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APRIL 2013

Dear MBU Members and Fellow Residents: As the season comes to a close, it is an appropriate time to say thank you to all of you for your support and hard work. Miami Beach United continues to grow in membership and outreach to our residents, the City Commissioners, City staff and other stakeholders in our community. The inaugural season of the Speaker Bureau was successful in introducing thought leaders and residents to each other to start conversations about the pressing issues of the day. The Fall schedule is in the planning stages now. Send us your ideas. This month has been very busy. Among the news in this month’s mailing: read about MBU's report card; historical preservation concerns about one of the Beach's entertainment icons, the Jackie Gleason Theater; bringing better and more transit mobility to Miami Beach; and our schedule for the Fall season. Remember, share this newsletter wiht friends, invite them to events and like us on Facebook, MiamiBeachUnited

In this newsletter:     “What Makes a Great American City” Speaker Series Continues MBU Report Card of the City’s Commission Gleason Theater History Miami Beach Residents Bill of Rights Mobility Mania 2013 Calendar of events Membership Renewal New North Beach Chair: Daniel Veitia

Nancy Liebman President


Join us tonight, April 18, at St. John Church entrepreneur, founder of eco-tours Dragonfly Expeditions and author of "South Beach - Stories of a Renaissance." Mr. Kropke is himself a true renaissance man, having been deeply involved in Everglades restoration, food manufacturing (Great American Food Company); inventions brokerage (American Imaginations) and home automation (IntelliNet). His book chronicles the revivification of Miami Beach, particularly South Beach, from its near death experience in the 60s and 70s. It features many of the preservationist pioneers still active in those efforts today: including Mayor Matti Bower, former Miami Beach Commissioner and MBU president Nancy Liebman, and Saul Gross, former City Commissioner, now president of Streamline Properties and MBU Treasurer. Past speakers in this series included Andres Duany, Jaime Correa, Robert Wennett, and Bernard Zyschovich.

at 6pm to meet our next guest in our Speaker Series. CHARLES J. KROPKE will close out Miami Beach United's Speaker Bureau's series, What Makes a Great American City: A Vision for the ! Future of Miami Beach. Kropke is an


APRIL 2013

MIAMI BEACH REPORT CARD Are you ready to provide feedback about our current Commissioners? In the next month, Miami Beach United will send out a survey for members to rate Commissioners. This month MBU is starting the process with a Website. On the Website are the Commissioners’ priorities for 2013 and their voting and attendance records as well as their responses to Miami Beach United’s Commissioner questionnaire which is below. Go to the Website at Miami Beach United Commissioner Questionnaire 1.What are your initiatives in office that define your balance between residents and business interests? 2.What specific actions have you taken to preserve the character of residential neighborhoods from out of scale development and inappropriate uses? 3.What are your plans to improve code enforcement of noise, blighted buildings, illegal uses and/or lack of enforcement on public rights of way? 4.What qualities do you look for when appointing an individual to the city’s Land Use Boards? 5.What programs or legislation have you successfully enacted to improve the quality of life for the residents of Miami Beach? Commissioners who did not respond to the questionnaire and/or provide their list of priorties are noted as NON-RESPONSIVE. AN OVERLOOKED GEM. THE GLEASON THEATER Scratch the surface and you will be surprised by what you find. Following the public presentations by the bidders for the Convention Center project in March, one of the bidders made an illuminating discovery about the origins of the theater of the Performing Arts (aka Gleason Theater). ACE (the Tishman group) plans include restoring the theater and adapting it as a 2 stage – indoor/outdoor venue. During research of theCcity’s archives, ACE discovered a plaque indicating the theater, originally built as the City’s “convention and event space,” was designed by three of the area’s most noteworthy architects of their time, Russell Pancoast, Henry Hohauser and L.Murry Dixon. Morris Lapidus, another nationally recognized architect, renovated and expanded the theater in the 1970s. This new knowledge is a strong indication that the theater should be historically designated and renovated for future creative uses. !


