At a recent Miami City Commission meeting, the underlying subject was “covenants,” an agreement in writing between parties whereby one party pledges that something will be done.
One gentleman told the commission that, in his opinion, a covenant with the city had as much worth as a “piece of wet toilet paper.”
Can you imagine a developer given a zoning variance by the city, and entering into a covenant with the city to build a high-rise and provide a set number of “affordable” housing units, and no such units are built?
How about a covenant to rehab a historic property in order to receive millions of dollars in Transferred Development Rights, and after those monies are received, nothing happens for three years? Nothing, until a further covenant is entered to demolish part of what was supposed to have been redeveloped.
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Both cases are hard to imagine until you find out that the city does not even have a mechanism to track these covenants, much less enforce the agreements within them. Only then do you see the full meaning of the gentleman’s statement.
Keep that in mind when entering a covenant with the city. Who will remember it? Who will enforce it?