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July 1, 2009CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS ZONING MINUTES JULY 1, 2009 1. CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL OF MEMBERS: The City Council sitting as the Zoning Board for the City of Miami Gardens, Florida, met in regular session on Wednesday, July 1, 2009, beginning at 7:05 p.m., in the City Council Chambers, 1515 NW 167t" Street, Building 5, suite 200, Miami Gardens, Florida. The following members of the City Council were present: Mayor Shirley Gibson, Vice Mayor Barbara Watson and Council member Aaron Campbell Jr., Melvin L. Bratton, Andre Williams, and Oliver G. Gilbert III. Councilwoman Sharon Pritchett was not present. Also in attendance were: City Manager Dr. Danny O. Crew, City Attorney Sonja K. Dickens, Deputy City Clerk Mario Bataille, sitting in for City Clerk Ronetta Taylor, who was not present due to illness, Development Services Director Jay Marder and Zoning Administrator Cyril Saiphoo. 2. INVOCATION: Invocation delivered by Councilman Gilbert. 3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Pledge of Allegiance recited in unison. 4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 4-A) Zoning Meeting Minutes -June 3, 2009 Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to approve the minutes, with necessary corrections, if any. This motion passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. Cyril Saiphoo read into the record the procedures used for this quasi judicial proceeding. Deputy City Clerk Bataille administered the "Oath" to those participating in this proceeding. 5. AGENDA ORDER OF BUSINESS (ADDITIONS/DELETIONS/AMENDMENTS) BUSINESS (Items shau he putted from the Consent Agenda at this time): 6. PRESENTATION(S) None 7. CONSENT AGENDA None Zoning Minutes July 1, 2009 Page 1 of 11 8. FIRST READING (ORDINANCE)/PUBLIC HEARING(S) None 9. ORDINANCE(S) SECOND READING/PUBLIC HEARING(S) None 10. RESOLUTION(S)/PUBLIC HEARING(S) RESOLUTION N0.2009-124-1069-Z-87 10-A) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, GRANTING THE APPLICATION OF THE MIAMI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY FOR A SPECIAL EXCEPTION TO PERMIT A CHARTER SCHOOL ON PROPERTY GENERALLY LOCATED AT N.W. 34 COURT AND N.W. 183rd STREET, MORE PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED ON EXHIBIT "A" ATTACHED HERETO; PROVIDING FOR A DECLARATION OF RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) (DEFERRED FROM JUNE 3, 2009) Mayor Gibson opened the floor for this public hearing. After there were no interested parties to speak on this item, the public hearing closed. Mayor Gibson informed the Council that if they read the item and agree with staff's recommendation, no presentation was needed. However, the Council did have the option of hearing the presentation. Attorney Dickens recommended providing the applicant an opportunity to make a full presentation or waive the presentation during this quasi judicial proceeding. Orlando Alonso Jr., 1235 Coral Way, Suite 101, Miami, Florida, appeared before the City Council representing the applicant to waive the presentation. Councilman Gilbert stated that he had reviewed staff's recommendationsand spoken with the City Attorney, and the Development Services Director regarding the Declaration of Restriction, more particularly the language "b) the operation of the charter school facility to be transferred to another charter school operator of the School Board, ..." He said he wanted the City of Miami Gardens to be included in that option as well. Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to approve this item. Zoning Minutes July 1, 2009 Page 2 of 11 Mayor Gibson asked the applicant's representative if the applicant had any objections to the City of Miami Gardens being included in that option. Mr. Alonso said he did not have a problem with this addition. Motioned offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to amend Subsection b) of the Declaration of Restrictions to insert the City of Miami Gardens after the school board reference. There being no further discussion on this amendment, the motion passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. Councilman Gilbert offered another amendment to this section requiring a public hearing before the City of Miami Gardens City Council prior to the transfer of the Charter School. Attorney Dickens suggested the following language to subsection b) "to be transferred to another charter school, after a public hearing..." Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to amend subsection b) as prescribed by the City Attorney. Maria Castro appeared before the City Council for clarification on the second amendment. Mayor Gibson explained when this matter is brought before the Council, the Council can request changes because the Council is the entity that would vote on the item. The applicant does have the right to voice disagreement with the proposed changes by the Council. Mr. Alonso in response to Mayor Gibson's statement and Ms. Castro's concerns, and explained for some reason if the school does not continue or move forward with this project (construction for example) what would happen if the applicant wanted to bring somebody else in. Mayor Gibson said the amendment would not prohibit other charter schools from coming in. The amendment only included the City of Miami Gardens as one of those entities. Ms. Castro said she did not have a problem if the City of Miami Gardens wanted to be considered as a Charter School provider. She said she was concerned with having to stop construction. Attorney