Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 231700
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File Number: 231700 File Type: Resolution Status: Before the Board
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: TERMINATE AGREEMENT - GREEN CORRIDOR Introduced: 8/29/2023
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 12/12/2023 Agenda Item Number: 11A4
Indexes: NONE
Sponsors: Kevin Marino Cabrera, Prime 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Board of County Commissioners 12/12/2023 11A4 Withdrawn
REPORT: Commissioner Cabrera expressed appreciation to Commissioners Regalado, Hardemon and McGhee for their input on the foregoing proposed resolution. He noted several changes had been made to the agenda item which strengthened consumer-based safeguards for County residents. Commissioner Cabrera announced that Ygrene Energy Fund Florida and the Latin Builders Association would introduce a program for low-income senior residents to implement energy-efficient improvements to their homes. He added that each County Commissioner would be able to nominate a member for consideration for the program and that the organizations would be monitored to ensure compliance. There being no comments or questions, the Board approved the withdrawal of the foregoing resolution.

Board of County Commissioners 11/7/2023 11A16 Deferred 12/12/2023

Office of the Chairperson 11/6/2023 Deferrals
REPORT: The Prime Sponsor has requested deferral to the December 12, 2023 Board of County Commissioners meeting.

County Infrastructure, Operations and Innovations Committee 9/12/2023 2E Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation
REPORT: Chairwoman Regalado introduced the foregoing proposed resolution and opened the reasonable opportunity to be heard. The following individuals appeared before the Committee: - Mr. Philip Stoddard, Chair of the Green Corridor Board (GCB), 6820 SW 64th Court, South Miami, spoke about the GCB role particularly in providing oversight of the Ygrene Property Assessment Clean Energy (PACE) program in Florida. He reviewed the collaborative ventures undertaken by GCB and the County and discussed the benefits of the Ygrene PACE program including challenges faced by the organization. Mr. Stoddard requested the foregoing item be deferred to allow GCB to work with staff to increase consumer protection. - Mr. Chad Friedman, 2800 Ponce de Leon, Suite 1200, Coral Gables, District Counsel for the Green Corridor Board, spoke about the importance of the foregoing item and noted as a partner the GCB could improve communications. He requested the item be deferred for additional information to be included about the program to better guide the committee’s decision on the PACE program. - City of South Miami Commissioner Steve Calle, 5765 SW 50th Street, South Miami, appeared as a representative of the GCB. He noted he was an advocate of change for energy and septic, and briefly discussed the benefits of the PACE program. Mr. Calle requested the item be deferred to partner with the County and develop a better plan. Seeing no one else come forward to speak, Chairwoman Regalado closed the reasonable opportunity. Chairwoman Regalado voiced her concerns about the impact of the PACE program on the Green Corridor. She noted the program was started in the City of South Miami because of a solar panel installation requirement which was paid for using the PACE program. Chairwoman Regalado opined the elimination of the consumer protection group was not a favorable decision and suggested exploring other options such as implementing stricter rules or placing a moratorium on the Ygrene program so as not to eliminate resident’s options. Chairwoman Regalado noted that while former County Commissioner Sosa championed PACE as a septic-to-sewer solution, she believed this was only viable for individuals who did not qualify under the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) income thresholds and noted the Documentary Stamp Surtax Funds cannot not be used for individuals earning more than the HUD income limits. Chairwoman Regalado cautioned against eliminating the PACE program and recognized the importance of including the consumer protection element. Commissioner Cabrera stated that the item ensured that Ygrene, would not exploit residents again, and argued the GCB did not fulfill its role as an oversight Board. Commissioner Cabrera detailed issues that many homeowners encountered under the Ygrene PACE program since the company suspended operations in the state. Chairwoman Regalado emphasized that the State of Florida’s statutes did not include a clause to deal with companies ending services and pointed out the State mandated that the County collect funds on behalf of the company. Commissioner Cabrera reiterated his concerns about the County sanctioning a company that takes advantage of residents and noted there were other service providers available. Chairwoman Regalado differentiated between the services provided by Ygrene and the GCB; and stated moving forward the County should codify policies which would end its partnership with any company if financing was lost. She also stated that companies that ceased operations should be required to provide notice about suspending operations to its customers and revisited her suggestion about implementing a moratorium on Ygrene. Commissioner Cabrera referenced Ygrene’s contract terms and noted he was drafting legislation which would require PACE providers to provide loan disclosures. He restated his belief that Ygrene’s actions amounted to government sanctioned exploitation of residents and asked that the proposed resolution be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners (Board) to allow for greater discussion. Commissioner Rodriguez contended that while the matter before the committee was in fact a State issue and should be resolved at the state level; he recognized the County's responsibility to residents and suggested