The North Miami City Council met Tuesday, June 9. Newly elected Councilman Alix Desulme served at his first meeting.
The main item
North Miami took a step toward dealing with illegal short-term rentals Tuesday night by approving part of a proposed law that would prevent advertising for rentals of fewer than three months.
The ordinance was passed on first reading, and on the second vote the council plans to pass a more complete law.
The city intended to create a residential rental license program requiring property owners to obtain a license on a yearly basis. The landlords would have to meet certain standards, including providing fire extinguishers, limiting parking and meeting other requirements along with allowing the city to inspect the rental units.
Residents at the meeting said they appreciated the city’s effort to curtail the illegal activity but said the law needed more specific language. Additionally, property owners said they felt uncomfortable about allowing the city to enter the units for the required inspections.
“What this is just doing is kind of chipping away and making it difficult for people to do business illegally in the city,” City Attorney Regine Monestime said.
▪ Travel policy: The city council approved a plan to create travel expense guidelines for elected officials and city employees. Council members and staff will have to provide a “public purpose” for their travel, and guidelines will specify ineligible travel expenses. The plan comes after the city had to pay about $33,000 in fines to the Internal Revenue Service due in part to unaccounted travel expenses for a trip to Haiti in 2012.
▪ Public-private partnerships: The council approved a resolution to create formal procedures for supporting public-private partnerships in the city’s downtown redevelopment area. The item also called for a feasibility study, which the council asked to be delayed until they can approve it and be provided a cost estimate.
▪ Code enforcement fines: Certain code violators in North Miami may face a daily fine of up to $1,000 after the council voted to increase the amount from $250. The fines are given at the discretion of a special magistrate and are for “notice cases,” not violations that are addressed through normal tickets, according to North Miami police Maj. Robert Bage.
They said it
“I’m sure that a lot of you know that they are lies, but as a politician it’s OK. I have endured it and I’ve learned from it, believe it or not” — Outgoing Councilwoman Marie Steril, addressing the negative press she received during her tenure in North Miami.
You said it
“If people are worried about traffic on Biscayne Boulevard, they should move to the country.” Resident Howard Tonkin during public comment on a proposed Volvo showroom project.
The next meeting
▪ When: 7 p.m. June 23.
▪ Where: North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125th St., North Miami