MBU might be engaged in the
process. The MBU Pension Review Committee will hold a meeting in January
One of MBU's commitments is to create a commission report card about sitting commissioners. Paul Janas and I have
met with the City Clerk to understand how to research commissioner's responses to issues effecting city residents. We
have commissioner responses and now need to set up the survey for residents to rate their commissioners. The Report
Card committee will hold a meeting once the research is in place to finalize the survey document.
All of the above activity is among the numerous issues in which MBU will be engaged. They will be part of the discussion at
the first board meeting of the New Year. The workload is heavy, and in order to gain traction on the issues, it is my belief
that we must survey our members to determine how to prioritize our work. I would like your thoughts on doing a survey to
determine a realistic direction for the organization.
Have a wonderful holiday season. I look forward to seeing you soon.
MBU supports the North Beach Town Center plan requiring a pedestrian-level ocean-to-bay green space. MBU is against the selling or
leasing of public land for private use and profit.
MBU resolves that: the City Commission shall revisit any requirement or policy to eliminate the wooden boardwalk along the beach; that
a public Workshop be held on the issue; and that there be a moratorium on any demolition of existing boardwalk under any
development order pending City Commission review.
Neighborhood Resident Association Bill of Rights Proposed charter amendment for the Miami Beach
Citizens’ Bill of Rights
Neighborhood resident association bill of rights. Every organized, inclusive, and officially recognized association of residents for a
defined neighborhood, as further elaborated in city code, has the right to expect and receive the following from city officials, employees
• All rights afforded to individual residents under the Citizens’ Bill of Rights or any other city law;
• The same rights as affected residents for a matter having potential impact within or adjacent to any part of the neighborhood;
• Prompt, courteous, informed responses to all questions regarding city business, including timely access to requested documents;
• Advance notification of any city-related public works or utility project taking place within or adjacent to any part of the neighborhood;
• Notification of the submission of any application for rezoning, zoning or land use variance, or other significant land use action within or
adjacent to any part of the neighborhood, including notification of subsequent public meetings and other opportunities for public input;
• Opportunity upon request that a reasonable time certain be provided in advance of public meetings for matters affecting a substantial
number of neighborhood residents, to be heard within reasonable limits or continued to a subsequent time certain;
• Opportunity to participate in the planning and design of publicly funded projects within or adjacent to any part of the neighborhood,
including notification of subsequent public meetings and review of detailed plans prior to implementation;
• Opportunity to participate in the planning and design of new or amended ordinances directly affecting any part of the neighborhood,
including notification of subsequent public meetings;
• Opportunity upon request to present evidence at a public hearing before the City Commission regarding the lack of active, fair, and
efficient enforcement of an existing provision of city law;
• Opportunity for formal input into the annual budget process.
For related model legislation, see City of Jacksonville Neighborhood Bill of Rights and St. Johns County Bill of Rights for Neighborhood
Strengthening Resident Rights Proposed charter amendment for the Miami Beach Citizens’ Bill of
Proposed new language indicated by underscore.
(A) 5. Right to be heard. So far as the orderly conduct of public business permits, any interested person has the right to appear before
the City Commission or any City agency, board or department for the presentation, adjustment or determination of an issue, request or
controversy within the jurisdiction of the City. Matters shall be scheduled for the convenience of the public, and the agenda shall be
divided into approximate time periods so that the public may know approximately when a matter will be heard. Nothing herein shall
prohibit the City or any agency thereof from imposing reasonable time limits for the presentation of a matter. All residents shall have the
right to fundamental fairness and due process in connection with any city hearing, board or committee meeting, or public workshop,
including equal opportunity to speak and to meet with city staff, commissioners, board, or committee members when such opportunity
is provided to any party. Residents shall not be required to secure counsel to exercise these rights.
(A) 6. Right to notice. Persons entitled to notice of a City hearing shall be timely informed as to the time, place and nature of the hearing
and the legal authority pursuant to which the hearing is to be held. Failure by an individual to receive such notice shall not constitute
mandatory grounds for canceling the hearing or rendering invalid any determination made at such hearing. Copies of proposed
ordinances or resolutions shall be made available at a reasonable time prior to the hearing, unless the matter involves an emergency
ordinance or resolution. Prior to any zoning or other quasi-judicial hearing, applicants shall make available to the public copies of
presentation documents at least 15 days prior to the hearing (including plans, diagrams, renderings, or models, or written legal briefs
in an appeal from a prior city hearing). Material changes shall cause the subject to be rescheduled to comply with this requirement
unless waived in writing by affected parties.
