1.  Sustainability and Resiliency (Green Building) Ordinance


      On February 10, 2016, the City Commission adopted the Sustainability and Resiliency ordinance which requires LEED Gold certification or Living Building Challenge certification for new constructions over 7,000 square feet or ground floor additions to existing structures that encompass over 10,000 square feet of additional floor area.  


      In order to achieve green building standards, the proposed ordinance requires the payment of a Sustainability Fee prior to obtaining a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, Certificate of Occupancy, or Certificate of Completion.  This fee is set as a five (5%) percent of the construction valuation. If there is a failure to obtain the gold certification, the fee is not refunded or is partially refunded according to the level of certification achieved below Gold. 

      The applicant has up to two years to obtain a full or partial refund of the fee or bond depending on the level of green building certification achieved. Earned fees in the Sustainability and Resiliency Fund shall be utilized to provide public improvements that increase the sustainability and resiliency of the City. Expenditures from these funds shall require prior City Commission approval. Prior to any expenditure, the City Manager shall provide a recommendation to the City Commission.  

      The ordinance will affect projects that apply for review after April 1, 2016. It shall not apply for developments that have an approved order (from the Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, Design Review Board or Historic Preservation Board) or have issued a building permit process number or submitted a complete application for hearing prior this date.      


    2. Sea Turtle Ordinance 

      Sea Turtles are protected by the US Endangered Species Act of 1973 and Florida Statute Chapter 370. It is illegal to harm or harass sea turtles, their nests or hatchlings. The City of Miami Beach is a nesting habitat for three species of protected sea turtles; the Loggerhead, Green, and Leatherback. Annually, beginning in April and extending through early November, the native sea turtles come to nest on our beaches. Sea turtles lay around 100 eggs in a nest and lay between 3 and 7 nests during the summer nesting season. It is important not to disturb hatchlings, eggs or nests since hatchlings need to crawl to the sea unimpeded. Touching nesting females, taking flash pictures of nesting females or hatchlings, or digging into nests is prohibited by law. If you observe someone harassing a nesting or hatchling sea turtle, contact FWC Law Enforcement at (888) 404-FWCC (3922) or *FWC on cellular phones. 

       Turtle nesting season in State of Florida occurs between May 1 and October 31.  However, Turtle nesting season occurs begins on April 1st for Miami Beach to account for the earlier leatherback nesting season. Other areas of the state do not experience sea turtle nesting until approximately May 1. Although turtles prefer dark beaches, many nest on lighted shores due to lack of dark beaches. This jeopardizes hatchlings, which are instinctively attracted to bright lights. Normally, the light that they travel towards is created by the reflection of the moon or stars off the surf. However, beachfront artificial lighting poses a serious threat to hatchlings by disorienting the hatchlings, causing them to crawl away from the ocean and toward the artificial light. On beaches where artificial lighting is visible, nesting females may be deterred from nesting and the hatchlings’ important journey to the sea can be disrupted. To prevent disorientation and adverse impacts on nesting turtles, installation of oceanfront exterior lighting that is disruptive to sea turtles is prohibited by state law (Chapter 62B-55, Florida Administrative Code). The City of Miami Beach has adopted a Turtle Nesting Protection Ordinance to minimize the impact of artificial lighting on hatchlings and nesting sea turtles and thereby protect the endangered species which frequently visits its beaches. The Ordinance encourages light management on private and public lands, preventing light pollution that is problematic for sea turtles and other nocturnal animals. 

    3. Electric Vehicle Ordinance

      On January 13th, 2016, the City passed an ordinance incentivizing the Electrical Vehicle (EV) parking spaces. Except in single-family residential districts, wherever off-street parking is required pursuant to the land development regulations, a minimum of two percent (2%) of the required off-street parking spaces, with a minimum of one parking space, shall contain electric vehicle parking spaces, in accordance with the following standards: 



      (1) In commercial zoning districts, where 20 or more off-street parking spaces are required by the land development regulations, all electric vehicle parking spaces shall be reserved for the exclusive use of electric vehicles.

      (2) In commercial and residential multifamily zoning districts, electric vehicle parking spaces shall, at a minimum, be equipped with an electric vehicle charging station rated at electric vehicle charging level 2.

      (3) For residential uses, electric vehicle charging stations shall be limited to the use of building residents and their invited guests.


      Any residential multifamily or hotel development with 20 or more units shall install and provide access to electrical power supply rated at 240 volts or greater, in all off-street parking facilities, to allow for the installation of additional electric vehicle parking spaces in the future for the exclusive use of residents, guests, invitees, and employees.
      This Ordinance shall take effect on April 1, 2016. See more information about this ordinance at: Electric Vehicle Ordinance


      Great news! Congress reestablished the property tax credit for plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging stations, allowing businesses and consumers to claim 30% of the cost of both hardware and installation for their stations.  If you have installed a charging station since January 2015 or if you will install one through December 2016, you can request the tax credit. See more information below: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/10513 and https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-07-43.pdf


    4. Litter Code Ordinance  
    5. Expanded Polystyrene (Styrofoam) Ordinance   

      The proposed Ordinance provides that no food service provider or store shall sell, use, offer for sale or use, or provide food in expanded polystyrene food service articles. The Ordinance contains exemptions for (1) expanded polystyrene food service articles used for prepackaged food that have been filled or sealed prior to receipt by the food service provider or store, (2) expanded polystyrene food service articles used to store raw meat, pork, fish, seafood, or poultry sold from a butcher case or similar refrigerated retail display or storage case, and (3) not-for-profit corporations, religious organizations, the school district, and county, state, and federal government entities.

      The Ordinance provides for public education by the City from September 15, 2015, to March 14, 2016, to inform food service providers and stores of the provisions of the Ordinance and to provide assistance with identifying alternatives to expanded polystyrene food service articles. Following the City’s public education efforts, the City shall provide for a six-month warning period from March 15, 2016 to September 14, 2016, during which time written warning shall be issued by the Code Compliance Department for violations of the Ordinance, except as to coolers and ice chests, for which a 60 day warning period is provided for through and including November 13, 2015.

      Beginning November 14, 2015, the Code Compliance Department shall start enforcing violations of this Ordinance associated with ice chests and coolers. Starting on September 15, 2016, the enforcement and penalty provisions of the Ordinance with regard to all other expanded polystyrene food service articles (in addition to coolers and ice chests) shall take effect. The Ordinance imposes civil fines of $50.00 for a first violation within a 12-month period, $100.00 for a second violation within a 12-month period, and $500.00 for a third or subsequent violation within a 12-month period. Once a notice of violation is issued, the named violator may elect to pay the civil fine or request an administrative hearing before a special master. The Ordinance also includes provisions for a financial hardship waiver that may be requested from the City Manager under certain circumstances.

    6. Recycling Ordinance   
    7. Green Procurement Ordinance
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