Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 070001
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File Number: 070001 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-16-07 Control: County Commission
File Name: TEMPORARY BUILDING MORATORIUM Introduced: 1/2/2007
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 1/25/2007
Agenda Date: 1/25/2007 Agenda Item Number: 5T
Sponsors: Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed

Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 1/25/2007 5T Adopted P
REPORT: Commissioner Moss expressed concern regarding the vague language of the published notice; which he felt kept the community in question from attending the meeting when this item was up for initial consideration by the Board. He stated that the County Attorney or the Department of Planning and Zoning Director needed to clarify the process regarding the development of the Building Moratorium. He noted that putting forth an administrative moratorium was within the purview of the Manager; and concern was raised in the community about this project. He stated that in order to ensure that development within the community was compatible, many parcels were downsized. Chairman Barreiro opened the public hearing and the following individual(s) appeared before the Board to express support of the foregoing resolution: ~Mr. Marshall, 13900 Harrison Street ~Mrs. Wilma Marshall (phonetic), 13900 Harrison Street ~Ms. Susan Blake 11363 S.W. 165th Terrace ~Ms. Cynthia Cochran (phonetic), 14836 Carver Drive ~Ms. Pamela Jennings, address withheld ~Ms. Barbara Nickerson, 14201 Polk Street ~Ms. Gloria Johnson, 10700 S.W. 148th Street ~Ms. Arsimer McCoy (phonetic) 11260 S.W. 138th Terrace ~Ms. Selinda Thurman (phonetic) 14837 S.W. 114th Court Mr. Jeffrey Berkow, 200 South Biscayne Boulevard, attorney representing Mr. Carmello Gonzalez of Carmel Investment and Development, appeared before the Board and spoke in opposition to the foregoing proposed resolution. He stated that this item appeared on today’s (1/25) agenda without reference to the fact that it previously appeared on the December 19, 2006 agenda. Mr. Berkow noted that he felt that Mr. Gonzalez’ property rights were at stake. Mr. Berkow noted that the property had been zoned BU-3/Liberal Business District (permits all the uses in BU-1, BU-1A, BU-2, and BU-3 District) for the past 50 years. He stated that the property was located within a mixed-use area, comprised of business and residential uses that existed harmoniously without complaint until recently. Mr. Berkow noted that Mr. Gonzalez consulted with members of the community, and determined there was support for a small hotel and restaurant. He stated that Mr. Gonzalez tried to avoid a public hearing by changing the plans to include a small retail center anchored by a huddle-house restaurant. Mr. Berkow noted that Mr. Gonzalez’ plans were altered again upon learning that the County approved plans for a water theme park to be located less than a ¼ mile from his site. He stated that Mr. Gonzalez moved forward with plans for a gas station anchored retail center with the intent to provide a service to the traffic that would result from the water theme park. Pursuant to obtaining the fuel tank permit, Mr. Gonzalez had the property excavated; however, the fuel tanks were not installed because the County Manager adopted an Administrative Moratorium before DERM could inspect the property, Mr. Berkow noted. Mr. Berkow noted that Mr. Gonzalez was falsely accused of performing work without permits; and stated that all citations were resolved and there were no pending violations on the property. He stated that the prominent issue was the County depriving an individual of their property rights due to disagreement within the community about the proposed/allowed use of the property. Mr. Berkow noted that Mr. Gonzalez negotiated and executed leases with future tenants at the center; and signed a $2.7 million loan agreement for construction. He stated that Mr. Gonzalez invested approximately $629,000 on the property. Mr. Berkow noted that the proposed development was a permitted use, and did not require a public hearing. He stated that the County Manager’s memorandum failed to address questions raised by Mr. Gonzalez regarding the intent of imposing a moratorium. Mr. Berkow suggested that the Board was reacting to complaints received from neighbors. He stated that the purpose of a moratorium was whether the zoning was appropriate for the area. In December 19, 2006, action could not be taken because the vote of the Commissioners resulted in a tie, Mr. Berkow noted. He stated that a number of Commissioners voted “no” because it was unfair to stop someone who was “in the process.” Mr. Berkow noted that former Vice Chairman Moss rejected an offer made by the former Chairman to exempt “people in the process,” which indicated that the only concern was stopping Mr. Gonzalez from completing construction. He stated that the moratorium was not imposed in good faith, and asked the Board to deny it. Mr. Berkow noted that the foregoing resolution was not in accordance with Commission Rules of Procedure Section 7.01(h). He stated that any item removed from the agenda as a result of a tie vote could be reintroduced, but the process had to start from the beginning with a new administrative order from the County Manager. There being no other person(s) to appear before the Board, the public hearing was closed. Assistant County Attorney Jay Williams disagreed with Mr. Berkow’s comment that the foregoing resolution was illegally before the Board. He explained that the County Code did not require an existing Manager’s Administrative Moratorium be in place when items were heard. The County Code stated that the Commission shall inquire into the propriety of a building moratorium, not the moratorium or the existing moratorium, Assistant County Attorney Williams noted. Ms. Diane O’Quinn Williams, Director, Department of Planning & Zoning stated that paving and drainage permits were issued; however, she could not confirm whether fuel tank permits were issued. She stated that the gas station canopy permit expired on January 6, 2007. Commissioner Sorenson questioned whether Mr. Gonzalez was allowed to continue pursuit of necessary permits. Mr. Williams stated that the moratorium was not in effect for ten days. Vice Chairwoman Jordan expressed concern regarding the developer changing the use of the subject property; and suggested that the Board consider its impact on the future of the community, as well as the quality of life. Ms. O’Quinn Williams explained that issues were raised with regards to work commencing on the property without permits. She stated that the time had come to study the area and its zoning. Ms. Williams further explained that the item could be brought before the Board for reconsideration because the tie vote did not create prejudice against any Commissioner doing so. Commissioner Moss noted that this item being back on the agenda for the Board’s reconsideration gave the community an opportunity to express their viewpoints. He stated the moratorium allowed the planning staff sixty (60) days to review the area for compatibility. Assistant County Attorney Armstrong-Coffey announced that Commissioner Souto was not present during the vote due to a potential conflict of interest on the foregoing resolution. It was moved by Commissioner Edmonson that the foregoing resolution be approved. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Moss, and upon being put to a vote, passed by a vote of 9-2 (Commissioners Heyman and Martinez voted No); (Commissioners Seijas and Souto were absent).

County Attorney 1/2/2007 Assigned Jay W. Williams 1/2/2007

Legislative Text


WHEREAS, on November28, 2006, the County Manager, pursuant to section 33-319 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, issued an administrative order prohibiting the issuance of building permits for non-residential structures and/or uses within the study area set forth in his order, for the reasons set forth in that order (a copy of which is attached hereto); and
WHEREAS, this Board must inquire into the propriety of a building moratorium for the area in question pursuant to section 33-319 of the Code; and
WHEREAS, this Board has found that a detailed comprehensive zoning analysis of the study area is reasonably necessary to determine the probability of detriment to the character of the study area by the continued application of the existing zoning districts,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board hereby orders that a temporary moratorium on the issuance of building permits for non-residential structures and/or uses, for the study area described in the attached administrative order, be imposed for one hundred twenty (120) days from the effective date of this resolution; and that this Board directs the County Manager to prepare a comprehensive report and recommendation relating to appropriate zoning districts for the study area as soon as reasonably possible within that one hundred twenty (120) days.

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