Condo Reform Subject of Beach Committee Meeting

“What we have now doesn’t work. We are trusting people to run condominium associations and they are not doing their job.” — Miami Beach Commissioner Luis Garcia

Article Courtesy of the Miami Sun Post

Posted November 17, 2005

More than 50 irate condominium and homeowners showed up Tuesday afternoon at Miami Beach City Hall to voice their opinions on a proposed committee examining condo reform legislation as well as the proliferation of religious institutions in residential neighborhoods.

The joint meeting of the Land Use and Development and Neighborhood and Community Affairs committees took place in the city manager’s conference room, a space that soon proved far too small and inaudible for the crowd of condo owners who stood for several hours struggling to hear commissioners speak and waiting for their turn to be heard.

The first issue on the agenda focused on devising a city ordinance that would demand stricter code violation inspections of condos and condo conversions. Condo owners told horror stories about residential units and buildings, such as the Versailles and Castle Beach on Collins Avenue, being evacuated by the Miami Beach Building Department because of badly managed condo associations that did not take care of code violations. After hearing testimony, Vice Mayor Matti Bower and commissioners Luis Garcia, Saul Gross, and Richard Steinberg all voted to recommend that a committee be formed to identify such condo management problems in the city.

Commissioner Garcia said the committee would probably be established at the next Miami Beach City Commission meeting on December 7 when all the commissioners and mayor are present to vote on it.

“What we have now doesn’t work. We are trusting people to run condominium associations and they are not doing their job,” Garcia said. “And we need this committee to be the voice of the people.”

Some of the topics the special committee would examine are the enforcement of rules and regulations governing condominiums and their associations, the licensing of condo management companies, hurricane preparedness, and open and fair bidding in condos