Preserve Our History, Protect Our Future

This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. North Beach is at a critical crossroads, and the future of historic preservation — our strongest safeguard against out-of-place overdevelopment — depends on you.

We have two big opportunities in the coming weeks to protect North Beach’s heritage and character, and we need your help to make the most of them.

Master Plan Meeting on Preservation on Monday, May 23rd @ 6:30PM: Attend and Speak Up

Dover, Kohl & Partners are holding a public workshop about local historic designation options at the North Shore Youth Center next Monday, May 23 at 6:30pm. We need you and your friends, family, and neighbors there. Without historic designation, North Beach will remain powerless to protect our local character and scale against demolition and unsuitable development.

Demolition Moratorium in North Beach: Attend Meeting on Wednesday, June 8 and/or Write Commissioners

Commissioners Ricky Arriola (Sponsor) and Joy Malakoff (Co-Sponsor) have proposed a temporary moratorium on demolitions of contributing historic structures within the North Shore National Register and the Normandy Isles National Register Districts until the in-progress Master Plan by Dover, Kohl and Partners is completed and implemented by the Commission. Please contact the Commission (info below) and/or come to the meeting at City Hall on Wednesday, June 8 (time TBD) to show your support. This evening meeting starts with awards at 5PM.  The demolition item should be up for discussion between 6 and 7PM.

There will be intense, profit-driven pressure against both the moratorium and local historic designation, so your voices are absolutely essential. Too often, these conversations are being dominated by calls for relentless development (often via demolition), without enough emphasis on protection of our local character.

Facebook likes and shares can help spread the word, but they can’t substitute for a powerful, live presence at these events. If you want a balanced plan for North Beach’s future, it’s time to show up and show it.

Based on your input, NBNA placed historic districts at the top of our priority list for the Master Plan back in January:

Priority #1 Historic Designation: North Beach deserves local historic designation of our National Register Districts.

North Beach is already recognized by the National Registry for its cohesive, irreplaceable concentration of mid-century modern tropical architecture–and yet our historic neighborhoods remain nearly completely unprotected locally. Local Historic District designation should be the foundation of the Master Plan. (In fact, this designation was unanimously passed by the Historic Preservation Board in 2014 but delayed by city officials until it could be integrated within this planning process.) With development pressure and aggregation of parcels within our RM-1 districts at an all-time high, historic designation offers the best protections to ensure the compatibility of new development within these areas. North Beach deserves the same local designation that has helped preserve the integrity of South Beach without sacrificing suitable development.

This is the community’s only chance to protect not just our historic structures, but the scale and charm and style that make North Beach special. Don’t let it slip past us.

Mayor & Commission

  • Mayor Philip Levine: Ph: 305.673.7035
  • Commissioner Micky Steinberg: Ph: 305.673.7103
  • Commissioner Michael Grieco: Ph: 305.673.7104
  • Commissioner Joy Malakoff: Ph: 305.673.7106
  • Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez: Ph: 305.673.7030 Ext 6854
  • Commissioner Ricky Arriola: Ph: 305.673.7030 Ext 6274
  • Commissioner John Aleman: Ph: 305.673.7102

NBNA Statement on the North Beach Master Plan Steering Committee: Excluding the Majority Undermines the Master Plan

Dear Neighbors-

Happy New Year from North Beach Neighbors Alliance! Looking back on 2015, we are proud and grateful for the many community members whose successful commitment to local advocacy inspired this coalition. We are all looking forward to the North Beach Master Planning process that will kick off 2016 on a positive note.

Unfortunately, we have to report a fundamental problem already. Mayor Levine recently announced his appointments to the Steering Committee that will work closely with Dover, Kohl & Partners on the Master Plan: Margueritte Ramos (Chair), Nancy Liebman, Daniel Veitia, Carolina Jones, and Betsy Perez. Sadly, if perhaps not surprisingly, this committee has been designed to exclude a significant portion of North Beach stakeholders.

While these are valued local voices, they are a highly selective (mis)representation of the North Beach community as a whole. The problem is twofold:

  1. Each of these individuals, with the exception of Ms. Liebman, publicly supported the Ocean Terrace upzoning that was defeated by a significant majority of Miami Beach voters in November. The perspective of such an imbalanced group cannot be considered representative of the city or our community.
  2. All of the North Beach residents on the committee live in exclusive, single-family home districts. This committee includes no representation from the multi-family districts which are the largest and most populous in North Beach and will be most directly affected by the Master Plan.

The Mayor’s appointments send a clear message, intentional or not, about the voters he privileges and those he disregards. This divisive decision was made despite the North Beach Neighbors Alliance’s formal requests for fair representation in letters to the City management team and the Mayor, which never received the courtesy of a response.

This move threatens to undermine the integrity of the entire North Beach Master Plan before the process even begins. Although public input will be invited in the scheduled charrettes hosted by Dover, Kohl & Partners, greater influence will be wielded by the selected Steering Committee. We all know that.

But we also know that this is the decision of one person, made in spite of the clear message sent by the Save Ocean Terrace campaign this past Novemberand perhaps to spite those who contributed to that effort. Such petty politics should not govern this important process. All of us committed to fair representation and democratic decision-making should reject this attempt to divide the community and advocate for healthy dialogue and consensus building. 

To that end, we encourage the following groups to take specific action:

Master Planning Steering Committee

We ask current members to publicly acknowledge the unbalanced committee roster and request the appointment of resident representatives from the RM-1 and other Multi-Family districts of North Beach who shared the majority’s opposition to the upzoning of Ocean Terrace. This would demonstrate your genuine commitment to the community-oriented nature of an ethical Master Planning process.

Dover, Kohl & Partners

We encourage you to inform yourselves about recent debates over planning in North Beach, including the rejected Ocean Terrace FAR increase and the Biltmore Terrace/Eighty-Seven Park bait-and switch, as well as the City Commission’s September 2014 veto of the Historic Preservation Board’s unanimous decision to designate two small local historic districts within the North Shore and Normandy Isles National Register Districts. This will help you recognize and navigate the underlying tensions in this Master Planning process. With this history in mind, we also ask that you take particular care to consider divergent perspectives within the North Beach community.

Miami Beach City Commissioners  

We ask our city leaders to call for the appointment of resident representatives from the RM-1 and other Multi-Family districts of North Beach who shared the majority’s opposition to the upzoning of Ocean Terrace to the Steering Committee. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to all the diverse residents you serve by modeling inclusive, transparent governance. Please do not allow political prejudice to undermine the effectiveness and credibility of the City Commission.


Please stay vigilant and vocal; the future of your neighborhood is at stake. Write to the Mayor ( and Commissioners to voice your concerns about the Steering Committee. Participate early and often in the Master Planning process.

Mark your calendars for these events:

  • Mayor’s North Beach Master Plan Steering Committee Tuesday, January 5 at 8:00am @ Normandy Shores Golf Club
  • Charrette Kick-Off and Hands-On Design Session Thursday, February 11 at 6:00-9:00pm @ North Shore Youth Center
  • Charrette Design Studio & Technical Meetings Friday, February 12 to Wednesday, February 17 at 10:00-6:00pm @ Byron Carlyle Theater
  • Charrette Open House Tuesday, February 16 at 5:00-7:00pm @ Byron Carlyle Theater
  • Charette Work-in-Progress Presentation Thursday, February 18 at 6:00-8:30pm @ North Shore Youth Center

Participate in relevant networks:

Thank you for your attention and care. We look forward to collaborating productively with all of you in the new year.