|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.
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
MIAMI BEACH UNITED'S PROPOSED RESOLUTION REGARDING ALTON AND 17TH:
Where as, Alton Road and 17th Street, has become the most problematic intersection
in Miami Beach, and
Where as, the already overburdened intersection has been overwhelmed by new
traffic configurations for the past year and will continue to be immersed in the Alton
Road construction detours until the end of the year or longer, and
Where as, the absence of cross walks, stop signs, traffic lights or other devices at the
intersections of 17th Street both a Jefferson and Lenox Avenue are threatening to
become a life-saving problem, and
Where as, the closure of the Venetian Causeway for the West bridge repairs will
impact Alton and 17th Street as residents of the Venetian Islands will need to exit the
islands to the east, and
Where as, the development of the West Avenue Bridge will be moving forward in the
near future, and
Where as, the proposed hotel at 17th Street and West Avenue will soon break ground,
Where as, there is a new proposal for a mixed use project moving through the system
to be developed at the Southeast corner of West Avenue and 17th Street , and
Where as, there is a large commercial building planned for the Southeast corner of
17th and Lenox replacing a small historic home, and
Where as, the City of Miami Beach is planning a light rail corridor, and
Where as, the current and future traffic congestion, staging areas and detours will
have an unprecedented impact on the quality of life for residents and the viability of
businesses in the immediate area, including Alton Road, Belle Isle, Sunset Harbor,
Palm View, West Avenue, Lincoln Road, Lower North Bay Road, and 17th Street
Therefore, Miami Beach United respectfully requests that the Mayor and City
Commission authorize a planning study of current and future conditions surrounding
Alton Road and 17th Street to develop a realistic time table for permitting each of the
projects and methods to limit the impact on the surrounding community.
SIGNED ON BEHALF OF :
MIAMI BEACH UNITED, Nancy Liebman, president
VENETIAN ISLANDS HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, Juergen Brendel, president
LOWER NORTH BAY ROAD NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, Michael Hammon,
SUNSET ISLANDS 3 AND 4 NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, Terry Bienstock,
BELLE ISLE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION, Scott Diffenderfer, president
PALM VIEW CIVIC LEADERS: Paul Freeman, Regine Krieger, Nisi Berryman, Peter
Freiberg, Joe-Tom Easley, Michael Jarboe, Jane Lossen, J.M. Lossen, Fred Kosters,
Michael Kelly, Madeline Kelly, David Roth, Beth Craig, Eddie Gonzalez
WEST AVENUE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, Christine Flores, president
SUNSET HARBOR TOWNHOMES ASSOCIATION, Marilyn Freundich, president
ALTON ROAD BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, Michael Gorey, president
MIAMI BEACH UNITED supports a clear, efficient, Public Participation Ordinance.
The proposed ordinance on the June 11 agenda does not completely meet that standard.
Miami Beach United crafted an amendment to the Miami Beach Charter which would have strengthened individual rights as well as
neighborhood association rights. Instead, the city’s proposed ordinance actually weakens these rights.
The city’s proposed ordinance to be heard on second reading does improve upon the State’s minimum standards as it allows for
equity at the discretion of the chair or the board. However, a gap has been created between a qualified charter right to speak, and
an open-ended legislative restriction when, for example, there are more than 5 speakers in one undefined group or faction,
individuals may be asked to give their time to a chosen group, rather than having the privilege to speak on their own behalf. This
rule can diminish our more liberal charter rights language and could “chill” testimony that helps the public and commission
understand nuances or impacts of proposed legislation.
Another example of the inequality in the proposed language allows a procedure that guarantees 4 speakers the right to at least 12
minutes, but allows that 5 to 25 speakers may be asked to limit their combined speech to a single speaker and as few as 5
There must be a clear, legislatively defined and orderly procedure for those who wish not to be represented by anyone other than
themselves. Therefore, the proposed ordinance must go further in defining how the impromptu groups are created, or how one
may opt out for the purpose of presenting an issue.
MIAMI BEACH UNITED urges the Mayor and Commission to defer the ordinance on second reading until the fairness language can
Dear MBU Members, Friends and Neighbors -
MIAMI BEACH UNITED is embarking on its 4th Year of civic advocacy. The organization has produced three
Speaker Bureau Series to promote and educate the community on current issues including: A Master
Mobility Plan, Neighborhood Character, Use of Form Based Code Planning Concepts, What Makes a Great
American City, a Mayoral Debate, An Evening with the New Mayor and City Manager, Conflicts Between
Residential and Business Development.
MBU created a coalition with the South Beach Homeowner organizations to advocate for the passage of the
Alton Road Buffer, and organized a spin-off group, ALTON ROAD ALIVE, to move forward with a MASTER
PLAN FOR ALTON, and to improve the amenities for the FDOT road reconstruction.
MBU held several meetings with the North Beach Community to learn about their issues of concern and to
help educate the residents about the process of LOCAL HISTORIC DESIGNATION. MBU supported zoning
changes to encourage sensitive new development for the area and helped discourage a proposal to put the
71st Street commercial district out for bid. The Historic Preservation Board will discuss the designation for
North Beach’s NATIONAL REGISTER DISTRICTS on August 12, 2014.
MBU advocated for a Charter Amendment for Resident’s Rights, and testified in favor of strengthening a
recent City Ordinance to allow all Residents to speak at commission and board meetings. The organization
was successful in removing hotel uses in the West Avenue Corridor. MBU was unsuccessful in their attempt
to put stronger controls on Sidewalk Cafes abutting residential neighborhoods or to amend zoning where
Out-of-Scale Development abuts residential neighborhoods.
MBU has joined forces with Homeowner Associations in the 17th Street and Alton Road Corridor to suggest
ways the city can relieve the congestion that will continue to occur for years. The intersection and its
surroundings are under siege of public and private projects for years to come, including: the Convention
Center, West Avenue Bridge, Sunset Harbor, Venetian Causeway Bridges, Flood Mitigation Projects, Lower
North Bay Road Streetscape, new commercial projects at Lenox and 17th and West and 17th.
So, we have been busy and working to stay in touch with the issues that concern all residents of Miami
Beach. Please join us and let us know about the issues in your neighborhood that could affect all
neighborhoods in the city. We will continue to stay in touch as our new programs develop for the Fall.
We welcome suggestions and concerns about your neighborhood.
Nancy Liebman, president
MIAMI BEACH UNITED, INC.