Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 191939
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File Number: 191939 File Type: Ordinance Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: 19-108 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: REGISTRATION-MAINTENANCE OF DISTRESSED PROPERTIES Introduced: 7/24/2019
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 11/19/2019
Agenda Date: 11/19/2019 Agenda Item Number: 7C
Notes: Title: ORDINANCE RELATING TO REGISTRATION AND MAINTENANCE OF DISTRESSED PROPERTIES; AMENDING SECTIONS 17A-18, 17A-19, AND 17A-20 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; EXTENDING APPLICATION OF REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT TO NON-RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES IN THE UNINCORPORATED AREA WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS; REQUIRING RENEWALS OF REGISTRATION FOR ALL REQUIRED PROPERTIES UNTIL A SPECIFIED TIME; REQUIRING CERTAIN INFORMATION ON REGISTRATION FORMS; AMENDING SECTION 8CC-10; MAKING CONFORMING AND TECHNICAL CHANGES; PROVIDING FOR DELAYED IMPLEMENTATION; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: REAL PROPERTY
  REGISTRATION
Sponsors: Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Prime Sponsor
  Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Prime Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-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 11/19/2019 7C Adopted P
REPORT: First Assistant County Attorney Geri Bonzon-Keenan read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Hearing no questions or comments, the Board proceeded to vote on the proposed ordinance as presented.

Health Care and County Operations Committee 10/18/2019 1G1 Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation following a public hearing P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Eduardo Gonzalez read the title of the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Chairwoman Heyman opened the public hearing on the foregoing proposed ordinance and seeing no one wishing to speak, she closed the public hearing. In response to Commissioner Diaz’ inquiry whether extending the registration requirement to non-residential properties provided additional time for the responsible party to fix the property, Ms. Bia Marsellos, Administrator, Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER), said distressed or foreclosed properties must be registered in the department’s Foreclosure Registry. She noted this allowed for Code Enforcement staff, if responding to a complaint, to keep track that the property was being properly maintained. Chairwoman Heyman said RER maintained a list which provided the status of residential properties; however, there were distressed, mixed use properties throughout the community that were not included in the Registry and were not brought to RER’s attention. Commissioner Diaz said he wanted to ensure the same action that was applicable for residential properties would be transferred to non-residential properties, and Deputy Mayor Edward Marquez advised the same rules and actions were being applied to non-residential areas. Assistant County Attorney David Sherman advised that Section 17A-20 of the proposed ordinance triggers an inspection by RER of the distressed property that has the obligation to register. He further advised that once a lis pendens was filed to start a foreclosure within 10 days from the filing date, the property had to be registered. Assistant County Attorney Sherman said because it was on the Registry, RER would inspect the property to see that it was in compliance with Chapter 19 of the Code and if it was not, they would issue citations to the property owner, the tenant and/or the lender. Following Commissioner Diaz’ comments that he wanted to ensure this was not a way for someone who was registered to be given additional time to fix the property, Assistant County Attorney Sherman referred to handwritten page 8, Section 17A-19(d) which provides that not only was the owner, lessee or tenant responsible, the lender was also responsible and required the contact information for the managing agent for the property to be provided. He noted the proposed ordinance would not diminish but add responsibility. In response to Commissioner Suarez’ inquiries regarding access to the Registry, Assistant County Attorney Sherman explained the Registry was controlled and maintained by RER, and the responsible party that had to register was the mortgage holder. He stated this was an online registry that was not in the Clerk of Courts’ recorded records, and was triggered by the filing of a lis pendens which was the first document that started the foreclosure action and that document was recorded. Assistant County Attorney Sherman added that if the responsible party did not comply they would receive a citation that could become a lien if they did not comply within the required time. He advised the citation must be served in accordance with Chapter 8CC of the Miami-Dade County Code relating to code enforcement. Commissioner Diaz pointed out these types of enforcements were usually tagged and questioned where violations on a property could be seen. Ms. Lourdes Gomez, Director, RER, commented on the department’s registry process for residential properties, noting it did not operate in the visible manner such as a red tag of a construction site or that type of violation, and was a cataloging of the property with respect to who was the responsible party. She stated the proposed ordinance was expanding it to non-residential properties, and made the banks the responsible point of contact for maintenance of the property, making the residential Registry very effective. Commissioner Diaz asked how an individual would know if a derelict non-residential property was in the Registry, and opined there should be transparency that would allow the general public to be aware of what was taking place. Ms. Gomez said the Registry was separately viewable and searchable by the public as well as the history of property violations in the Unincorporated Municipal Service Area (UMSA). She noted every property’s enforcement history was available online. Chairwoman Heyman said she saw this issue as a growing intolerance in our residential areas for various reasons where there were homes in different state of disrepair, including long term insurance claims which needed to be adjusted. She noted it became problematic for the neighborhood; and the proposed ordinance was extending the registration requirement to commercial properties, especially in areas with a mixed use of commercial and residential properties. Chairwoman Heyman asked Ms. Gomez to provide commissioners with a small, concise notice regarding commercial properties that were dilapidated. She noted commissioners could disseminate this information to the public who could check their electronic devices to determine whether these properties were reported to RER for code violations. Ms. Gomez said the department would make a proactive effort to forward the various registries that were viewable to commissioners’ offices. Chairwoman Heyman requested to be listed as a cosponsor, noting she wanted the commercial business areas cleaned up. There being no further questions or comments, the Committee proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed ordinance, as presented.

