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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, for anyone who went to the Miami21 meeting this morning... have they finally released anything resembling a concrete, tangible detail regarding proposed changes to existing zoning laws? Or did they spend the entire meeting giving a PR sales pitch, then piss off everyone who was there at the crack of dawn by saying that there are still no hard details, and everything is still up in the air?
 

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Miami Canes ^^ ,
Miami21, to me, it means it took the City of Miami to get out of Financial problems for 21 years :baaa: :rofl: SOLD the Miami Marine Stadium, the Old Bobby Murano Baseball stadium, the WaTSON ISLAND PARK AND JAPANEESE gardens, to Parrot Jungle , well anyway :soapbox: ,
The Midtown Two topped off yesterdAY WITH A TREE :applause: on top,

it was a site to see , check it out on the Wachovia cam , zoom in to the Midtown site,

Go Cranes !!! :banana2: :cheer: :pepper:
 

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They were supposed to present their first draft today. I'd check the papers tomorrow for more information on it. I looked at their generic zoning code that they linked to the meeting as reference material and it looked overally generic. Most of the city would fall under two of the six types of zones described. Chuck, who owns the marine stadium? I always assumed it was county owned land.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I'm suspecting that they showed lots of pretty diagrams, gave themselves a pep rally, and ultimately didn't tell the people who showed up a thing they didn't already know. None of the local media's web sites even have so much as a hyperlinked blog entry. Call it a hunch, but if they had real materials with hard information there, I suspect that at least the Herald would have it mentioned somewhere.

The most dangerous part of the whole thing are the proposed(?) "Zoning in Progress" rules. They can call them anything they want, but regardless of their flowery reassurances, it WILL turn into a de-facto building moratorium unless they either commit to NOT proposing changes more than once every 3-6 months, or amend the rules so that someone who gets sent to the penalty box due to a proposed new restriction could resubmit it within 180 days and be guaranteed approval if it complies with the most restrictive of all the proposals known to exist as of the original submission date, regardless of what happens afterward.

I think the City is so used to dealing with big, wealthy skyscraper developers that it's completely oblivious to just how financially devastating the "Zoning in Progress" rules could be to a future homeowner trying to get a house built in the City who potentially keeps getting kicked in the teeth by laws that endlessly and unpredictably change on a weekly basis without warning while he's simultaneously trying to close on a construction-to-permanent loan and get the necessary building permit. ESPECIALLY given the City's apparent new policy of keeping zoning laws a complete secret up to the moment they get adopted and become binding.
 

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I can see this working out and benifiting the City of Miami GREATLY!

Posted on Sun, May. 14, 2006

DEVELOPMENT
Miami's new look makes public debut
The first draft of the Miami 21 zoning overhaul went public with a flurry of simplified rules, maps, charts and sketches that aim to impose clarity, consistency and urban harmony on the city's helter-skelter development.


BY ANDRES VIGLUCCI
[email protected]

Tattered Northwest Second Avenue could be lined with town houses and live-work units -- homes where residents live above their own businesses. The bayfront might see no more supersized condo surprises. No longer would exposed parking garages mar city street fronts.

The first public peek at Miami 21, the city's months-overdue zoning overhaul, served up ample details Saturday to scores of residents, activists, developers and lawyers at the Coconut Grove Expo Center -- and left some as-of-yet-unresolved questions on their plates.

It also brought the first, if still tentative, schedule for enactment of the initial portion of Miami 21, covering the city's development-crazed eastern quadrant: After numerous public hearings and workshops, a final City Commission vote would occur in September.

That gives residents, developers, city officials and their planning consultants several months to digest a heavy meal that sandwiches new blueprints for shady, pedestrian-friendly streets, sidewalks, neighborhoods and commercial corridors between novel zoning terms, formulas and concepts.

The aim of the intricately comprehensive plan -- detailed in charts, maps and sketches that will be available Monday at wwwmiami21.org -- is to bring clarity and predictability to the city's Byzantine zoning rule book, which many blame for Miami's helter-skelter development.

''It's good,'' said Alan Ojeda, a Brickell-area developer who sat through much of Saturday's four-hour presentation. ``I think it will simplify life for a lot of people.''

Among other features, Miami 21 jettisons pages of legalistic zoning verbiage and replaces them with charts and diagrams that would permit anyone to easily determine the building shape, scale and allowable uses on any particular site in the city.

It also condenses multiple layers of existing zoning categories into a set of development zones, called transects, that range from suburban-style single-family neighborhoods to the densest, sky-is-the-limit downtown districts.