Dickens explained the logistics of the amendment as follows: 1) first amendment provides that the City of Miami Gardens would be included as an entity that could operate the charter school; and 2) second amendment provides that if a transfer is made to another school that it is after a public hearing held by this Council. She said there is no amendment proposed with regard to stopping construction. Councilman Gilbert further explained, the school can be constructed but before the school is transferred to someone else a public hearing before the Council must be held. Zoning Minutes July 1, 2009 Page 3 of 11 Ms. Castro conveyed understanding of the amendments. She reiterated concern with the construction phase of this project. Attorney Dickens further explained the amendments to the Declaration only apply when the construction is complete. Ms. Castro said she did not have a problem with the amendments. There being no further discussion on the amendment, the motion passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. Councilman Williams questioned the thirty-six (36) month timeframe. Attorney Dickens explained if the Charter School stops operating, they have thirty-six (36) months to comply with the items listed, which is a requirement of the Miami-Dade County Code. There being no further discussion on the amendment, the motion to adopt passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. There being no further discussion on the item as a whole, the motion to adopt passed and carried by a 6-0 voice vote. Mayor Gibson passed the gavel to Vice Mayor Watson, and left the meeting. 11. CITY MANAGER' S REPORT 11-A) Sign Code Amendment to Amortization Schedule Jay Marder, Development Services Director appeared before the City Council to provide an update on the implementation of the Sign Code. Staff istaking apro-active approach by identifying a qualified sign contractor. Staff will refer all business to this qualified sign contractor. Those businesses would be able to utilize the Business Incentive Program through Community Development. That Business Incentive Program actually pays for any improvements required to bring the businesses into compliance. Staff is only pushing a timeframe with window signage. Staff realizes there are some economic hardships. 11-B) Multiple Family Housing Discussion Daniel Rosemond, Assistant City Manager appeared before the City Council and explained that afollow-up presentation would be provided tonight. He recounted on December 3, 2008, staff had given a presentation to Council on multi-family and subsidized housing. The bulk of that presentation consisted of the concerns of some Council districts. At that time staff had very limited data, and the police department did not have statistical information from Miami-Dade County. The Council had asked that staff come back once it had that additional data. Information to be provided tonight would include violent crime statistics at the multi-family and subsidizes housing locations. Staff will also provide information on the processes to address quality of life issues in some of the existing housing units within the City, as well as proposed housing design standards and regulations. Zoning Minutes July 1, 2009 Page 4 of 11 Mr. Rosemond clarified the definition of subsidized housing is any property that is income restricted up to eighty percent (80%) of area medium income (AMI). The subsidy or payment comes from a government source (e.g. federal, state or local government). There are two types of subsidized house: 1) voucher program- the assistance that goes with the individual, and 2) Project base housing stays with a particular unit. Under the project base there are several different types such as Section 8; elderly and low income housing, which are typically funded through the State of Florida. There are also public housing projects, which are managed by local entities (Miami-Dade County Housing agency) or the housing project can managed directly by the federal government. He recapped that this presentation will primarily focus on subsidized rental units. Mr. Rosemond said the purpose of the initial analysis was to establish that the City had a disproportionate share of subsidized housing, which was confirmed. The City Council also looked at enacting amulti-family development moratorium, which was adopted on January 28, 2009. Staff agreed to provide additional information on the impact of subsidized housing especially as it relates to law enforcement. Jay Marder, Development Services Director shared staff looked at the distribution of subsidized housing. Miami Gardens is number four from the top, which also indicated there of four cities within Miami-Dade County that have housing authorities. Demographics information comparing the four top areas was also provided. Deputy Chief Miller appeared before the City Council to further expound on this issue. He said in regard to the violent crimes analysis. He provided information on the 2008 Violent Crimes Map, which outlines those locations were violent crimes are occurring. What was found is that there is a fairly visible trend of violent crimes where there are a larger number ofvouchers ormulti-family subsidized housing. Renee Farmer, Deputy City Manager appeared before the City Council and shared some of the conversations staff had after looking at the trends as it relates to multi-family housing and violent crimes was how are we going to address some of the quality of life issues from an administrative and code enforcement standpoint. Staff took a look at some of the existing tools currently being used by