The Miami Lakes Town Council held its regular monthly meeting on July 9 at the new Government Center building and took the following actions:
• Councilmembers approved an ordinance on second reading to adopt a new official zoning map, which doesn’t change the zoning or classification of any property but rather reflects existing ordinances and approvals.
The adoption of a new official zoning map is consistent with the Town Council’s approval in March of an ordinance reorganizing, consolidating, and reformatting the commercial business and industrial portions of the Town’s land development code, and as a preliminary step toward re-writing this portion of the Town’s land development code.
It furthers the goal of providing a quick and easy reference guide for determining the zoning for any particular parcel.
• Councilmembers approved an ordinance, on first reading, to amend the RO, BU and IU districts and the land use allowed in those districts, in order to modernize the code, remove conflicting and redundant provisions, add regulations for special events and similar improvements.
The town has been undertaking a comprehensive update of the commercial and industrial sections of the land development code (LDC) in three phases.
Phase One included reformatting of the remaining portions of the Miami-Dade County zoning code "inherited" upon the Town's incorporation, which was completed in March. Phase Two, included updating the commercial and industrial (RO, BU and IU) zoning districts and the land uses allowed in those districts.
Phase Three will include comprehensive updates to the Town's zoning approval processes, minor updates to residential zoning districts, a comprehensive update of the Town's signage regulations and addressing miscellaneous items, such as the regulations for communications towers.
Second reading on the ordinance and a public hearing is scheduled for the September 10 Town Council meeting.
• Councilmembers rejected a contract with Southeastern Engineering Contractors recommended by town staff for roadway and drainage improvements for N.W. 154 Street from 84 to 87 avenues, and instead tapped Acosta Contractors Inc., which is constructing the other portion of the project at N.W. 87 Avenue.
The N.W. 154 Street project is to compliment Miami-Dade’s work on expanding N.W. 87 Avenue from 154 Street to 166 Street and further north to Miami Gardens Drive.
Town staff suggested using two different contractors for the project but councilmembers decided to let Acosta handle the entire project after the Lowell Dunn family, which owns the land, expressed concern over the price and two contractors working on the same project might cause a delay in finishing the project.
As part of the N.W. 87 Avenue development agreement, the Dunn family must reimburse the town, including interest, for the work on N.W. 154 Street and 87 Avenue before the family can pull a permit to build a shopping center or residential district near the area.
Southeastern Engineering Contractors proposed project cost was $1,336,261 before lawmakers canceled all bids for the task and gave Acosta the contract for $1.2 million.
• Councilmembers approved a resolution to authorize the town’s engineer, Kimley-Horn and Associates, to provide construction, engineering and observation services while monitoring the N.W. 154 Street roadway and drainage improvements. The contract is worth $40,197.
• Councilmembers approved an interlocal agreement with Miami-Dade County to authorize the 2012-13 parking fines reimbursement program. The accord allows Miami Lakes to receive $2,813 for fines collected during the previous fiscal year upon the town’s affirmation that the funds will be used to improve accessibility and equal opportunity to those with disabilities and conduct disability awareness programs.
• Councilmembers approved a resolution to assign the state lobbying services agreement from Fuentes Consulting Group to Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. to provide state lobbying services, as a result of Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.’s assumption of Fuentes Consulting Group.
• Councilmembers approved a recommendation to oppose Miami-Dade County’s effort to lease some land at Opa-Locka Airport West for rock mining activity until county officials meet first with residents and impose certain restrictions to protect the town from blasting. The targeted area is about five miles west of Miami Lakes.
• Lawmakers approved Councilmember Nelson Rodriguez’s recommendation on creating a resolution to urge the state legislature to change the voting roll laws.
The move stems from a Miami Herald article about a recent mail-in ballot referendum to change the town’s charter where an absentee ballot was sent to the home of a former Miami Lakes resident who has been living in Georgia for 20 years.
Rodriguez said the town’s measure would prevent voter fraud.
• Lawmakers approved a recommendation by Councilmember Tony Lama, at the request of the town’s Neighborhood Improvement Committee, to implement a landscaper program to help keep the town’s lakes and water clean.
Lama said residents expressed concerns over fertilizing close to the shore line, the use of fertilizers with phosphorous, and the disposing of grass clippings in the lakes and drains that can have an adverse effect on the quality of the lakes and rob the lakes of essential nutrients.
Lama’s goal is to educate landscapers of acceptable standards and best practices they should follow.
The Neighborhood Improvement Committee also voted to designate August as Lake Water Quality Awareness month. The committee will be educating the community on things that can be done to ensure the quality of the town’s lakes.