Involving the community by way of a petition is a great way to support your cause when bringing an issue of concern to the city or responding to an advertised agenda item or publicly posted notice. Our commissioners pay close attention to the number of signatures collected. The Planning and Zoning Board records all information submitted to them and it is added to the record.
- Petitions have the most credibility and will gain the most attention when they are started by a recognized community organization (like an HOA) or a surrounding or abutting neighbor that could be directly impacted by a decision issued by the city. Surrounding, abutting neighbors and community organizations have firmer grounds not only to petition but also to appeal a decision issued by the city.
- Petitions can be created and signed online (change.org), circulated in person or both. Online petitions can be easily transmitted and signed via social media. Hard copy petitions can be signed in person by neighbors and community members via door-to-door request.
- Determine who the recipient/s of the petition will be (ie: City Commissioners, Planning and Zoning Board, HEP Board, etc.).
- Address the goal/s of your petition with supporting details. Make sure your petition is comprehensive and includes all aspects related to your concern. For example, the issue may be a demolition waiver that will impact a canopy tree. Take a holistic approach and widen the scope of the petition to include all surrounding trees that may possibly be impacted, not just the single tree. Think “big picture” without losing focus.
- Be sure the wording is clear, concise and accurate. Keep the wording factual, not emotional. If it is misleading, its impact will be dismissed.
- If the petition is in regards to a City Commission agenda item, warrant, waiver or other item, refer to the case, document, file, folio or other identifying number.
- Cite the specific Miami 21 or NCD Code being addressed.
- Include the address of the property at issue.
- If photos of the site, plans, survey, reports or other supporting documents are available, post (online petitions) or have available to clarify your position.
- All signers must be residents of Miami.
- Let signers know that the only information that will be submitted to the city will be the signer’s name and city, not street address, email or other personal information. In the case of an online petition, names will not appear online unless a comment is added by the signer.
- Paper copies of the petition and signatures must be submitted to the city when the issue is heard. Be sure to liaise with the proper city official so that you will have the required number of petitions to submit. You will need at least one per person for those to whom you are presenting and several additional copies.