Recap of the April 12th, 2022 Historic Preservation Board

Recap of the April 12th, 2022 Historic Preservation Board

Below is a recap of the outcomes from the April 12, 2022 Historic Preservation Board meeting. MDPL’s Advocacy Committee positions from our previous post are included for your reference. Please note, the lack of a position on a project does not indicate support for or opposition to that project. To review the Historic Preservation Board Agenda, including public participation information:

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CONTINUED ITEMS

2. HPB21-0486; 411 Michigan Avenue, 419 Michigan Avenue & 944 5th Street

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An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the total demolition of one existing building, the renovation, restoration and relocation of one existing building, the construction of a new office building, a variance to eliminate the open court requirement and one or more waivers.

Continued

Continued to June 14, 2022 meeting. Members of the Board had concerns with the proposed building’s massing and the demolition of one of the contributing structures on the property.

Ricardo Lopez Kirk Paskal Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin
Ricardo Lopez, Chair Kirk Paskal, Vice Chair Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein-Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin

MDPL position (Click to expand)

We thank the applicant and their team for their presentation to the advocacy committee. We understand their objectives and design plan. This site has been an eyesore for many years due to the previously approved project never having been completed. 

We are enthusiastic about the plan to elevate the historic building on the site and

the street. We thank the applicants for their commitment to historic preservation in this regard.

However, we are not able to support the overall project as currently proposed due to significant concerns related to certificate of appropriateness standards. Even, with a few extra feet setback from the adjacent neighbors, the overall compatibility, scale, remain.

Compatibility: we have concerns about the contextuality of the new construction and how it relates to historic buildings and surroundings, in particular to the low-scale south of fifth historic neighborhood and lack of distinct but compatible design methodology of the project. The building as currently proposed is out of scale to the historic district and would encroach on the neighboring properties – particularly to the south – in a way that we do not believe would be sensitive or compatible to its surroundings.

We understand that the owners would prefer to build on the foundation of the previously approved but unfinished project on the site. However, this element of their program greatly increases the overall scale of the structure, creating a large indoor atrium that pushes all sides of the building outward. As such, we oppose the design as currently proposed, including the setback variance.

3. HPB21-0495; 622 15th Street

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An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the partial demolition, renovation and restoration of the building on the site, the classification of the rear accessory building as Non-Contributing, the total demolition of the rear accessory building, the construction of a new detached rear addition and variances from the required setbacks and the minimum average apartment unit size.

Continued

Continued to June 14, 2022 meeting.

Ricardo Lopez Kirk Paskal Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin
Ricardo Lopez, Chair Kirk Paskal, Vice Chair Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein-Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin

MDPL Position (Click to expand)

We appreciate the design proposal which includes rehabilitation of the main building and bringing back original elements of the design. We applaud the applicant for their design.

However, we cannot support the proposed reclassification of the contributing building in the rear of the lot along with its proposed demolition. We believe this building could be restored. The building clearly reflects the same design style of the primary building and is listed as contributing.

This is not a new position for MDPL. We remain committed to preserving contributing buildings that maintain their architectural integrity and are able to be restored. Removal of such features erases an important characteristic of these historic structures.

NEW APPLICATIONS

4. HPB21-0492; 225 37th Street

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An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the total demolition of the existing buildings on the site and the construction of a new synagogue and variances from the required lot size, lot width, setbacks, projections and yard elevation.

Continued

Continued. The board asked for a historic resource report to better understand the history of the site.

Ricardo Lopez Kirk Paskal Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin
Ricardo Lopez, Chair Kirk Paskal, Vice Chair Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein-Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin

MDPL Position (Click to expand)

MDPL Position:

MDPL appreciates the proposal and the needs of the congregation. We do not believe the application is complete, because it lacks a historic resources report showing the evolution of the building and its history.

MDPL in its preliminary research found the below photo of the original structure. It appears from comparing the aerials in the staff report that the existing structure, a contributing building in the historic district, may still be intact. With the newly uncovered historic photo of the original structure, we would encourage additional analysis of what could be done with the property. Perhaps an alternative can be developed to meet the needs of the congregation while also bringing back the historic structural to its original front facade.

Photo credit: Miami-Dade County

In the architect’s letter of intent, it is mentioned that renovation of the historic structure would trigger the 50% rule, requiring the demolition of the structure. However, with historic preservation incentives, the 50% rule will not require total demolition of the structure.

We encourage further study of this project to determine if there are alternatives to demolition.

5. HPB22-0500; 3900 Collins Avenue & 227 39th Street

Proposed Structure

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An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the partial demolition and renovation of the existing building located at 3900 Collins Avenue, including modifications to the lobby and south façade, landscape and hardscape improvements and variances from the required setbacks.

Certificate of Appropriateness – Approved

Ricardo Lopez Kirk Paskal Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin
Ricardo Lopez, Chair Kirk Paskal, Vice Chair Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein-Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin

Variances – Approved

Ricardo Lopez Kirk Paskal Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin
Ricardo Lopez, Chair Kirk Paskal, Vice Chair Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein-Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin

MDPL Position (Click to expand)

MDPL Position:

We appreciate the efforts to restore the lobby and to update the ground floor program to meet the needs of the ownership. The expanded restaurant and garden upgrades will bring new life to this Albert Anis design.

