HEARING NO. 18-095 -- DISTRICTS(S) 03 -- GARTH C. REEVES, TRUSTEE -- REQUEST(S): THE APPLICANT IS REQUESTING A DISTRICT BOUNDARY CHANGE FROM RU-1 AND RU-2 AND TO AMEND THE LAND USE, DENSITY, BUILDING HEIGHT, SUB-DISTRICT, AND STREET TYPES REGULATING PLANS OF THE NORTH CENTRAL URBAN AREA DISTRICT (NUCAD). -- LOCATION: - GENERALLY LOCATED AT NW 12TH AVENUE, NORTH OF NW 75TH STREET / AKA 1177 NW 76 STREET, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA. WITHIN THE URBAN DEVELOPMENT BOUNDARY (UDB)
Board of County Commissioners
Approved as amended
Mr. Nathan Kogon, Assistant Director of Development Services, Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER), announced that, in accordance with the Code of Miami-Dade County, all items to be heard today (10/23) were legally advertised in the newspaper, notices were mailed, and the properties were posted. Additional copies of the agenda were available in the Chambers, items would be called by agenda item and name of applicant. The record on file for the hearing on each application would include documents from the public agencies, the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER), the Zoning Appeals Board (ZAB) if an appeal hearing was held, and the transcripts from all of those hearings were also available. All documents were physically present today and available to all interested parties and the members of the Board of County Commissioners, who may examined these items from the record during the hearing. The parties had the right to cross-examination. Additionally, there was a translator available in the Chambers for those individuals needing that assistance.
ALL WITNESSES AND OFFICIAL INTERPRETERS WERE SWORN IN BY THE CLERK PRIOR TO PRESENTING TESTIMONIES BEFORE THE BOARD.
Mr. Kogon announced there were 77 protests and no waivers for Item Number 18-095.
Mr. Graham Penn, Law Offices of Bercow Radell Fernandez & Larkin, on behalf of the applicant, appeared before the Board to place on the record the provisions added to the project that were non-zoning related and proffered to the Stephen Manor Subdivision Homeowners’ Association (HOA), pursuant to Vice Chairwoman Edmonson’s request to have the applicant meet with the community residents to address their concerns. He stated two (2) of the commitments made were related to the design plan, and those changes would be addressed through the Administrative Site Plan Review (ASPR) process. He noted the document containing the commitments proffered would be submitted to that community as part of their HOA’s records and not to the County as part of the application record.
Mr. Penn stated that he was accompanied today by Mr. Lenny Wolfe, Cornerstone Group, Mr. Oliver Gross, the Urban League, a partner in the project, and Ms. Merrill Wolfe and Ms. Emily Balter.
Mr. Penn stated the provisions proffered were as follows:
1. the maximum building height would be three (3) stories, represented a project design plan change;
2. the maximum number of units would be ninety six (96), represented a project design plan change (Note: Mr. Penn corrected this statement from 98 to 96 units at a later time during the presentation);
3. all access to the community would be from NW 79th Street;
4. area churches would be used to market the units to provide an opportunity to local residents to reside in this community;
5. Cornerstone Group would fund a subdivision wide cleanup every six (6) months within the Steven Manor Subdivision;
6. one residential unit would be reserved for a police officer at a discounted fifty percent (50%) of the rental rate;
7. the members of the Stephen Manor Subdivision HOA would be provided access, through their HOA, to the retail building located in Phase I of the proposed development for meetings and other events;
8. Cornerstone Group would welcome students residing within the Stephen Manor Subdivision to the tutoring and enrichment programs that would be offered to the proposed development’s residents; and
9. Cornerstone Group would be committed to utilizing local workforce in the construction projects.
The following members of the public appeared before the Board to speak in general about issues relating to the foregoing application:
1. Madam Renita Holmes (Note: See the record for address)
2. Mr. Gavin Tong, 1140 NW 76 Street, Miami, Florida
The following members of the public appeared before the Board to speak in support of the foregoing application:
1. Mr. Louis Sparks, 1140 NW 76 Street, Miami, Florida
The following members of the public appeared before the Board to speak in opposition of the foregoing application:
1. Ms. Carolyn Boyce, 886 NW 77 Street, Miami, Florida
2. Ms. Cherese Hudson-Black, 7775 NW 27 Avenue, Miami, Florida
Mr. Penn advised the applicant was committed to continuing to work with the community and the Stephen Manor HOA on issues of concern until all residents reached a comfort level with the proposed development. He noted all access to the development would be from NW 79th Street, and the existing development would be unified to the north to preserve the neighborhood character and avoid the cut-through. He clarified some of the issues brought up by the speakers and asked for the Board’s approval in order to be able to apply for this year’s tax credits and develop an additional one hundred (100) units of low-income housing.
