South Miami

South Miami hires Jane Tompkins as new planning director

Jane Tompkins will serve as South Miami’s newest director of the planning and zoning department after being approved at an April 5 city commission meeting.

The main item

Tompkins, currently a planning professional at Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, will officially start her new role May 2. The commission unanimously approved a resolution allowing City Manager Steven Alexander to hire her. Tompkins previously served as development services director for the city of Coral Gables, after previous roles with Montgomery, Illinois; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Sugar Grove, Illinois; Riverside, Illinois; Kane County, Illinois; and Will County, Illinois.

“She’s my selection for this very critical position,” Alexander said in his report. “She is here tonight as consent is required by the charter. She has a very impressive résumé. I hope you all have had the chance to look at it. She has significant experience in planning and a law degree. She was director of development services for Coral Gables, which included building, planning, and code enforcement for about four years. She not only has experience and understands Florida law but also has local knowledge of our specific area.”

Other business

Affordable Housing: After a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Josh Liebman dissenting, the commission passed a resolution calling for staff to review the affordable housing objective and policies in the city’s comprehensive plan and to recommend any changes to the plan or code.

Oppose FPL: The commission unanimously agreed on a resolution to pay for of an expert witness in opposition to Florida Power & Light’s early cost recovery and concerning a matter before the public service commission.

Restaurant and Parking: A resolution for special use approval to permit a general restaurant at 6144 South Dixie Hwy. passed by a 4-1 vote. Vice Mayor Bob Welsh dissented on the resolution, as well as another successful resolution, which called for the approval on an application for a waiver of off-street parking space requirements on the property.

They said it

“We have some residents that are very passionate,” Welsh said on the dais. “And we had a previous planning director who resigned. Reason No. 2 and reason No. 3 were a couple of passionate citizens. Be warned that South Miami citizens may be passionate. I hope they treat you (Tompkins) kinder than they treated the previous planning director.”

The next meeting

When: 7 p.m. April 20

Where: City Hall, 6130 Sunset Dr., South Miami