forwarding the item to the Board while his colleagues commit to scheduling a Sunshine meeting to meet with the stakeholders to discuss a solution. Chairwoman Regalado asked Commissioner Cabrera if he was open to amending the foregoing proposed resolution. Commissioner Cabrera stated he was willing to amend the item if needed and meet with the parties to discuss the matter. He noted Mr. Stoddard was the only individual to contact him requesting a meeting. Chairwoman Regalado welcomed the opportunity to schedule a Sunshine meeting to discuss the issues and get more information. Commissioner Hardemon noted he voted for the implementation of the PACE program in the City of Miami when he served as a city commissioner, and reviewed how the City of Miami administered the program by limiting the number of communities the PACE program was available in. He commented on the predatory nature of the PACE program and stated he disagreed about the matter being a State issue to resolve. Commissioner Hardemon also voiced his opposition to having the PACE program payments attached to the property’s tax bill and explained how it could impact the cost of properties for sale. Commissioner Hardemon noted he would like to have more information on the item and suggested deferring the item to provide the stakeholders adequate time to meet with the County about the issues. Chairwoman Regalado expressed an interest in hearing from staff. Vice Chairwoman Steinberg recognized the intent of the foregoing item and requested more information as to what protective measures each PACE provider had in place to protect its consumers, how they compared to Ygrene, and what was the actual impact of the program to consumers. Mr. Jim Murley, Chief Regulatory and Economics Resources (RER) Resilience Officer, Miami-Dade County Office of Resilience, advised the Committee members that while there were consumer protections in place, each one was slightly different, and the proposed amendments contained in the foregoing item would strengthen the consumer protection component in PACE programs. He welcomed the opportunity to be a part of further dialogue with the stakeholders and commission regarding the protections needed and noted the Office of Resilience was not the only office involved in the processing of the PACE program. Mr. Murley pointed out that the situation regarding Ygrene only applied to the County’s Unincorporated Municipal Service Area (UMSA) and activities by PACE providers would continue within the County’s cities, including those in the Green Corridor. Chairwoman Regalado expressed concerns about the impact on individuals and consumer protection measures when a provider suspended operations in the State, and called for rules to be enacted to address this situation. She reiterated her intent to schedule a Sunshine meeting before the next CIOIC meeting and suggested the issues may be better addressed by adopting a more comprehensive approach such as codifying protective measures that were more proactive and less punitive. Discussion ensued between Commissioner Cabrera and Chairwoman Regalado about forwarding the item to the Board and the need for more information to be included. Assistant County Attorney Sara Davis advised the foregoing proposed resolution would terminate the agreement between the County and the interlocal, and not the vendor; which was the only avenue available to the sponsor at this time. Chairwoman Regalado cautioned against terminating the County’s Green Corridor Property Assessment Clean Energy District (“Green Corridor”) because of its impact on the residents and municipalities. She pointed out the item would end the relationship with the Green Corridor and Ygrene, and inquired about the Administration’s position on ending these relationships. Assistant County Attorney Sara Davis reiterated the foregoing item would terminate the relationship with the Green Corridor but not with Ygrene, and noted the County did not have the authority to end the relationship with the vendor (Ygrene). She advised if there was a way to address the issues with the vendor, the County needed to make a swift decision. Chairwoman Regalado stated she could not support the proposed resolution because it did not terminate the County’s agreement with Ygrene, but with the Green Corridor instead. She added that the legislation was only punitive to Ygrene and did not include language detailing consequences for other companies that may do the same as Ygrene. Commissioner Cabrera stated that the item would send a message to other companies and the industry and indicated he did not support deferring the item. He restated his willingness to amend the item if needed and schedule a Sunshine meeting to address item’s issues. Commissioner Hardemon pointed out that the language in the proposed resolution was unclear and read a portion into the record. He noted that the foregoing legislation did not solve the entire problem but provided sanctions or limited one participant from providing services based on the things that have happened in the past. Commissioner Hardemon requested the sponsor consider deferring the item but stated he would also support forwarding the item to the Board for greater discussion. Commissioner Cabrera reviewed the item’s language and intent. Vice Chairwoman Steinberg asked staff to provide a report detailing the impact of the item on UMSA residents. Commissioner McGhee requested Chief Resilience Officer James F. Murley, Office of Resilience, to prepare and provide a list of individuals in District 9 that have: (1) Signed up for the Property Assessment Clean Energy (PACE) Program, (2) Residents serviced by the program, and (3) Residents still waiting for projects to be completed by the program. He also asked PACE staff to remove online media featuring him because it implied he endorsed the program. Hearing no further questions or comments, the Committee members proceeded to vote on the foregoing resolution, as presented.

