Planning Board Votes NO on Pre-1942 Demolitions Ordinance!
Sep 24, 2019 —
Great news! This morning, the Miami Beach Planning Board met to discuss a proposal sponsored by Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemán that would weaken the public process for proposed demolitions of pre-1942 homes.
The current process requires new home plans to be shared with neighbors, allowing feedback to be provided before a board of professionals reviews the proposed new home design in order to ensure neighborhood compatibility. This robust, public process has been in place since at least 2004.
Residents spoke against the proposal which would allow certain pre-1942 demolitions to be exempted from the public review process based on the size of the newly proposed home.
Speakers included neighbors who had tear-downs next door and who had benefitted from the Design Review Board process. All speakers seemed to be in agreement that the public process is important and that the city should not be removing opportunities for public input and neighborhood outreach when a home is to be demolished and replaced with a new home. In the era of resiliency, this review is even more important given issues of the height of new buildings in relation to existing neighborhoods.
The Planning Board - which often sides with developer interests - agreed that the proposal as drafted was flawed. They voted UNANIMOUSLY to provide a negative recommendation on the ordinance to the City Commission.
Thanks to the more than 300 people who have signed our petition and to those who came and spoke at the hearing this morning! We distributed signatures to the members of the Planning Board - your voice mattered!
The City Commission has scheduled the First Reading of the proposed ordinance for October 16th. We will provide more details and a time certain shortly. We are also hopeful that the sponsoring commissioner will withdraw this proposal so that neighbors aren't inconvenienced by having to attend another long City Commission meeting. We will keep you posted on this as the First Reading date nears.
For now, let's celebrate this interim victory as we work to ensure that all voices are heard at City Hall and that citizens are part of the decision-making process in our vibrant, tropical, historic community.
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