Pursuant to Vice Chairwoman Edmonson’s question regarding what action could be taken to ensure the applicant continued to address the community’s concerns, Assistant County Attorney Dennis Kerbel advised the application could be appealed at the ASPR level.
Discussion ensued between Vice Chairwoman Edmonson and Mr. Penn regarding clarification on certain provisions proffered to the HOA and whether those provisions would be submitted to the Board in writing.
Mr. Lenny Wolfe, Cornerstone Group, 2601 South Bayshore Drive, Miami, Florida, explained they had been unable to prepare a formal document for the Board’s review since the agreement with the HOA had been reached very recently; but the document would be submitted in written form before the application was brought back before the Board again. He emphasized the application was for the construction of affordable low-income units.
Assistant County Attorney Kerbel clarified the ASPR process would be done at the administrative level, but the neighbors would have an opportunity to appeal the determination of the ASPR before the Community Zoning Appeals Board (CZAB).
Pursuant to Vice Chairwoman Edmonson’s request, Assistant County Attorney Kerbel advised requiring that an appeal of the ASPR determination be brought back before the Board instead of the CZAB would require a change in the ordinance; and it could not be done within the scope of this item since the review process for this County Commission was set by ordinance.
It was moved by Vice Chairwoman Edmonson that the foregoing application be approved as amended to include the provisions stated into the record by Mr. Penn. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Diaz, and the floor was opened for discussion.
Discussion ensued among Commissioner Jordan, Director Michael Liu, Miami-Dade Public Housing and Community Development (PHCD) Department, and Mr. Wolfe regarding the tax credits and the length of time housing units were maintained as affordable housing.
Commissioner Jordan recommended to Vice Chairwoman Edmonson that she request that the applicant prepare a formal document outlining the commitments made to the community as part of the application. She expressed her concern for the units losing its affordability component as many other affordable housing units that aging out of the system.
Pursuant to Commissioner Jordan’s question, Mr. Wolfe advised the proposed units had a commitment of thirty (30) years as affordable low-income housing units.
Pursuant to Vice Chairwoman Edmonson’s request, Assistant County Attorney Kerbel advised that preparing a formal document stipulating the provisions of the agreement reached with the community prior to the approval of this application required to have a covenant prepared; and he was unsure if everyone needed to execute a covenant, or provide an Opinion of Title showing it was executable, was available at today’s (10/23) meeting.
Assistant County Attorney Kerbel advised that approval of the foregoing application could be postponed to a later time during the meeting to have the terms of the covenant drafted; and if the applicant was willing to proffer it as a covenant to be included with the application, it could be done. He noted that he did not normally recommend to have the covenant approved and accepted later, but it had been done in the past.
Pursuant to Vice Chairwoman Edmonson’s request, Mr. Lenny Wolfe agreed to draft the covenant at today’s (10/23) meeting; consequently, consideration of this application was deferred to a later time during the meeting to have the proffered covenant drafted.
Upon returning back to continue considering this item, Assistant County Attorney Kerbel advised Mr. Penn would read into the record the terms contained in the proffered covenant as if a fully executed covenant had been presented before the Board today (10/23); and it would be reflected in the resolution as if the applicant had proffered a covenant containing these terms. He stated the approval of the rezoning would be subject to the acceptance of the proffered covenant, and the applicant had agreed to submitting the fully executed covenant with the Opinion of Title as soon as possible after this hearing. He also stated County staff would verify at the time of the ASPR if the covenant was provided since it was a condition of the resolution; and the ASPR would not be approved unless it was consistent with the terms of the covenant. He noted this represented the best possible solution to enable the Board to take action on the item today; otherwise, it would have to be deferred to allow time for the proffered covenant to be prepared prior to taking action.
Mr. Penn noted that all boilerplate language would be excluded from the reading, and he read into the record the following drafted provisions that would be included in the fully executed covenant:
- Project Design:
“The maximum density development shall not exceed ninety six (96) units and the maximum building height shall be three (3) stories.”
- Rental Of Units:
“In an effort to promote housing for existing local residents the initial marketing of the development will include direct outreach to area churches. One residential unit will be reserved for a Miami-Dade police officer at a discounted rate of fifty percent (50%) of standard rent.”
- Area Cleanup:
“The owner will fund an area cleanup twice a year that will remove junk and trash on the rights-of-way in the area bounded by NW 79th Street on the north, NW 12th Avenue on the west, NW 10th Avenue on the east, and NW 75th Street on the south.”
