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City of Miami Beach
1700 Convention Center Drive
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Phone: 305.673.7000

Design Review Board

Powers and Duties

The Design Review Board shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) To promote excellence in urban design.

(2) To review all applications requiring design review approval for all properties not located within a designated historic district or not designated as a historic site. For works of art in the art in public places program, the design review board shall serve as advisor to the city commission, and may impose binding criteria, as provided in chapter 82, article VII, "art in public places," division 4, "procedures." This authority shall include review and approval of design and location within public rights-of-way outside of locally designated historic districts of all wireless communications facilities as defined in chapter 104, "telecommunications," article I, "communications rights-of-way" under the standards provided therein.

(3) To prepare and recommend adoption of design plans pertaining to neighborhood studies.

(4) To promote reduced crime and fear of crime through the use of crime prevention through environmental design guidelines and strategies, as approved by the city commission.

(5) To hear and decide appeals of the planning director.

(6) To authorize, upon application, variances from the terms of these land development regulations, where authorized by subsection 118-351(a), pursuant to the requirements in chapter 118, article VIII, of the land development regulations, as will not be contrary to the public interest when, owning to special conditions, a literal enforcement of provisions of these land development regulations would result in unnecessary and undue hardship.

(7) The design review board shall serve as the city's floodplain management board in reviewing applications for properties within the board's jurisdiction, and shall have the authority to exercise all powers and perform all duties assigned to such board pursuant to section 54-31, et seq.; Resolution No. 93-20698; and in accordance with the procedures set forth therein as such ordinance and resolution may be amended from time to time. For the purposes of determining jurisdiction, the criteria in subsection 118-351(a) for a variance shall be utilized.


(a) The Design Review Board shall be composed of seven regular members. Seven (7) regular members shall consist of:
1. One architect registered in the United States;
2. An architect registered in the State of Florida or a member of the faculty of the school of architecture, urban planning, or urban design in the State, with practical or academic expertise in the field of design, planning, historic preservation or the history of architecture, or a professional practicing in the fields of architectural design, or urban planning;
3. One landscape architect registered in the State of Florida;
4. One architect registered in the United States, or a professional practicing in the fields of architectural or urban design, or urban planning, or a resident with demonstrated interest or background in design issues; or an attorney in good standing licensed to practice law within the United States;
5. Two persons who are residents at-large and who currently reside in the city and have resided in the city for at least (3) three consecutive years at the time of appointment or reappointment. Additionally, strong preference shall be given to individuals who have previously served on a Miami Beach board or committee and/or completed the Miami Beach Leadership Academy course, and to individuals not currently working in the fields of real estate development, real estate brokerage/sales, real estate law, or architecture; and
6. (a) A licensed professional engineer, licensed professional architect, or licensed professional landscape architect with expertise in water resources; (b) a person licensed by the State of Florida in hydrology, water or wastewater treatment; (c) a person with a degree from an accredited college or university in a field of study related to water resources; (d) a floodplain manager or a principal community administrator responsible for the daily implementation of flood loss reduction activities including enforcing a community's flood damage prevention ordinance, updating flood maps, plans, and policies of the community, and any of the activities related to administration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) (a "water management expert"); or (e) a person who is a resident at-large and currently resides in the city and has resided in the city for at least three consecutive years at the time of appointment or reappointment.

One person appointed by the City Manager from an eligibility list provided by the Disability Access Committee shall serve in an advisory capacity with no voting authority. The Planning Director or designee, and the City Attorney or designee, shall serve in an advisory capacity.
(b) Design Review Board members shall be appointed with the occurrence of at least four members of the city commission. An eligibility list for these professional membership categories may include, but shall not be limited to, suggestions from the following professional and civic associations as listed below:

(1) American Institute of Architects, local chapter.
(2) American Society of Landscape Architects, local chapter.
(3) The Miami Design Alliance.
(4) American Planning Association, local chapter.
(5) The Miami Design Preservation League and Dade Heritage Trust.
(6) Other city civic, neighborhood and property owner associations.

(c) Residency and or place of business. All regular members shall reside in or have their primary place of business in the county, except for the water management expert appointed pursuant to subsection (a)(6), who need not reside in or have a principal place of business in the county, and except as otherwise provided in subsection (a)(5). The two resident at-large members and one of the registered landscape architects, registered architects, or professionals practicing in the fields of architectural or urban design or urban planning shall be residents of the city.

Position Name Contact
Chair Sarah Giller Nelson sg221@yahoo.com
Vice Chair Scott Diffenderfer belleislerealtor@gmail.com
Board Member Sam Sheldon sheldondrb@gmail.com
Board Member Shawna Meyer shawna@ateliermey.net
Board Member Mayra D. Buttacavoli fmb1208@aol.com
Board Member VACANT
Board Member VACANT

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If you have any questions about Public Records, please call the City of Miami Beach City Clerk's office at 305-673-7411.