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SAFEGUARDS FOR MIAMI BEACH HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROPOSED

CITY COMMISSION CONSIDERATION ON WEDNESDAY

Two important proposals to safeguard historic preservation in Miami Beach will be introduced at the next City Commission meeting on Wednesday, July 18. Your help can have an impact on the outcome of this effort.

Mayor Matti Herrera Bower, a long-time champion of historic preservation, is sponsoring two amendments to the City Charter designed to make it harder to circumvent the city’s historic preservation laws. If approved by the City Commission, voters will be asked to approve the amendments this coming Election Day.

Background:

For decades, the residents of Miami Beach have fought hard to create strong historic preservation laws. Time and again, surveys of residents show historic preservation is one of the most popular of the city’s services. Numerous studies have proven the economic benefits of historic preservation to local businesses and tourism. Not only do our historic districts provide a wonderful quality of life for our residents, they are a source of civic pride, important revenue and world-wide attention.

Lately, a series of clever legal attacks and proposals have emerged that threaten our local preservation laws. Watching this erosion of Miami Beach’s historic preservation standards, Mayor Bower decided to take action.

The Proposals:

One of Mayor Bower’s proposed amendments would require a voter referendum to approve any change in the current law that diminishes the powers and duties of the Historic Preservation Board or weakens historic preservation standards. The other proposal would require voter approval for any increase in the maximum building height in historic districts.

Currently, the City Commission may change Historic Preservation laws at anytime. With the renewed increase in development in Miami Beach and so much money at stake, decisions may be made under great pressure from the powerful development industry at the expense of our community’s historic buildings.

As proposed, maneuvers to weaken historic preservation laws would need to be done in the open by voter referendum – creating a high hurdle for such change.

What You Can Do:

Supporters of historic preservation can help the City Commission understand the importance of these measures.

Attend the City Commission Meeting

When: Wednesday, July 18 at 5 PM. (The proposal has been set for a “time certain” in order to give residents the opportunity to attend).

Where: Miami Beach City Hall, City Commission Chambers, 3rd Floor.

It is important to see for yourself how these proposals are debated. Should the public be asked to speak, you are welcome to explain your support.

and…or

Write the Mayor and Commissioners

Tell the City Commissioners how you feel about the new proposals to protect historic preservation. The names and emails of the Mayor and Commissioners are as follows:

Matti Herrera Bower, Mayor, City of Miami Beach matti@miamibeachfl.gov

Jorge Exposito, Vice Mayor, City of Miami Beach jorge@miamibeachfl.gov

Michael Gongora, Commissioner, City of Miami Beach michael@miamibeachfl.gov

Jerry Libbin, Commissioner, City of Miami Beach jerry@miamibeachfl.gov

Edward Tobin, Commissioner, City of Miami Beach, ed@miamibeachfl.gov

Deede Weithorn, Commissioner, City of Miami Beach, deede@miamibeachfl.gov

Jonah Wolfson, Commissioner, City of Miami Beach jonah@miamibeachfl.gov

Follow Up:

After the meeting, MDPL will send you an email describing the Commission’s discussion and vote results so that you can stay abreast of actions taken by the City Commission.

As always, the Miami Design Preservation League appreciates the dedication and support of our friends in Miami Beach and around the world. Thank you.