Board of County Commissioners 9/4/2019 Tentatively scheduled for a public hearing Health Care and County Operations Committee 10/18/2019

Board of County Commissioners 9/4/2019 4A Adopted on first reading 10/18/2019 P
REPORT: The foregoing proposed ordinance was adopted on first reading and scheduled for a public hearing before the Health Care and County Operations (HCCO) Committee meeting on Friday, October 18, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.

County Attorney 7/24/2019 Referred Health Care and County Operations Committee 10/18/2019

County Attorney 7/24/2019 Assigned David Sherman 8/27/2019

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE RELATING TO REGISTRATION AND MAINTENANCE OF DISTRESSED PROPERTIES; AMENDING SECTIONS 17A-18, 17A-19, AND 17A-20 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; EXTENDING APPLICATION OF REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT TO NON-RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES IN THE UNINCORPORATED AREA WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS; REQUIRING RENEWALS OF REGISTRATION FOR ALL REQUIRED PROPERTIES UNTIL A SPECIFIED TIME; REQUIRING CERTAIN INFORMATION ON REGISTRATION FORMS; AMENDING SECTION 8CC-10; MAKING CONFORMING AND TECHNICAL CHANGES; PROVIDING FOR DELAYED IMPLEMENTATION; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
WHEREAS, this Board is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare, as well as enhancing the quality of life of Miami-Dade County’s residents; and
WHEREAS, in furtherance of these goals, this Board is committed to maintaining and enhancing the aesthetics and beauty of properties within unincorporated Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, in Ordinance No. 08-134, this Board amended section 19-4 of the Code and made the holder or owner of any mortgage upon real property responsible for maintenance of the real property upon the filing of a lis pendens or foreclosure action; and
WHEREAS, this Board made clear in this ordinance that the maintenance responsibility for the mortgage holder supplements the previously existing responsibilities of owners, lessees and tenants of the real property; and
WHEREAS, the legal responsibility set forth in section 19-4, as amended in Ordinance No. 08-134, continues until the property is sold or transferred to a new owner, or until the foreclosure action is dismissed; and
WHEREAS, in Ordinance No. 08-134, this Board also created section 17A-19, and required the holder or owner of a mortgage or other debt instrument to register the single family dwelling units, whether a house, townhouse, condominium or duplex, with the Office of Neighborhood Compliance upon the filing of a lis pendens or an action to foreclose upon the mortgage or other instrument of debt secured by the property; and
WHEREAS, this Board set the fee at $125 for such registration; and
WHEREAS, the registration requirement, as set forth in section 17A-19, requires the County to inspect and allows the County to remediate, or cause the remediation of, residences that have become vacant, overgrown, dilapidated or in poor repair, in order to prevent blight or unsightly conditions where the property is the subject of a foreclosure action; and
WHEREAS, although more than ten years have passed since the financial crisis began, it has become apparent that the registration requirement should extend beyond single family dwelling units to other types of properties in financial distress, in order to avoid diminished maintenance at the properties, and to prevent conditions that foster the breeding of vermin, mosquitoes, and other species that can jeopardize health and safety; and
WHEREAS, the same property maintenance concerns applicable to distressed properties in residential districts are applicable to distressed properties in commercial districts, office districts, industrial districts and others; and
WHEREAS, an amendment to section 17A-19 is needed to require that, except for properties with bona fide agricultural uses in agricultural districts, properties in all zoning districts in unincorporated areas are required to be registered with the Office of Neighborhood Compliance upon the filing of a lis pendens or an action to foreclose upon the mortgage or other instrument of debt secured by the property,
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Section 17A-18 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:1
Sec. 17A-18. - Purpose and intent>>; Applicability<<.