(A) 8. Right to public hearing. Upon a timely request of any interested party a public hearing shall be held by any City agency, board,
department or authority upon any significant policy decision to be issued by it which is not subject to subsequent administrative or
legislative review and hearing. This provision shall not apply to the law department of the City nor to any body whose duties and
responsibilities are solely advisory.
At any zoning or other hearing in which review is exclusively by certiorari, a party or his counsel shall be entitled to present his case or
defense by oral or documentary evidence, to submit rebuttal evidence, and to conduct such cross-examination as may be required for a
full and true disclosure of the facts. The decision of any such agency, board, department or authority must be based upon the facts in
the record. Procedural rules establishing reasonable time and other limitations may be promulgated and amended from time to time .
In any zoning or other quasi-judicial hearing related to land use, affected parties and neighborhood associations within 300 feet of the
subject property shall have adequate time to address and present evidence and to reasonably cross-examine witnesses, and shall not
be required to secure counsel to exercise these rights.
(A) 18. Ethics in Government.
The public's confidence and trust in City of Miami Beach operations and government must meet the most demanding ethical standards
and demonstrate the highest level of achievement in its adherence to ethics laws. City of Miami Beach officials and employees are
agents of the people and hold their positions for the benefit of the public—as public servants, they are to observe in their official acts a
high standard of conduct and to discharge faithfully the duties of their office regardless of personal considerations and interests,
recognizing that promoting the public interest and maintaining the respect of the people in their government must be of foremost
concern. In upholding the values of accountability and responsibility, all city officials, board or committee members, and employees
shall abide by applicable codes of ethical conduct, shall be provided this Citizens Bill of Rights and sign to indicate compliance on an
annual basis, and be subject to all penalties provided for in such regulations.
(C) Remedies for violations.
Any resident alleging a violation of this Bill of Rights shall first pursue redress through non-judicial means, as further elaborated by city
code, including the opportunity to submit alleged violations to the City Manager or designated staff in an effort to resolve them
administratively, and the opportunity to submit unresolved violations to a board of residents appointed by the City Commission, with
right of appeal to the City Commission. In any suit by a citizen alleging a violation of this Bill of Rights filed in the Dade County circuit
Court pursuant to its general equity jurisdiction, the plaintiff, if successful, shall be entitled to recover costs as fixed by the court. Any
public official or employee who is found by the court to have willfully violated this article shall forthwith forfeit his office or employment
Dear Miami Beach United supporters,
Miami Beach has certainly had a busy and productive summer so far. A moratorium
to protect Miami Beach’s historic homes is in the works and will be heard at the
Planning Board this month. If approved, the commission will have until Thanksgiving
to approve ways to protect the city’s historic homes and determine what can be built in
their place. The Tischman/ACE team with the world renowned architect Rem
Koolhouse was chosen to revitalize the convention center and its environs. The
commission finally made an attempt to lower the cost of the employee pension fund
debt service and retained the historically correct name for the Flamingo Park Tennis
MBU has seen progress with its priority issues: (1) moving hotels out of residential
neighborhoods, (2) creating stronger rules for sidewalk cafes abutting single family
neighborhoods, (3) creating a buffer zone between single family neighborhoods and
out of scale construction, and writing a Resident’s Bill of Rights. We anticipate that
the issues will be approved by the city commission in the Fall.
MBU joined the Watson Island coalition to express a loud and clear objection against
the enormous commercial project proposed on that Island. In addition, MBU
supported the fight to save the original Miami Beach Boardwalk, and protect the North
Beach Open Space from private sale or lease. Miami Beach United is in the process
of organizing a Commission Candidate’s Meet and Greet for September 24 6PM at
the Bayshore Golf Course and the Mayoral Debate for Thursday, October 3 at 6PM at
Temple Emanuel at 17th Street and Washington Avenue. Those events will kick off
the 2013-14 MBU’s speaker’s bureau schedule with major speakers on the theme of
current city topics. More details about all of this will be in an upcoming August Miami
Beach United’s Newsletter.
