Workforce Housing, Trolley 1/9/2018

WAvNA Meeting Minutes
January 9, 2018, 6:30pm, Mirador, 1200 West Ave

 *Surface Parking Lot at 1623 West Ave (P23) – Presented by: Office of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP), and Housing and Community Development

Moderator explains that this is currently a surface lot and neighbors are concerned about a garage blocking views and about the effectiveness of turning city owned land into workforce housing.

Staff CIP describes the proposed building:

A 75-foot-tall structure and 1st floor retail and parking, 2nd floor parking, with a total of 90 parking spaces. The top 4 floors are 64,000sf with approximately 64 apartments.

None of the apartments will have parking, the 90 spaces are open to the public.

The city would fund $9M for entire shell of the structure which includes the $5M parking component, hence $55,000 per parking space. Then a bid process would choose a developer who would spend about $21M to buildout the workforce housing units. The developer would then own the apartments and the city would own the parking spaces. The apartments would be dedicated workforce for a certain number of years then revert to market price.

Staff at Housing and Community Development defines workforce housing:

Criteria to qualify for workforce housing is income level, generally $50k-$70k for individual, and $64k-$90k for a family of three. The tenant would have to work on the beach. And another criteria being considered is work field;  for example a city employee or be employed in a life safety occupation like nurse, police officer, and fire personnel.

The purpose of workforce housing is to create affordable housing for families that work on the beach and also to reduce commuter traffic.

After the private developer’s workforce obligation terms out, the apartments would convert to market price. The number of years the workforce housing remains was unknown.

An audience member stated that it was discriminatory and illegal to exclude certain tenants with certain occupations and require that tenants must work on the beach. Housing Dept representative disagreed.

A vote was taken by show of hands and membership unanimously opposed at 1623 West Ave, a parking garage and opposed workforce housing.

*Condo Directors Club

Announcement by Chairperson Tim Carr that the next meeting is Jan 22nd at 6:30pm at 1200 West Ave at Mirador Condominium community room.

*Pause West Ave Improvement Project Phase II

Commissioner Mark Samuelian explained that the city is using a consultant to review all previous and current flood prevention projects in order to get a second opinion. Therefore, the West Ave project will be paused until results of report are complete. (Update – Public Works Dept states the report will complete end of this March)

*New Citywide Free Trolley –  Pros and Cons.

The Transportation Dept was present to hear from a dozen members that commented. Member remarks: the trolley should have a second door, front seats are too high, aisle too narrow for handicap, drivers take long rest time breaks, wait time for trolley 30 minutes, we can walk faster than the bus, drivers do not speak English, too crowded and many forced to stand.  (Update 1/20/2018 to the previously announced changes. After feedback from the community, South Beach Loops A and B are being extended to the Collins Park neighborhood, however, the Via 10th Street Loop will remain as is. Expect the average service frequency to now be 20 minutes on those loops. Beginning Monday, January 22)

*Miami Beach Crime Prevention & Awareness Group

Unfortunately, we ran out of time so this group will return at next Wavna meeting, Feb 4th.

* Meeting Adjourned

Note: Video 1623 West Ave garage/workforce housing appeared at Commission Jan 17, 2018 http://miamibeachfl.swagit.com/play/01172018-1245/#110