City Commission Preview

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

City Commission Preview:

First meeting since august break

The City Commission returns from August recess and there are a few interesting items on Wednesday’s agenda including the North Beach Town Center development guidelines, food trailers for beachfront properties (both private and City-owned), an increase in sidewalk café fees, an increase in sanitation fees, and an ordinance to target the online short-term rental platforms for violations of the City’s short-term rental policies. And, much more!

A few development items
Guidelines for development of the North Beach Town Center to incorporate additional density approved by voters last year. Items R5A (Comprehensive Plan Amendment) and R5B (Amendment to the Land Development Regulations)
Time certain: 10 am First Reading, Public hearing
Our story here.

An ordinance to amend the maximum height requirements for parking garages within the CD-3 Architectural District for lots fronting on James Avenue, bounded by 17th Street to the north and Lincoln Road to the south. Item R5C.
This item has a time certain of 10:10 am but with the Town Center ordinance preceding it, you can bet this time isn’t certain!
Second reading public hearing 

Ordinance requiring notice of demolition to affected properties (those within 375 feet) when the city issues a demolition permit for structures that are three or more stories. Item R5U, first reading. The item is in response to the sudden collapse of the building at 5775 Collins Avenue during a planned demolition. Our coverage here.

Revitalization and Business issues:
Resolution to formally establish the Washington Avenue Business Improvement District for the promotion, management, and marketing of the area. Property owners have already agreed to a special tax district for the BID. Item C7AO.

Resolution authorizing the City Manager and City Attorney to work with the steering committee of Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue property owners for the purpose of establishing a special assessment district… “to stabilize and improve the Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue retail business district.” This is the beginning of the same process the Washington Avenue property owners are now completing. Coverage area includes properties along Ocean Drive between 5th Street and 15th Street; Collins Avenue between 5th Street and 21st Street and intersecting side streets. Money would be used for promotion, management, marketing, and other similar services. Item C7AP.

Ordinance to increase sidewalk café fees. As part of the effort to close this year’s budget shortfall, the City administration is recommending increasing sidewalk café permit fees from $20 per square foot to $25. Fees were last increased in 2010/2011 when fees went up from $15 to $20 over a two-year period. The latest proposed increase would generate $358,000 in additional revenue for fiscal year 2019. FY 2018 sidewalk café permit fees are estimated to be $1.5 million. This increase would take them to $1.8 million. Item R5L. First reading.
Beachfront Concessions:
Two resolutions (Item C7H) to “require all upland owner concessionaires and their third party concession operators to utilize 100% reusable wares in connection with their beachfront concession operations, including the delivery, service, and consumption of food and beverages, with the exception of paper napkins, tin foil or paper liners.” The SLS Hotel is one of those that went 100% reusables early on. Our story
Resolution 2 regarding “food trailers” would “permit the utilization of mobile cooking/heating concession facilities as part of the beachfront concession agreements issued annually to the upland property owners.” In June 2018, the City Commission approved a pilot program to allow hotels and condominiums to locate food trailers along their beachfront properties, however, the following month, the Finance and Citywide Projects Committee discussed “the reluctance of private property owners to invest in food trailers for a short term pilot program.” This resolution would allow the City Manager to enter into annual agreements for food trailers “located immediately westward of the beachfront,” according to the memo related to the item. Item C7H.

Separately, a resolution to allow food trailer concession services on city-owned beachfront property and issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for those services. Identified areas are the 35th Street Parking Lot/Pancoast Park and 70th Street Area/North Beach Oceanside Park. The City reserves the right to add additional areas at a later date. Item R7H.

Resolution to proceed with the development, design, and other planning work for Maurice Gibb Memorial Park. Item C7AF.

Resolution to make the temporary playground at Belle Isle Park permanent “and directing the City Manager to find funding to ensure that the playground surface is permanently installed, and directing the Manager to install higher quality, more permanent, shade structures within the park.” This park was initially installed as a fill-in during the closure of the Maurice Gibb Park for renovation. Item C7AA. Our previous coverage here
Ordinance waiving fees when residential property owners tie in to the City’s stormwater system, “defining authorized residential property to include only those properties where the finished floor of the residential structure is below the crown of the road.” Second reading, public hearing. Time certain of 10:15 (with the same note on timing above given the items immediately preceding it that will surely generate discussion). Item R5D. Our previous coverage here.
Short term rentals:
Second reading for an ordinance that targets the online rental platforms. Current Code prohibits short-term rentals in all single-family homes and many multi-family buildings in certain zoning districts, however, it targets property owners through a licensing process for legal rentals and stiff penalties for those who rent illegally. This ordinance, proposed by Mayor Dan Gelber, would require short-term rental platforms to display a property owner’s business tax receipt (BTR or business license) along with their resort tax account to show they are operating legally. If they don’t comply, they would be fined. Item R5E.
Time certain of 1:30 pm. Our earlier coverage here
Sanitation/Recycling Fees:
Ordinance to change sanitation fees to pass the actual costs of recycling on to residents. Currently, the City subsidizes that cost but cannot afford to continuing doing so. Along with an adjustment for CPI (Consumer Price Index), the recommended increase for residential customers would be $3.62 per month, a proposed increase of 8.7 percent for single-family homes and 9.7 percent for multifamily residences. Total month bills would increase from $41.56 to $45.18 for single-family homes and $37.13 to $40.75 for multi-family residential customers (in buildings of 8 units or less).
Item R5M. First reading. Our previous coverage here
Ordinance for restricted wake zones “to provide for the regulation of motor operated marine vessels near elevated structures such as bridges to protect them from salt water erosion.” No details in the memo regarding the item, but certainly it is in response to the deterioration caused to the MacArthur Causeway from jet skis passing underneath. Item R5S. First reading. Background here.  
Budget Items/Public Hearing:
Public hearing to adopt the budget and millage rate
Second public hearing will be Wednesday, Sept 26 at 5:01 pm
Item R7G Millage Rate
Item R7I Budget
Item R7L Capital Budget


MacArthur Causeway: A Little More Patience, A Little More Time

Susan Askew
Susan Askew
Westbound double-lane closure continues until September 21

G.O. Bond Will Total $439,000,000

Susan Askew
Susan Askew
Infrastructure, parks, and public safety projects finalized