We hope to see all of you at the meetings and events starting this Fall, and we look
forward to welcoming you as a member of Miami Beach United. You can find details
about us on the web site:www.miamibeachunited.org. Enjoy our upcoming
newsletter and pass it onto to your family and friends. We also encourage you to
send us your questions, suggestions and opinions about the work of MBU.
Nancy Liebman, president
Miami Beach United, inc.
IMPORTANT ISSUES & MEETINGS
Please, note, the Planning Board will be hearing two issues of importance to residents on August 27th.
1. Historic single family homes. On July 17th, the Commission considered a moratorium on the demolition of historic single family
homes. The Planning Board will discuss the moratorium.
2. Sidewalk Cafe Ordinance to address residents' concerns about cafes abutting residential neighborhoods.
The Miami Beach City Commission is considering amendments to the Single Family Home development regulations.
The Planning Department is arranging small, focus group discussion meetings with various stakeholder groups, in order to obtain
comments & feedback regarding the proposed changes to the single family regulations.
Tuesday, Sept. 3, 8:30 am - Design Review Board - 3rd floor City Commission Chambers, City Hall
Tuesday, Sept. 10, 9:00 am - Historic Preservation Board - 3rd floor City Commission Chambers, City Hall
Monday, Sept. 23, 3:00pm - Land Use & Development Committee, Special Public Workshop - City Manager large conference room
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 3:001:00pm - Planning Board - 3rd floor City Commission Chambers, City Hall.
MIAMI BEACH UNITED POSITION ON BOARDWALK
Miami Beach United requests that the City of Miami Beach move forward with the plan to extend the on-grade Beach Walk. You may
recall, the original MBU position regarding the BOARDWALK resolved in March, 2013 that “the city commission shall revisit any
requirement or policy to eliminate the wooden boardwalk along the beach; that a workshop be held on the issue; and that there be a
moratorium on any demolition of existing boardwalk under any development order pending city commission review".
Since March, MBU members have researched the city’s position regarding the replacement of the wooden boardwalk in favor of the on-
grade Beach Walk. When the MBU Board of Directors was advised of the long-term plan for the on-grade Beach Walk, there was
unanimous support for the position below.
Thank you for consideration.
Nancy Liebman, president
Miami Beach United supports the on grade Beach Walk that is 15 feet wide because: it permits safe joint use by pedestrians, bicycles
and skateboards; is handicap accessible; is relatively inexpensive to maintain and will connect the entire City along the coast as well as
connecting to the bike path along the Venetian Causeway and Dade Boulevard.
The raised boardwalk is 12 feet wide; does not permit bicycles and skateboards; is not handicap accessible; is expensive to maintain;
will not be one integrated system throughout the Beach and will not connect for bicyclists to the Venetian Causeway.
The City has installed the on grade Beach Walk in the following locations:
South Pointe Park to South Pointe Drive: 1,529 feet
Lummus Park at 5th Street to 23 Street: 9,756 feet
45 Street to 47th Street behind Eden Roc: 950 feet
64 Street to 79 Street where it meets the North Shore Open Space Park Promenade: 9,639 feet
Other contemplated sections of the on grade Beach Walk are at various stages of conceptualization and implementation:
South Pointe Drive to 5 Street: 2,456 feet: Phase I South Pointe Drive to 3rd Street. Construction will start soon. Phase II 3 Street to 5th
Street, pending acquisition of right of way from upland property owners
47 Street to 64 Street: 9,218 feet, to connect to the existing North Beach Recreational Corridor- In design.
When the above contemplated sections are completed, the Beach Walk will extend 33,548 feet and will connect the entire coastline of
Miami Beach with the exception of the elevated boardwalk which extends from 23 Street to 44 Street and is 8,514 feet (20% of the coast
Over time, removing the elevated boardwalk and replacing it with the Beach Walk, the city will have one continuous on grade recreational
path running along the entire length of the coast of Miami Beach that can be enjoyed by pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders and the
handicapped and is easy to maintain.