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Miami Beach Referendum 1: the Board of Adjustment

This post is part of our voter guide for the Aug. 28 local and primary elections. Head to the main landing page for a guide to the key races and decisions being made this election.

If you live in Miami Beach, you also have two referenda that you’ll be voting on when you head to the polls on Aug. 28. Per usual, they’re pretty wonky and short on useful context, so we broke them down.

The first referendum will read like this on your ballot:

Amending Composition of the Board of Adjustment Section 2 of City’s Related Special Acts establishes the Board of Adjustment (“BOA”) with seven members, each representing one of the following professions: Law, architecture, engineering, real estate development, certified public accounting, financial consultation, and general business. Shall Section 2 be amended to provide that two of the BOA members shall be “citizens at-large” (no specific profession), and the remaining five members shall each represent one of the above professions?

The [Zoning] Board of Adjustment is responsible for making decisions on Miami Beach residents’ requests to break the zoning rules a little bit, like if they want to build an add-on in their yard in a neighborhood not zoned to allow that kind of thing. The Board of Adjustment gives the thumbs up or thumbs down. The board also interprets zoning regulations when they’re kind of unclear and make decisions on permits requested by property owners.  

Right now, the board always includes one rep from each of the seven professional areas spelled out above. The amendment would allow for two of the seven board members to not hold one of those seven jobs.

If you vote yes, you are approving the amendment and allowing a maximum of two people without land use experience – not necessarily a bad thing, in case it sounds like we’re suggesting that – to sit on the board.

If you vote no, things will stay the way they are.

This post is part of our voter guide for the Aug. 28 local and primary elections. Head to the main landing page for a guide to the key races and decisions being made this election.