STRICT RULES

The result, planners hope, will be more-orderly development, governed by strict rules that pinpoint areas fit for higher density -- including some major intersections such as Northeast 79th Street and Biscayne Boulevard in the east quadrant -- while drawing clear demarcations around adjacent residential neighborhoods.

Density would drop in some other places, but overall development capacity across the city would remain about the same as under the current code -- a concern for developers and owners worried about property values.

Miami 21 would also place greater emphasis on historic preservation. It proposes allowing owners of historic buildings to sell air rights to developers in high-density areas such as downtown, enhancing the economic viability of old buildings.

''As a community we have to identify the places where we want to grow and the places we want to preserve,'' said the city's lead consultant, planner and architect Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. ``And that's what we're trying to do.''

Still, in spite of a generally open-minded reception, Saturday's presentation did not quell lingering skepticism about the city's intentions from some residents whose neighborhoods have been besieged by a wave of intense redevelopment and who regard Mayor Manny Diaz's administration as overly friendly to developers.

Chief among their concerns: that in attempting to standardize and streamline the application process for new development projects, Miami 21 appears to grant city planners authority to approve new buildings without public hearings or notification.

''Basically, this is preapproving everything in the future,'' said Hadley Williams, president of Miami Neighborhoods United, a citywide group. ``The overall planning intention is excellent, but this is very troublesome. There has to be a way for the public to participate.''

OPTIONS OPEN

Planners are looking for a way to do that but haven't settled on any option, Plater-Zyberk said. She emphasized that the plan outlined Saturday -- which includes a proposed new zoning map for the eastern quadrant -- is a working draft and that public feedback will play an important role in determining its final shape.

''A lot of things are still malleable,'' she said.

Others expressed concern that the plan, while accommodating future public transit, won't do much to curb growing traffic congestion.

Plater-Zyberk said the plan seeks to reduce automobile dependency by redirecting larger-scale development, which now occurs haphazardly along the city's main commercial corridors, to denser ''nodes'' at major intersections that would serve as pedestrian-friendly centers for surrounding neighborhoods.

By mandating active storefronts, wider sidewalks and the planting of shade streets in commercial districts, Miami 21 would enhance the city's ''public realm'' to make walking safer and more appealing. Eliminating exposed garages and minimizing garage openings along pedestrian corridors is part of that strategy, Plater-Zyberk said.

The plan would also establish new townhome zones to buffer single-family neighborhoods from over-scaled high-rises already built on the commercial corridors -- a potentially controversial notion that would in some places require replacement of blocks of single-family homes.

SOME OPPOSITION

Activist Elvis Cruz of Morningside circulated fliers at Saturday's meeting opposing the idea, which he said would lead to greater congestion in single-family neighborhoods. Instead, he urged strict three-story height limits on buildings outside of downtown.

Miami 21 would institute height limits outside of downtown, but at greater heights than that -- ranging from eight stories to 48 stories, depending on the area.

But by changing the generous formula now used to calculate allowable building volume, Miami 21 would curtail developers' ability to supersize towers in many places, especially lots fronting water or parks, said assistant planning director Lourdes Slazyk.

Bonuses that now allow developers to add floors -- for instance, by paying into an affordable-housing fund -- will likely be kept. However, the price will go up, from the $12 a square foot to somewhere between $60 and $200, and, in some cases, developers may be required to build affordable units in their projects or elsewhere.

But their buildings, Slazyk said, ``will have a cap, and it can never be higher than that.''
 

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DGM said:
They were supposed to present their first draft today. I'd check the papers tomorrow for more information on it. I looked at their generic zoning code that they linked to the meeting as reference material and it looked overally generic. Most of the city would fall under two of the six types of zones described. Chuck, who owns the marine stadium? I always assumed it was county owned land.
DGM :) , the only land the county owns is the HUGE Wastewater treatment plant whicj I worked at 22 years ago in the back of the Marine stadium land, which the city of Miami sold to a private deeloper to build a hotel and marina,

The Stadium has been condemmmed since Hurricane Andrew :bash: , and has been close since then
also the City of Miami still owns Virginia Key beach and charges :bash: tourists to use it, anyways, nothing was ever built at thses locations.
 

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Activist Elvis Cruz of Morningside circulated fliers at Saturday's meeting opposing the idea, which he said would lead to greater congestion in single-family neighborhoods. Instead, he urged strict three-story height limits on buildings outside of downtown.

