Tips for Appealing a Decision At a Planning and Zoning Appeals Board (PZAB) Meeting

  1. This board, comprised of eleven members, one alternate and one school board member, meets on the first and third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 PM at Miami City Hall. For more detailed information, please refer to Chapter 62 of the Miami City Code. https://www.municode.com/library/fl/miami/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIITHCO_CH62PLZO_ARTIIIPLZOAPBO
  1. The Planning and Zoning Department can provide specific and complete instruction regarding paperwork required for an appeal. The appeal must be filed with the Hearing Boards Office. http://www.miamigov.com/hearing_boards/Aboutus.html
  1. Appeals Checklist: http://www.miamigov.com/Hearing_Boards/pages/App_forms/AppealsChecklist.pdf
  1. Prepare and submit into the record at the meeting, petitions specific to your property issue either by walking your neighborhood, online or both. https://www.change.org/start-a-petition
  1. When preparing arguments, it is best to stick to arguments based on violations of the actual code and not “this is not Grovey” – though this is an important part of the argument it is not something that Planning and Zoning can deny people property rights on. The more Code you can note and show actual violations the stronger your appeal.
  1. Keep your arguments professional, straightforward and courteous – it will not help your case to demonize or make false assumptions about the developer. Argue they must follow code.
  1. Provide facts and data to support your appeal, not opinion.
  1. If you have report from an outside consultant such as an arborist, it is advisable to ask the consultant to appear in person rather than submit the report on its own. Personal appearances are much more effective than reports.
  1. If photos exist that support your appeal, enlarge them and bring copies. Visuals are far better than verbal descriptions.
  1. Enlist the support of your neighbors in person and via social media. (Facebook, NextDoor, Grove Watch) Encourage their attendance at the meeting. Bring signs and ask neighbors to help display them.
  1. This is a semi-judicial process, which means at the hearing the appellant may submit documents, call witnesses and rebut claims of the developer/owner. Prepare a presentation and ask others to speak on your behalf.  Each speaker will be allotted two minutes. A laptop connection is available at City Hall with projection capability for visuals. Bring hard copies of any materials to be submitted and entered in the record. (including petitions) The appellant must have sufficient copies of documents/submittals for each board member and zoning representative.
  1. Hire a Court Reporter should there be a question after the meeting has concluded. The cost is roughly $150. A company we have used before is: Verbatim Support Services Phone 954-467-8204 Email: scheduling@apex-rg.com
  1. Make sure if an agreement is made with the developer, it is recorded IN WRITING. Verbal agreements are not advised. This can be done with a covenant.  This is a legal agreement which assures that the decision between parties will be honored. See this link regarding covenants: https://www.municode.com/library/fl/miami/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIITHCO_CH62PLZO_ARTVCOAGBEPLZOAPBO_S62-21COAGPRAP

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