- Stephen Manor Homeowners’ Association, Inc.:
“The owner would provide the following benefits to the members of Stephen Manor Homeowners’ Association, Inc.:
1. reasonable access to a building on the property or on immediately adjacent land for homeowners’ association meetings and other events;
2. the terms of access shall be subject to the reasonable rules and regulations of the owner;
3. students living within Stephen Manor Homeowners’ Association will be welcomed to join tutoring and other enrichment programs offered for property residents and the terms of the access shall be subject to the reasonable rules and regulations of the owner.”
- Local Workforce Hiring:
“The owner shall use commercially reasonable efforts to:
1. Utilize local business community as well as the local workforce in the development of the property;
2. Recruit qualified community-based small businesses;
3. Hire and ensure the retention of qualified employees regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, familiar status, or sexual orientation.”
Mr. Penn noted the remainder was standard boilerplate language, and Assistant County Attorney Kerbel was provided with a drafted copy of the provisions stated into the record.
Assistant County Attorney Kerbel clarified the County Attorney’s Office would add the standard covenant provisions about enforcement, running with the land, and standard modification clauses; and those provisions would be the remainder of the covenant.
Pursuant to Vice Chairwoman Edmonson’s request relating to the commitment made to the community by the developer to continue their conversations with the community, Mr. Penn stated that a sub paragraph 3 could be added to the covenant saying: “The owner shall continue to work with the Stephen Manor Homeowners’ Association throughout the development of the property,” or other similar language.
Vice Chairwoman Edmonson agreed to add that language to the covenant.
Assistant County Attorney Kerbel questioned whether Vice Chairwoman Edmonson wished to clarify which issues should the developer continue to discuss with the community or have the language remain in an open ended condition. He suggested language be added to Mr. Penn’s sentence to say “in the design and development of the project.”
Mr. Penn accepted to add to the terms agreed to language saying “The owner shall continue to work with the Stephen Manor Homeowners’ Association throughout the design and development of the project.”
Commissioner Moss stated he had several Cornerstone Group developments built within his county commission district as other county commissioners, and they were very good neighbors and delivered on promises made to the community.
Commissioner Jordan complimented the Cornerstone Group for delivering on their promises to the community, noting they were very responsive to the tenants’ needs.
Vice Chairwoman Edmonson stated the Cornerstone Group as well as the Urban League built beautiful buildings.
It was moved by Vice Chairwoman Edmonson that the foregoing application be approved as amended to include the covenant proffered by the applicant as stated into the record. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Heyman; and upon being put to a roll call vote, the motion passed by a vote of 13-0.
The foregoing zoning application was adopted as amended by the Board of County Commissioners and set forth in the Record of Resolutions and assigned Zoning Resolution Number Z-18-18.
Mr. Nathan Kogon, Assistant Director, Development Services Division, Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER), read into the record the title of the foregoing application. He stated there were no protests or waivers filed in the foregoing application.
Assistant County Attorney Dennis Kerbel advised the Board members that the foregoing application was requesting a map amendment that would ultimately be governed by recently adopted Ordinance No. O-18-124 which amended Section 33-284.84 and created Section 33-284.84.1 of the County Code to revise the standard Urban Center District regulations to establish density and height standards for Urban Center and Urban Area Zoning Districts. He noted while the ordinance was adopted by the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) at yesterday’s (10/2) meeting it was technically not yet in effect which left zoning applications such like foregoing item in limbo. Assistant County Attorney Kerbel explained that the Board’s ruling on the foregoing application would be superseded once the ordinance took effect and density or height issues would now be dealt with by the ordinance.
Mr. Graham Penn, Bercow, Radell, Fernandez and Larkin, 200 S. Biscayne Boulevard, counsel for Cornerstone Group, provided a brief review of the foregoing application.
Chairman Bovo opened the public hearing and called for persons wishing to speak on this item. There being no persons appearing to speak, Chairman Bovo closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Edmonson moved to approve staff's recommendations. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Heyman and upon being put to a vote, the motion passed by a vote of 13-0.
Later during the meeting, Commissioner Edmonson moved to reconsider the foregoing application. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Sosa; and upon being put to a vote, the motion passed by a vote of 13-0.
Commissioner Edmonson stated she was just made aware that there were members of the community present wishing to speak on the application but due to the lengthy lines were not able to sign in before the item was first considered by the Board. She pointed out Commissioners were unable to communicate with their constituents on zoning applications prior to them being presented to the Board for consideration and noted staff indicated there were no protests or waivers filed against the application. Commissioner Edmonson indicated the speakers would be provided an opportunity to address the Board.
Assistant County Attorney Kerbel pointed out both the applicant and their counsel were absent and requested the speakers wait until they were present to speak on the item.