Miami 21 would institute height limits outside of downtown, but at greater heights than that -- ranging from eight stories to 48 stories, depending on the area.
48 stories outside of Downtown? I wonder what their idea of the borders of Downtown are?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The media and blogsphere silence is creepy and deafening. Yeah, I saw the fluffy Herald article. It looks like they wrote it straight off the planning department's press release.

They really must NOT have leaked anything that could be considered a hard detail on Saturday, or at least not allowed anyone access to stuff long enough to copy them down. I suspect a transect map showing lot-by-lot breakdowns was nowhere to be found, nor will one be at any of the meetings later this week. Sigh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
YAY! Details. Finally. Including a proposed transect map. At www.miami21.org

Now, if they'd just re-save the powerpoint document in non-compressed form, at full-resolution, so the fine print on the detail pages is actually legible... but anyway, it's a start.

Bummer, though... the height limit is still 2 stories/25 feet, so my fantasy of building a pair of 3 story postmodern Chicago/Lincoln Park-like urban mansions still isn't going to happen :(

Yeah, I've had a few dreams at night of building something like this (and inspiring the rest of the block to do the same), but with another story for the Master Bedroom (above the left side) and roof deck w/jacuzzi (above the right side)...



^^ I just love the visual interplay between the tree and tiny grassy lawn, the fence pillars, the fence, the stairs, the basement light garden, and zig-zag cadence between left and right sides. Sigh.
 

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On page 153 of the Draft Document there is a complete FAA height restriction map for the City but its pretty hard to read the numbers. Its funny how the 1000+ height limits start just offshore of brickell key where THERE IS NO LAND. The FAA would allow 1000+ footers on South Beach :runaway:
 

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A development moratorium??

http://www.miamisunpost.com/seventhstoryfrontpage.htm

Developers Screwed?
Property Owners Gripe About Proposed Highland Park Down-Zoning
Developers attending the Miami 21 meeting argued that Highland Park no longer holds any historical value.

By Tiffany Rainey

As the details of the first draft of Miami’s proposed comprehensive zoning plan are ironed out with a series of public meetings in city Neighborhood Enhancement Team offices, already developers in Highland Park, the area surrounding the Civic Center, are expressing concern.

At Tuesday night’s meeting to discuss the changes the Downtown and Overtown sections included in Miami’s “East Quadrant” that will serve as a model for the rest of the city, several people with real estate interests in the area contested what would amount to a down-zoning of their land.

“The whole state is in a panic for workforce housing and some of those opportunities are in Highland,” said Frank Amedia of Amadi Companies, which is currently proposing a project at 1212 NW Seventh Court. “What you’ve done by down-zoning is increase the price per door.”

According to Amedia, his property and others in the area are purchased on a price-per-door basis, meaning that developers pay in accordance with how many units can be developed on a site. By decreasing the density allowance, developers will be forced to charge more for units since there will be fewer than they initially paid for, Amedia said.

Miami 21 representative Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk pointed out that the change in zoning from R-4, which allows 150 units per acre, to T5, a newly minted transect zoning that allows 45 to 75 units per acre — depending on whether the land is considered restricted, limited or open — was decided due to historical consideration for the area. Preservation, along with workforce housing, is one of the Miami 21’s goals, according to the draft.

“That area is a question in our mind,” Plater-Zyberk said. “There’s some momentum to keep the historic aspects [of the neighborhood].”

Developers attending the Miami 21 meeting, which amounted to about 60 percent of the landowners in the area according to one developer’s calculations, argued that Highland Park no longer holds any historical value.

“They’re looking at Spring Garden and Highland Park as one [area],” said Armando Gutierrez, a developer in the area who also chairs Miami-Dade’s Historic Preservation Board. “I’m the first person to designate everything but there are probably only three properties that are appropriate [for designation] in the area.”

Gutierrez’s project, Highland Park Lofts, located at 1350 NW Eighth Court, is currently the only development under construction in the area, he said. The project, designed by architects Cohen Freedman Encinosa & Associates, will include 48 loft residences.

On the minds of developers who have yet to obtain the permits needed to commence with their projects was the proposed “interim protection measure” that the city hopes to enact to slow development until Miami 21 can make it through the Miami City Commission.

According to the Miami 21 Web site, the measure would still allow developers to submit plans to the city. However, no processing will take place until the 180-day zoning-in-progress ordinance ends.

“There is going to be a freeze on zoning in progress,” Amedia said. “They’re saying it’s not a moratorium but it is.”