Code Enforcement (Landlord tenant Permit, property maintenance, and Special Master). Conversation ensured about possible legislation to address this program. Currently staff is working with the City Attorney to come up with nuisance property type legislation. There are some legal ramifications to that. Staff still needs to do some more research and work out what the proposal would be that staff would attached this nuisance idea to our Landlord tenant and existing property maintenance processes. Ms. Farmer further informed the Council that a Nuisance Abatement Board ordinance was just adopted by this Council. That ordinance will also be utilized for multi-family issues. Councilman Gilbert said the Nuisance Abatement Ordinance is designed to only address specific crimes. He asked if other things can be attached to this process. Zoning Minutes July I, 2009 Page 5 of 11 Attorney Dickens said the Nuisance Abatement Board is governed by the Florida Statutes. However, this does not prohibit the City from doing something creative. Currently the Florida Statutes permits the cities upon the approval of the Council to determine that a property is a public nuisance. The hope is that staff can come up with some creative way of doing it without having to go to court. She reiterated the City currently does have the authority to find any property to be a nuisance. A nuisance ultimately would be declared by the Council. Staff is trying to come up with something creative that is not as specific as nuisance abatement, but still addresses the issue. Mayor Gibson made reference to the four cities with housing authorities. She said there are a lot of subsidized housing that falls under HUD. There have been discussions with regard to whether there something the City of Miami Gardens can do legally to monitor the residents in those housing units. She said Councilman Campbell has expressed concern and raised this issue on numerous occasions. She said it is her understanding that there are federal guidelines with regard to this issue, and monitoring should be done per those guidelines. Mayor Gibson said she wanted to know if there would be a benefit to the City of Miami Gardens if there was a housing authority here in the City because of the number of units in the City. Mr. Rosemond in response to Mayor Gibson's question stated there is a benefit of having a housing authority because that "authority" would be able to control the activities within a unit, or what happens to those particular vouchers. The flip side to that is that housing authorities are created and funded by the federal government, which is not creating any new housing authorities. Furthermore, those existing "authorities" would have to agree to transfer those vouchers to the City of Miami Gardens. It is highly unlikely to be done because those housing authorities would have to relinquish the funds they receive from the federal government. He shared that he strongly suspects the numbers provided by Miami-Dade Housing is not a true representation of all the vouchers and subsidized housing units located within the City of Miami Gardens. He conveyed belief that there are vouchers from New York and other places residing here. He affirmed the creation of a Housing Authority is something the Council can pursue even though it is a difficult thing to achieve. He said he did not want to give the Council the impression this is something that could happen very easily. Councilman Campbell asked for clarification about the creation and purpose of a Housing Authority. Mayor Gibson clarified a Housing Authority would be able to monitor to ensure the rules and regulations were being adhered to. Ms. Farmer reappeared before the City Council to further expound on this subject. She shared that staff envisions having the authority through the Landlord Tenant Permit process to track all of the rental properties, both subsidized and non-subsidized. Staff is working on identifying those activities that would constitute a nuisance. Staff would then have the ability to take this matter through the Code Enforcement process. In the event the person does not abate the nuisance the Landlord Tenant Permit could be pulled, resulting in the property being rented illegally. The City would then move the matter forward through the Special Master process. Zoning Minutes July 1, 2009 Page 6 of 11 Ms. Farmer said the City would need to enter into a partnership with HUD to ensure the success of this program. Mayor Gibson stated for the record that she was not trying to infer that these infractions only happen on voucher units. She said she was directly to the voucher units because of the relationship the City has with trying to get the Housing Authority from Miami-Dade County and HUD to actually enact some of the things that enforce their rules and regulations. She said the City will have better success with getting the rental property owners to comply than with the bureaucracy the City has had with Miami-Dade County. Mr. Rosemond said staff is working with the Miami field office of HUD trying to get collaboration with the public housing agencies. What has been an issue for staff is not having specific data to be able to share with them as to what the concerns are for the City of Miami Gardens. He opined the big first step would be hold those agencies accountable and to take proper action. Mayor Gibson stated there are a large number of group homes within the City of Miami Gardens that are being subsidized by the state or federal government. She asked whether staff had any data on that type of housing. Mr. Marder said staff wanted to