APRIL 2013

BILL OF RIGHTS FOR MIAMI BEACH CITIZENS MBU Supports Amendments to the appealing residents having the option City Charter’s Citizen’s Bill of Rights. of filing a reply brief thereafter: MBU members will meet April 9 for a lively ✦ All residents shall have equal time to discussion to draft the present its case Citizen’s Bill of Rights. ✦Residents shall not The basis for the be required to secure discussion were outlined in counsel to exercise last month’s newsletter and these rights are repeated below. Based ✦All applicants shall on the discussion, make available to the examination of practices of public, no less than 48 other cities and alignment hours before any hearing, all photos, with desired outcomes, a revised draft will be diagrams, plans, renderings or models sent to members before the next discussion planned for presentation or there will be an about the Bill of Rights on WHAT DATE? As automatic continuance until the next hearing always we welcome your thoughts and feedback. date. MBU’s proposes the following be added to Right To Public Hearing the Bill of Rights:   ✦ In any quasi-judicial hearing on a land use ✦ At any zoning or other hearing in which application, all residents and qualified review is exclusively by certiorari, a resident, neighborhood associations within 300 feet of qualified homeowner association or his/her the subject property shall have equal time to counsel shall be entitled to present a case or address and present evidence and to defense by oral or documentary evidence, to reasonably cross-examine witnesses submit rebuttal evidence, and to conduct Neighborhood Association Rights (See such cross-examination as may be required Jacksonville / St.Johns models) for a full and true disclosure of the facts. Every organized, officially recognized The decision of any such agency, board, department or authority must be based upon neighborhood association has the right to expect and receive the following from city officials, the facts in the record. Procedural rules employees and agencies, with specifics further establishing reasonable time and other elaborated in city code. limitations may be promulagated and amended from time to time. ✦ prompt, courteous, informed responses to all questions regarding city business; ✦ City regulations shall afford to all residents and registered homeowner ✦ advance notification of any city-related associations fundamental fairness and due public works or utility project taking place process in all city hearings before all city within or near a neighborhood; boards and committees. ✦ notification of the submission of any ✦ All residents shall be treated equally: application for rezoning, zoning or land use variance, or other significant land use action, ✴ if one party can meet with including all applicable public hearings and commissioners, board or committee other opportunities for public input; members, then all residents appealants shall be able to meet with commissioners ✦ opportunity for formal input into the or board or committee members  annual budget process; ✴ resident appealants to a city board ✦ the opportunity to participate in the shall have fair advance notice of planning of and design of publicly funded respective positions: projects within or near the neighborhood. • if the appealing party is required to "brief " a matter if it retains counsel, then the "other side" should file a response brief with the

ARE YOU A DUES PAYING MEMBER OF MIAMI BEACH UNITED? Your $25 membership will go a long way to support the work of Miami Beach United. You !

can pay online or mail us your dues. The membership form is at the end of this newsletter or you can visit us on the Web:


The city commission held a joint Neighborhoods/ Land Use committee meeting in March. Miami Beach United held a mobility forum last November to discuss connectivity of mobility actions between bikes, cars, transit, and pedestrians. The result of the MBU forum was published in previous newsletters suggesting ways the city can improve its existing mobility plans. At the March commission meeting, there was a lengthy presentation about expanding the Miami Beach Mass Transit Loop to North

Beach, and connecting transportation to the main land. The next topic was a discussion about the city to participating in a mass transit study. A third discussion centered on a Bike Master Plan which could be updated to include segways, skateboards and pedestrian paths. Committee members agreed that they should bring this Master Planning idea to the commission for approval. Commissioner Tobin led the way, agreeing that all mobility issues must be coordinated, not treated as separate subjects. Miami Beach United supported the scope of the master planning action as proposed by the consulting team, Street Plans. An integrated plan will unify all aspects of mobility – rather than the piecemeal planning that has been undertaken by the city in the


WELCOME TO DANIEL VEITIA, Miami Beach United’s new North Beach Chair. Daniel who has been an outstanding activist in North Beach for many years, will be MBU’s eyes and ears on what is happening in North Beach.

NEXT SEASON’S MBU SPEAKERS BUREAU HAS PLANS Preliminary plans for next seasons series of speakers are in the works. The topics of “conversation” are of importance to residents. The theme for the Speakers Bureau will be dedicated to MBU priorities as identified in Miami Beach United’s recent Survey. Flooding, neighborhood intrusions, sustainability, preserving and enhancing neighborhoods’ character and meeting and greeting new City officials including the City manager, the new mayor. In addtion, MBU has plans for a candidates forum. The events will take place on the last Tuesday of each month except December. Do you have ideas for topics and speackers? Let us know. The final schedule will be ready by the summer. Stay tuned to future newsletters for the complete list of programs for the year.

Calendar April 26, 2013

May 15, 2013

9am; Miami Beach United Board Meeting

6pm: Miami Beach United Board Meeting

9 Island Avenue

North Shore Golf Course Important City Events

Convention Center Planning Meetings with Residents or City Commission May 13, 6PM Public Community Meeting, Convention Center, Hall C, Flamingo Ballroom

June 5, TBA City Commission Meeting, City Hall Commission Chambers

May 15, 10AM & 2PM City Commission Workshop, City Hall Commission Chambers


April 2013 Miami Beach United Newsletter  
April 2013 Miami Beach United Newsletter  

April 2013 Miami Beach United Newsletter