As far as the demolition proposed for the side of the building, we would encourage the exploration of a more sensitive program that would allow for the windows/doors to be replaced at a future date. As an example, extending the central window to become a door, and leaving the other two doors as-is, might meet the needs of the program while reducing the level of demolition.

6. HPB22-0502; 301 Ocean Drive

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An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the replacement of existing cast concrete and solid masonry railings with new aluminum railings.

Continued

Continued. Applicant was requested to examine railing options that better fit the original Melvin Grossman design.

Ricardo Lopez Kirk Paskal Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin
Ricardo Lopez, Chair Kirk Paskal, Vice Chair Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein-Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin

MDPL Position (Click to expand)

MDPL Position:

We appreciate the proposal to update the railings. The new railings proposed are not unattractive, however we believe that with further study the railings can better match the original design.

7. HPB22-0506; 1 Lincoln Road and 1671 Collins Avenue.

Proposed Structure

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An application has been filed requesting a rehearing of the December 13, 2021, decision of the Historic Preservation Board to deny, without prejudice, a Certificate of Appropriateness for the partial demolition and renovation of two buildings on the site, the total demolition of one building, the construction of an attached ground level addition at the northeast corner of the site and the construction of an attached addition and modifications to the rear yard site plan. If the request for a rehearing is granted, the original application may be heard immediately.

Denied

Ricardo Lopez Kirk Paskal Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin
Ricardo Lopez, Chair Kirk Paskal, Vice Chair Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein-Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin

MDPL Position (Click to expand)

We support the Staff Recommendation to Deny the Petition for Rehearing.

DISCUSSION ITEMS

8. Height Increase for Office Buildings in the CD-3 District – Ordinance

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Motion passed recommending Commission delay second reading so the board can review the proposal’s context and view corridors in greater detail in relation to the historic district.

Ricardo Lopez Kirk Paskal Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin
Ricardo Lopez, Chair Kirk Paskal, Vice Chair Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein-Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin

MDPL Position (Click to expand)

MDPL believes that any height increases proposed in a historic district should be part of an adopted community master plan.

In the case of this proposal, we have concerns about the lack of front setback requirements for new developments located along the east side Washington Avenue north of Lincoln Road and South of 17 Street in the CD-3 zoning district as part of the proposed height increase from 50 to 80 feet.

As presented, the applicant’s proposed project appears to have zero-foot front and side setbacks, which has the risk of overwhelming the historic Greenview Hotel located directly to the north.

This appears to be a situation that may violate the Secretary of Interior Standards if the proposed structure is not sensitive to its adjacent historic structures. Placing the final decision on the Historic Preservation Board – without proactive planning to ensure compatibility of the new structure – may lead to significant delays in the approval/entitlement process.

For this reason, we are making our recommendations public well in advance, in hopes that the HPB and/or Commission can work on additional setbacks to ensure compatibility.

As you are aware, a similar issue has come up regarding compatibility as it relates to a new proposed office project at 5th Street and Michigan Avenue. When the project arrived at the HPB, multiple adjacent property owners voiced their concerns about the lack of setbacks and the overwhelming nature of the new structure.

Now – while the code is proposed to be amended – is the proper time to address setbacks and compatibility concerns, not during design review at a land use board.

9. Collins Avenue MXE Height Amendments

View Item Details:

Discussion will continue at June HPB meeting.

MDPL Position (Click to expand)

MDPL Position:

While this may have good intentions, we have serious concerns about a potential 50% height increase for new buildings and additions in our city’s most historic district without basic planning elements in place to ensure compatibility and sensitivity for new construction. This current proposal lacks:

  1. A Master Plan looking comprehensively at the district including proposed land use changes and design guidelines for compatibility of new construction and additions
  2. Renderings and/or massing studies showing what a 75′ addition or new building might look like behind or next to a historic building
  3. Proposals/interest from property owners along Collins Avenue demonstrating how their property could benefit from a 50% height increase

The above three items should be solicited / considered before passing a 50% height increase in the Art Deco District. If passed as-is, this would be the first significant height increase without an adopted community master plan. Our Art Deco historic district deserves better!

Punting the compatibility decision to the Historic Preservation Board to consider on a case-by-case basis is a recipe for tension, lawsuits between property owners, and endless lobbying… such as is happening now on upper Collins Avenue between 17th and 23rd streets.

10. Discussion Regarding Historic Oceanfront Hotels that are currently exposed to the elements and unprotected while awaiting renovation.

Deferred to next meeting

11.  State Historic Preservation Office – National Register Nomination for the North Beach Bandshell (7275 Collins Avenue)

Board passed two motions:

Motion 1: To support the State’s application for nomination of the North Beach Bandshell to the National Register of Historic Places.

Ricardo Lopez Kirk Paskal Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin
Ricardo Lopez, Chair Kirk Paskal, Vice Chair Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein-Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin

Motion 2: To urge the Mayor and City Commission to reconsider the name change from North Beach Bandshell to the Miami Beach Bandshell.

Ricardo Lopez Kirk Paskal Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin
Ricardo Lopez, Chair Kirk Paskal, Vice Chair Nancy Liebman Laura Weinstein-Berman Barry Klein Stuart Reed Ray Breslin

12. Collins Canal – possible historic designation (requested by Board member Reed)

Board passed unanimous motion for staff to prepare a preliminary elevation report.

13. U.S. Post Office, 1300 Washington Avenue – update (requested by Board member Liebman)

Deferred to next meeting

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