bring that information to the Council under separate cover. He shared that the map provided to Council does indicate those group homes. He said there are about thirty (30) group homes located within the City's boundaries. Councilman Gilbert shared that he has received phone calls from residents about the group home on NW 37t" Avenue. He said the behavior from the group home residents borders on intimidation. Some of the residents in this area are fearful of leaving their homes. He asked whether the Code Enforcement Department and the Police Department used the same software, as it relates to calls for complaints. He clarified by asking if a complaint was made at a particular location, is that complaint able to be viewed by another enforcement department, if that particular address is entered into the system. Deputy Chief Miller in response to Councilman Gilbert's question stated, "No." Deputy City Manager Farmer further expounded on this issue and shared staff was not able to find applicable software to accomplish this task. OSSI staff is investigating whether an interface could be utilized for the Landlord Tenant Permit. Councilman Gilbert asked whether the City could legally go into court to force Miami-Dade County and or HUD to adhere to their rules. Attorney Dickens said she would research this issue however, as present she would say, "No", because the United States government is solvent, and there are only certain circumstances by which they can be sued. She stated she was not saying "no" for sure because it is different when it is something they are obligated to do. She opined it would probably take the City taking this matter to Zoning Minutes July I, 2009 Page 7 of 11 court because the City has no other vehicle to make them do what they are charged with doing. She opined it goes to the political level, which is the Council to get something done about. Mr. Rosemond expounded on this issue and stated the rules are in place, currently. What HUD basically says is that those rules are essentially carried out and enforceable under the Landlord Tenant Agreement. If a property owner is renting a property to a Section 8 Voucher holder, and that voucher holder violates a provision of the lease, it is up to the landlord to enforce the conditions of said lease. In essence, the landlord is the individual who has the responsibility. The local municipality where that property is located is left with the residue of that tenant creating a nuisance condition. Staff is proposing to create a sufficient consequent to the landlord to be able to address their tenant. HUD is basically saying "we agree that that behavior is inappropriate and not a part of the rule but it is up to the landlord to enforce those rules. Councilman Gilbert commented, if HUD decides the landlord should do it and the landlord doesn't, the action should be against HUD because they are not enforcing the rules with the landlord. He opined the City can always go to court against the landlord. Mr. Rosemond said another issue that occurs not only with single family voucher units but also with public housing is that the court system is not very corporative during the eviction process. He shared Chief Boyd is trying to work through the court system with some of his contacts with regard to this issue. He opined the biggest benefit the City has is being able to provide specific case data on properties (e.g. arrests, investigations, etc.). Mayor Gibson opined the leases being entered into between the landlord and tenant are standard agreements that can be picked up at Home Depot. There is no enforcement provision. Deputy City Manager Farmer shared both the Chief and Deputy Chief of Police is working on this from the legal aspect. Mr. Rosemond is working on this from the HUD aspect. In addition, with the new legislation just adopted with the Nuisance Abatement Board, as well as what will be coming forward in terms of the tenant nuisance property, which includes the code enforcement process. She with all those things combined, staff will be able to review the process within the next six to eight months to see if it is working. Councilman Bratton commented that if a voucher holder has a problem at one location and is relocated to another location that same problem continues. Mr. Rosemond stated under HUD an eviction is one of those conditions that could potentially cause a voucher holder to forfeit that voucher. Vice Mayor Watson suggested conducting a workshop with potential landlords about the type of specific language needed in their landlord tenant lease agreements. Deputy Manager Farmer in response to Vice Mayor Watson's suggestion stated that education will be a component of this initiative. Zoning Minutes July 1, 2009 Page8of11 Vice Mayor Watson said the landlord permit and the renewal process should be contingent upon the landlord attending this mandatory workshop. Councilman Campbell expressed concern with the disproportionate amount of calls for public services such as fire rescue at those single family voucher properties, as well as public housing. There are some single family voucher properties being used as places for individuals to go to use drugs. He further shared that in years previous when a arrest was made at a voucher subsidized property of public housing, by Miami-Dade Police Department an arrest notification was generated and sent directly to HUD. Once notice of the arrest was sent, afollow-up was done. Deputy Chief Miller appeared before the City Council in response to Councilman Campbell's comments. He opined what the City is experiencing right now is the turmoil that