Important for Miami Beach Homeowners – Push to preserve older SFH homes in Miami Beach — HPB hearing

April 7, 2021

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

We want to let you know what is going on with the City of Miami Beach’s Historic Preservation Board (HPB).   There is a push to preserve single family homes located throughout the City, even though these homes are not part of the HPB’s jurisdiction.  There are a large number of older single family homes that the HPB will consider, such as the waterfront properties along North Bay Road, La Gorce Island, Star Island, Palm and Hibiscus Islands and the Venetian Islands. 

 

Under today’s Code, the Design Review Board (DRB) cannot deny demolition of older homes where needed to build a new home.  If a home was built prior to 1942, the DRB can only “explore” preservation options and evaluate the replacement home.  However, full or even partial preservation are neither required nor within the DRB’s authority. 

 

On April 13, the HPB will discuss a process to have the City survey all single family homes within the City that they may deem worthy of preservation.  The HPB does not have the authority to direct staff to create the survey or unilaterally mandate preservation of older homes.  However, they can make a recommendation to the City Commission to take action, whether through a Code amendment and/or a referendum of the voters on how to proceed on this issue.  See attached HPB agenda; the discussion item is Item # 5 on the agenda.

 

At the March meeting, all of the HPB members supported the proposal, and discussed extending it to all pre-1942 homes, not just waterfront homes.  However, the City does not have the resources for such a survey, so HPB members are considering a private survey  — MDPL, Universities, etc., — and not a city funded project.  At the upcoming meeting we expect them to discuss their “next steps” in how to survey these older homes as the basis for preservation or blocking demolition of older homes.

 

We urge you to participate virtually in the April 13, 2021 HPB meeting via Zoom (Webinar ID 817 4834 7488) to learn more about the City’s direction on this issue, and if you choose raise your hand to speak out to uphold private property rights.    We will be doing the same and can update you as this situation evolves.   You can also call in, see below.

 

Historic Preservation Board*

 

April 13, 2021  9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Zoom Meeting/Public Meeting

 

https://miamibeachfl-gov.zoom.us/j/81748347488

1.312.626.6799 or 1.888.475.4499

Access ID 81748347488#

 

Washington Avenue Entrance: 1901 Convention Center Drive, MBCC, Room 237

 

*Aired Live on MBTV

 

If you or someone you know has questions regarding this issue, please feel free to call Matt Amster or Jeff Bercow at (305) 374-5300.

 

Thank you.

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