Discussion ensued between Commissioner Edmonson and Assistant County Attorney Kerbel as to whether applicants typically met with residents regarding zoning matters.
Commissioner Edmonson spoke about the need to improve the process for registering public speakers on meeting days, particularly when there was a large turnout.
Chairman Bovo concurred that the process needed to be reviewed and improved.
Upon the return of Mr. Penn and the applicant, Chairman Bovo reopened the public hearing and the following persons appeared in opposition of the item:
Mr. Louis E. Sparks, 1140 NW 76th Street, Miami
Ms. Carolyn Boyce, 880 NW 77th Street, Miami
Mr. Gavin Tong, 1131 NW 75th Street, Miami
There being no other persons wishing to speak, Chairman Bovo closed the public hearing.
Mr. Penn acknowledged the concerns raised by the residents regarding increased density and traffic to the area and the overall quality of the development and pointed out that Cornerstone Group had successfully developed Hibiscus Pointe which was located within the Urban Center and west of the subject site.
With the aid of a map, Mr. Penn reviewed the proposed plans for the development.
Commissioner Edmonson inquired about the proposed development for the subject site and inquired whether the applicant or any of the applicant’s representatives had met with the community regarding the proposed development.
Mr. Penn advised the Board members that the developer proposed building a tax credit community offering affordable housing and spoke about the impending deadline for the 2018 application cycle. He noted his colleague, Mr. Knight, had met with Mr. Sparks regarding the proposed development.
Commissioner Edmonson voiced her concerns regarding the fact that the applicant had not met with the community as a whole and moved to defer the foregoing application to allow the applicant time to meet with the residents.
Discussion ensued among Commissioner Edmonson, Assistant County Attorney Kerbel and Mr. Penn regarding scheduling.
Mr. Penn reiterated the 2018 Affordable Housing process deadline was October 23, 2018 and noted a deferral past this date would delay the project by an additional year. He indicated that while the developer may be able to work with the community to address their objections to the proposed multilevel development, it should be done during the Administrative Site Plan Review (ASPR) process.
Commissioner Edmonson asked whether the applicant would be amendable to preserving the current neighborhood character by building single family homes or duplexes.
Mr. Penn indicated that the applicant could not commit to building single family homes.
Commissioner Edmonson moved to defer the foregoing application until October 25, 2018 to allow the applicant an opportunity to meet with the residents. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Jordan.
Discussion ensued between Commissioner Monestime and Assistant County Attorney Kerbel about the Affordable Housing Application Process deadline and the impact of the deferral on the process.
Assistant County Attorney Kerbel clarified in the event the foregoing application was denied without prejudice by the BCC, there was a one year waiting period before the applicant could reapply.
Responding to Commissioner Monestime’s question as to the location of the subject property and the current zoning designation for the site, Mr. Penn indicated that the property was located between 12th Avenue and 79th Street and currently zoned for RU1 and RU2 type development – duplexes or single family homes.
Commissioner Edmonson urged the applicant to meet with the community to review the proposed development plans and requested the Board consider scheduling a special meeting to revisit the item.
Discussion ensued among various Commissioners regarding scheduling.
Commissioner Martinez suggested the applicant and community members confer amongst themselves while the Board considered the remainder of the agenda.
Commissioner Edmonson stated she believed it would be better for the applicant to meet with the entire community instead of talking with the residents present at today’s meeting.
Commissioner Jordan asked whether the applicant would consider building duplexes.
Mr. Penn noted the developer planned on building three story garden styled homes and explained it was not financially feasible for the developer to build single family homes or duplexes.
Commissioner Edmonson reiterated the importance of the applicant meeting with the whole community and restated her motion to defer the application.
Commissioner Moss indicated his support for deferring the application to allow the applicant time to meet with the residents and inquired about the process for filing the Affordable Housing application to the State.
Mr. Penn explained that the application could be filed electronically with a physical copy delivered to Tallahassee on or before October 23, 2018.
Chairman Bovo suggested deferring the application until the October 23, 2018 BCC hearing.
Responding to Commissioner Edmonson’s question as to whether she would be permitted to communicate with residents regarding the application, Assistant County Attorney Kerbel explained that while she was prohibited from doing so due to the Jennings Rule, staff could provide support.
Commissioner Edmonson moved to defer the foregoing application until October 23, 2018. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Jordan; and upon being put to a vote, the motion passed by a vote of 12-0 (Commissioner Suarez was absent).
Assistant County Attorney Kerbel clarified the application would be included under the quasi-judicial portion of the BCC Agenda on October 23, 2018.
SPECIAL NOTE: The foregoing application was adopted by the Board at the October 23, 2018 BCC meeting and assigned Z-18-18.
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