North Beach Town Center: Still Debating Development Guidelines

Commissioner Mark Samuelian said he thinks it is important that all projects contribute to a public benefit fund. He said he supported some incentive, but maybe through a discounted fee to ensure all projects contributed. He also said he wanted to “raise the bar” and require an “elevated” level of stormwater retention rather than offering that as a public benefit contribution.

Samuelian said he can see discounts to the “public benefit as a catalyst” and said he was open to “land on a number at 3 plus” per square foot. “If we do want to have incentives for development it seems rational to me that you pay less. I think that’s a big lever to get stuff going, to reduce the amount of the benefit.”

As the discussion wound to a close, Samuelian said, “One thing people said is they want us to move forward.” He proposed increasing the public benefit fee recommended by the consultant and to use a “discount as a catalyst” to move development forward. He also reiterated his desire to have more robust requirements for stormwater retention and reuse.

September 29, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | North Beach Town Center: Still Debating Development Guidelines

Amid complaints about drug dealing, Commissioner gets tough with Police Chief

Commissioner Mark Samuelian said, “Public safety is job one.” Noting the Commission has committed additional resources, he said, “Obviously, what I’m hearing is a concern and I look forward to continuing the discussion and specific policy ideas of how we address it.” Whether it’s additional funding, changes in the traffic or pedestrian environment, he said, “I’m open to ideas but this is top priority.”

September 28, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | Amid complaints about drug dealing, Commissioner gets tough with Police Chief

Budget Nears Final Approval

Mark Samuelian who is going through his first budget process on the Commission and as a member of the Finance Committee said, “We keep running into the CPI thing” referencing the lack of automatic increases to keep up with the Consumer Price Index. “Costs go up every year. We’ve waited years without acknowledging cost increases… that’s partly on us. We need to stop that.”

September 22, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | Budget Nears Final Approval

North Beach Town Center: How high and where?

Commissioner Mark Samuelian said, “This issue has prompted a lot of community outreach… it’s the FAR decision that was the catalyst that drives some of the issues around quality of life, traffic, development. That issue was decided by the voters. We’re here to take it from there.”

He said he understands the concerns expressed about the process. “A certain number of height was latched onto and, maybe looking back,” he said, there might have been a way “to help [residents] better understand” the process that would happen after the vote which, he said, “was the step on a journey but it wasn’t the final answer. But for a lot of people, they heard that was the answer so that was a complication. Nothing mischievous going on but I could clearly see a lot in the community thought we had an agreement” of 125 feet in maximum height.

“We now have to do what’s right with the information that we have,” Samuelian said. “Our goal is revitalize… we need to make sure we get shovels in the ground,” With regard to the public benefit being tied to obtaining a permit within 15 months he said he wasn’t comfortable with that being the only milestone and suggested incorporating temporary certificates of occupancy (TCOs) into the mix.

“On the topic of height, this is a tough one,” he said. “I’m open to considering going above 125. For me, at this point, I find it hard to believe that we would get anything above 200.” He said he would support the proposed guidelines on first reading, knowing the options for variations in height based on location or lot size would be further discussed at the Land Use meeting this week.

September 22, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | North Beach Town Center: How high and where?

Keep raising roads, experts tell Miami Beach, but explain it to residents better

Critics of road raising, including Commissioner Mark Samuelian, argue the city’s “one size fits all” plan to elevate all streets to the same height doesn’t serve residents whose properties are at different elevations and need tailored approaches. The ULI report, Samuelian said, ‘has not materially changed my view.”

September 18, 2018 | Miami Herald | Keep raising roads, experts tell Miami Beach, but explain it to residents better

Miami Beach Pop Event Gets Conceptual Approval

Gelber told the organizers it appeared they had 4 votes but reiterated concerns about public input. Commissioner Mark Samuelian agreed that he might like another month.

Arriola, Alemán, Góngora, and Rosen Gonzalez voted in favor. Gelber, Samuelian, and Steinberg voted no.

September 15, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | Miami Beach Pop Event Gets Conceptual Approval

Convention hotel and a $439M upgrade for Miami Beach? Voters will decide in November

At a MidBeach Neighborhood Association meeting in September, Commissioner Mark Samuelian said the city needs the bonds because it has “a lot of pent-up needs.”

“While we have had sufficient funding to operate the basics of the city, for these type of projects, capital projects, park projects, public safety projects, beachwalk projects, we have not sufficiently funded them,” Samuelian said. “At the end of the day, this is about an investment in the community.”

September 15, 2018 | Miami Herald | Convention hotel and a $439M upgrade for Miami Beach? Voters will decide in November

Miami Beach Referendum Questions – Vote YES!

Dear Friends,

Voting has officially begun!  If you receive your ballot by mail, it may have already arrived.   This year’s ballot has wonderful opportunities for Miami Beach.  Voting YES on all six Miami Beach Referendum questions will help continue to move Miami Beach forward.  Plus, The Miami Herald unanimously recommended YES on all initiatives and below is a brief explanation of each referendum:

Inspector General (Miami Beach Referendum 1)
An independent Inspector General will significantly raise the performance bar at Miami Beach City Hall. Miami Beach voters will help bring this vision and my promise to reality by voting Yes #384.

Convention Center Hotel (Miami Beach Referendums 2 and 3)
The City listened to the voters and your feedback helped shape this new project. The hotel is smaller at 800 rooms and 100 feet shorter than the previous proposal.  A developer will be leasing City land and funding the project, so no tax dollars!  This lease guarantees over $16 million of new city revenue in the first ten years.  The third referendum is the hotel question and the second referendum allows you to decide if you would like a portion of the money generated to go to education, flooding, and traffic measures.  Vote YES #386 and #388

G. O. Bonds (Miami Beach Referendums 4, 5 and 6)
The City established a special committee of residents from across Miami Beach who met diligently for weeks evaluating and prioritizing projects that were most needed.  Please check out www.gomb2018.com for information on each of the Parks, Neighborhoods and Public Safety projects.  We need these critical investments for our community and candidly there really is no great “Plan B.”  Vote YES #390, #392 and #394.

My office is always available to answer questions.  Please feel free to reach out to me at any time.

Yours in service,
Mark Samuelian
Miami Beach City Commissioner

Miami Beach’s Road Raising, Stormwater Climate Adaptation Plan Reviewed

Residents reportedly unhappy with the road raising policy elected Commissioner Mark Samuelian as a lead voice reviewing resiliency projects and slowing some down.

Samuelian reportedly found that he supported City Manager Jimmy Morales’ goals to include permanent generators on stormwater projects, finish projects underway, fix issues on completed projects and integrate alternative solutions like green, blue and grey infrastructure.

September 11, 2018 | EfficientGov | Miami Beach’s Road Raising, Stormwater Climate Adaptation Plan Reviewed