County Attorney 8/30/2023 3:09:02 PM Referred County Infrastructure, Operations and Innovations Committee 9/12/2023

County Attorney 8/29/2023 Assigned Cristina M. Rabionet 9/1/2023

Legislative Text


WHEREAS, a Property Assessment Clean Energy (�PACE�) program is a financing structure by which commercial or residential property owners may voluntarily opt into a special assessment district to receive financing for energy improvements and retrofits where such financing is repaid through an annual assessment on the property owner�s property tax bill; and
WHEREAS, a PACE entity created under section 163.01(7), Florida Statutes, is considered a �local government� under Florida law; and
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County has entered into four interlocal agreements with different PACE entities which authorize those entities to operate within the unincorporated area of the County; and
WHEREAS, one of the four such PACE entities authorized to operate in the unincorporated area is the Green Corridor Property Assessment Clean Energy District (�Green Corridor�), and Ygrene Energy Fund Florida LLC (�Ygrene�) is the administrator for Green Corridor; and
WHEREAS, this Board no longer wishes for Ygrene, on behalf of Green Corridor, to be authorized to operate for purposes of PACE within the unincorporated area; and
WHEREAS, the Federal Trade Commission (the �FTC�) filed a lawsuit against Ygrene in 2022, and the FTC�s complaint alleged that �Ygrene deceptively represents to consumers that its financing will not create any obstacles to, or interfere with, consumers� ability to sell or refinance their homes,� and that �Ygrene fails to obtain consumers� express, informed consent to using the consumer�s home as collateral to secure Ygrene�s loan�; and
WHEREAS, the FTC and Ygrene resolved this lawsuit through a stipulated order, which entered a judgment of $22,000,000.00 against Ygrene, and which required that Ygrene modify its operations by providing certain disclosures and other consumer protections; and
WHEREAS, on July 19, 2016, this Board adopted Resolution No. R-734-16, which approved an agreement between the County and Green Corridor (the �Agreement�), together with an associated indemnification agreement between the County and Ygrene; and
WHEREAS, the Agreement between the County and Green Corridor specifically allows for termination for convenience and contains various provisions related to termination, and the termination contemplated by this resolution shall be consistent with such provisions; and
WHEREAS, the Agreement provides that any party may terminate the Agreement for convenience upon 90 days prior written notice; and
WHEREAS, this Agreement also provides that beginning on the date that Green Corridor receives such notice from the County (�Termination Date�), Green Corridor shall not approve any new applications affecting property within the unincorporated area of the County; and
WHEREAS, the Agreement further states that notwithstanding termination of the agreement, property owners whose applications were approved prior to the Termination Date, and who received funding through the PACE program, shall continue to be a part of Green Corridor for the sole purpose of paying their outstanding debt, until such time that all outstanding debt has been satisfied; and
WHEREAS, this Board wishes to terminate the Agreement between the County and Green Corridor; and
WHEREAS, the remaining three agreements between the County and other PACE districts are not being terminated by this resolution and shall remain in effect, and property owners who may be interested in pursuing financing through PACE could do so through one of those PACE districts,
Section 1. Hereby terminates the Agreement between Miami-Dade County and the Green Corridor Property Assessment Clean Energy District, which was approved pursuant to Resolution No. R-734-16.
Section 2. Directs the County Mayor, through the Office of Resilience or other appropriate designee, to submit a certified copy of this resolution to Green Corridor as written notice of termination for convenience. Such copy shall be sent by certified U.S. mail, with return receipt requested, within five days of the effective date of this resolution, to Paul Winkeljohn, District Manager, at 5385 N. Nobhill Road, Sunrise, Florida 33351.

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