HUD is in within and of itself. There are four housing agencies within Miami-Dade County however, as Mr. Rosemond has stated a lot of these issues are being maintained privately and kept secretly for some reason. He shared the police department has started a pilot program with every search warrant issued a check is done to see if there is any subsidy involved, whether it is a rental or private property. These cases are look at to determine if there is a pattern. These cases would subsequently be brought before the Nuisance Abatement Board. He related that in some cases where there is drug activity in the home, the voucher holder might be the mother or grandmother, in those cases the Judge will not evict the voucher holder. Deputy Chief Miller said staff has established some really good Federal partners lately. The City just completed an operation with the US Marshal Service. Eight residents in the 187t" Street apartment complex are in the process of being evicted through the Office of the Inspector General. Mr. Marder continued with this portion of the report being dedicated to new housing and what the City can do to create a housing corridor. This would include design criteria, landscaping and buffering requirements. Mr. Rosemond opined regardless of who operates these projects/housing units determines whether it is a good or bad housing unit, local governments are left to contend with that. Staff believes what it is proposing will be a multi-facet approach to addressing all concerns. Staff wants to recommend establishment of a functionality, a Nuisance Abatement Board develop and adopt Zoning Code Provisions by the end of this year. Staff is working with a new consultant that would be able to look at and incorporate those items mentioned by Mr. Marder. Consequently, staff will be able to provide recommendations to the Council for consideration, and subsequently lift the moratorium. Councilman Bratton asked for a copy of the HUD policy relating to subsidized housing and the voucher program. Councilman Gilbert placed emphasis on how important it is for the Council to appoint capable individuals to the Nuisance Abatement Board. He opined this is the most important powerful Board this Council has ever established. He reiterated the importance of the Council doing its due diligence when making their respect appointments. Zoning Minutes July 1, 2009 Page 9 of 11 Councilman Bratton asked whether a Section 8 Voucher Holder can be appointed. Councilman Gilbert said the Council can appoint whomever they wanted to. Mayor Gibson commented based on a lot of the comments from staff and the quality of life issues found in the community when the larger population is individuals who have greater needs when it comes to economic and social issues. Those conditions follow that population because of their needs. For example as Councilman Campbell had mentioned they will need more fire rescue services because they do not get the proper medical care. Meaning, they will call when they need to go to the emergency room. She said that population would always require a disproportionate amount of public services and resources. She shared it is always a challenge for the government to try to provide for these quality of life issues. She opined this is the reason why other communities try to do everything that they can not to have a large population because it does require a lot more resources from the local government, and they do not want to provide that. Mayor Gibson said when she talks about this issue she always talks about it from a social/economic perspective because that is what is impacted. She said it is not the fact of not wanting that population, but the fact of not being able to provide adequate service. Then it becomes a problem for the city and not the fact that there are problems because populations have shifted. Mayor Gibson provided Mr. Hugh Dodd an opportunity for comments. She acknowledged that Mr. Dodd is a landlord, with voucher tenants. She asked Mr. Dodd how he manages his property and tenants so that the police department is not called for service. Hugh Dodd, 17125 NW 19th Avenue, Miami Gardens, Florida, appeared before the City Council and recounted an incident where the police was called to one of his voucher rental properties. This incident involved someone who came to visit a girlfriend who was "visiting". Under the voucher program a tenant can have a visitor stay for thirty (30) days. The police department did not write a report. He shared when he noticed that one of the windows on the property was broken he went to the police department and got an incident report. The tenant was not involved in the incident. Mayor Gibson asked whether Mr. Dodd had any chronic problems with any voucher tenants or whether he had to evict any. Mr. Dodd said there are certain conditions, which warrants an eviction: 1) not paying the rent, which relative simple; 2) "Other", which is a provision that can be very difficult to prove. He shared that he currently has a tenant whose lease is to be terminated and shared that the electric meter has been tampered with. He shared that he has a police report with regard to this violation. However, he cannot say who is responsible for the tampering. He reiterated, he has evicted tenants for not paying the rent. Zoning Minutes July 1, 2009 Page 10 of 11 12. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to come before this Body, and upon a motion being duly made by Councilman Bratton, the meeting adjourned at 8:28 p.m. Attest: Shirl 'son, Mayor Ronetta Taylor, M . ,City Clerk Zoning Minutes July 1, 2009 Page 11 of 11