It is the intent of the Board of County Commissioners, through the enactment >>and amendment<< of sections 17A-18 to 17A-20 to provide a registry of >>all properties<< [[single-family residential dwelling units, including condominium, duplexes and townhome units, where the individual unit is]] >>that are<< the subject of a [[Foreclose Action]]>>foreclosure action, except for properties with bona fide agricultural uses in agricultural districts <<. Through this registry, [[residences]] >>properties<< that are at risk of or have become vacant, [[overgrown,]] dilapidated or in poor repair>>, or have overgrown grass, shrubs, or foliage, or other visible maintenance failures,<< can be tracked >>to facilitate enforcement and remedial actions. Such actions can<< [[and remediated to]] prevent blight or unsightly conditions>> and avoid or minimize the deleterious effects on neighboring properties and property values, and prevent conditions that foster the breeding of vermin, mosquitoes, and other species that can jeopardize public health and safety<<. [[The definitions contained in section 17A-5 shall apply throughout this section.]] >>Sections 17A-18 to 17A-20 shall apply in unincorporated areas.<<

Section 2. Section 17A-19 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 17A-19. - Registration of [[single-family dwelling units]] >>residential and non-residential properties<< subject to foreclosure >>in all zoning districts in unincorporated areas, excluding properties with bona fide agricultural uses and zoned as AU districts <<.
>>(a) Within ten days from the date of<< [[Upon]] the filing of a lis pendens or an action to foreclose upon a mortgage or other instrument of debt which debt is secured by the real property >>whether residential or non-residential, in any zoning district, except for properties with bona fide agricultural uses in agricultural districts<<[[ of a single-family dwelling unit, whether a house, townhouse, condominium or duplex]], the holder or owner of said mortgage or other debt instrument, or the party bringing the foreclosure action, shall [[immediately]] register >>said property<< [[the single-family dwelling unit]] with the Office of Neighborhood Compliance>>or other department or division designated by the Mayor or Mayor’s designee<<.
>>(b) After the initial registration, renewal registration shall be made once every 12 months thereafter until final judgment and a certificate of title is issued in the foreclosure action, or until the foreclosure action and related lis pendens have been dismissed. <<
>>(c)<< The registration >>and any renewal registrations<< shall be >>made<< upon forms [[as are]] designated by the Director of the Department and shall be accompanied by >>payment of<< the approved registration fee as established in the Department's duly enacted fee schedule.
>>(d) The registration shall contain, at a minimum, the name and contact information of the mortgage holder, and where applicable, the registration shall specifically delineate the contact information for the managing agent for the property, including but not limited to name, place of employment, telephone number, address, and email address. The listing of a managing agent shall not relieve mortgage holders, owners, lessees and tenants from the responsibility to comply with any provision of the Code.<<
Section 3. Section 17A-20 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 17A-20. - Registration inspection and enforcement procedure.
Upon registration >>and renewal registration<< of any >>property<< [[dwelling unit]] as set forth in section 17A-19, the >>the Office of Neighborhood Compliance or other department or division designated by the Mayor or Mayor’s designee<< [[Minimum Housing Enforcement Officer or his or her assistant]] shall conduct an inspection of the registered real property to determine its compliance with the provisions of this Chapter 17A and/or the provisions of Chapter 19 of the County Code.
Section 4. Section 8CC-10 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 8CC-10. Schedule of civil penalties.

The following table shows the sections of this Code, as they may be amended from time to time, which may be enforced pursuant to the provisions of this chapter; and the dollar amount of civil penalty for the violation of these sections as they may be amended.

The “descriptions of violations” below are for informational purposes only and are not meant to limit or define the nature of the violations or the subject matter of the listed Code sections, except to the extent that different types of violations of the same Code section may carry different civil penalties. For each Code section listed in the schedule of civil penalties, the entirety of that section may be enforced by the mechanism provided in this Chapter 8CC, regardless of whether all activities proscribed or required within that particular section are described in the “Description of Violation” column. To determine the exact nature of any activity proscribed or required by this Code, the relevant Code section must be examined.

Code
Section Description of Violation Civil Penalty
* * *
17A-16(12) Window, door or other exterior opening not properly secured to prevent human entry 500.00
17A-19 Failure to >>timely or properly<< register [[vacant]] property subject to foreclosure 500.00 All other Chapter 17A violations
200.00
* * *

Section 5. The provisions of sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this ordinance shall not be implemented until 90 days from the effective date of this ordinance.
Section 6. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 7. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word "ordinance" may be changed to "section," "article," or other appropriate word.
Section 8. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.

1 Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted. Words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< constitute the amendment proposed. Remaining provisions are now in effect and remain unchanged.



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