Luciana Gonzalez of the Miami Planning Department told the SunPost that the proposed ordinance is “absolutely not” a moratorium, citing the fact that applications will still be accepted and developers will be given extensions to get their proposals in if the measure is passed.

“The problem we’re running into with the community is that [people] don’t understand what’s going on,” Gonzalez said. “Our goal is to educate so that we can get the feedback we need to calibrate the map and our proposals so they are correct.”

Gonzalez suggested those with concerns visit the “zoning in progress” link on Miami21.org for a full explanation of the interim protection ordinance, which will be up for discussion at a June 7 Planning Advisory Board workshop before the bill moves to the City Commission for final approval.

Comments? E-mail [email protected].
 

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A downtown building moratorium for 6 years?!?! I really have a hard time trying to figure out what the heck this article is saying, so you guys try to interpret it yourselves:

Specifically what does this statement mean:
"Under Miami 21 as proposed, a developer seeking a major use special permit would have two years with two possible extensions of two more years for a maximum six years" They would have 2 years for what? 2 years to wait? 2 years to build? The author needed to finish the sentence!

http://www.miamitodaynews.com/news/060720/story1.shtml

Miami 21 could stall developers

By Deserae del Campo
As Miami undergoes zoning changes with Miami 21, the city's planning blueprint, development could sit on hold.
If the ordinance is enacted, developers targeting the Upper East Side, Wynwood, Edgewater, Riverside, Downtown and Brickell might have to wait for permitting. The pause wouldn't affect projects that already have permits.
"Zoning-in-progress is a pause, not a freeze, on the review and approval of applications," said Luciana Gonzalez, special projects coordinator with the planning department. "Any applications that are not affected by the current zoning ordinance will be accepted and processed as normal."
Under Miami 21 as proposed, a developer seeking a major use special permit would have two years with two possible extensions of two more years for a maximum six years, Ms. Gonzalez said. The time limit for single-family residence would be 180 days.
"What would happen is that the city will accept their applications but won't process it if the project is located within an area where zoning changes are in progress," she said.
Zoning-in-progress doesn't stop the city from accepting development applications for areas currently unaffected by Miami 21 such as Little Havana, Overtown or Coconut Grove. Those areas would come later.
The planning department and municipal planners Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. are working on the draft for the East Quadrant, expected to be finished by year's end.
The zoning-in-progress ordinance isn't yet law. It first must be approved by the planning advisory board and then the city commission. It's expected to go to the advisory board in September.
Ms. Gonzalez said once Miami 21 is completely adopted there will be no need for zoning-in-progress.
Miami 21 would cut Miami's current 361 classified uses for buildings to 47.
 

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Like in the horror movie The Ring once they have begun development they have six years of harassing phone calls before a NIMBY climbs out of a hole in the ground and kills them.
 

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DGM said:
Like in the horror movie The Ring once they have begun development they have six years of harassing phone calls before a NIMBY climbs out of a hole in the ground and kills them.
LOLOL :hahaha: :lol: :hahaha: :lol: :hahaha: :lol: :hahaha:
 

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you use to have 2 years to build something or start construction on the land once final approval had been given

now there is a max of 6 years to build something so villa magna could sit on its ass if it wanted to without having to submit any new plans or go before zoning again once the 6 years are up they have to go before the city and start the process from scratch
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
The biggest problem with the "Zoning in Progress" ordinance is that there is literally no way for anyone to avoid being sent to the 180-day penalty box if they get caught in a situation where the old and new code fundamentally contradict one another (ie, one requires something that the other prohibits, either directly or indirectly). There's no safe harbor for anyone... if you pay the architect to draw up plans for something compliant with pre-miami21, it could all get shot to hell if the city passes the new code within 180 days of your original submission. But if you pay the architect to draw up plans for something compliant with the proposed code as it existed at the nanosecond in time the plans were submitted, there's no guarantee you'll EVER be able to build it unless the new code does, in fact, pass before 180 days without changes that would invalidate your design.

I'm personally caught between a rock and a hard spot over that exact issue... I have two basic designs I've made for my future house (actually, a 2-unit condo that I'll initially own both units of, but keep open the possibility of selling someday if I need the money or the value goes high enough to be worth it to me). I was hoping to be able to start construction in March or April if we get lucky and make it through the summer without any major hurricanes. The problem is, design #1 satisfies the current code, but not miami21. Design #2 satisfies miami21, but not the current code. I don't dare to hire an actual draftsperson and structural engineer until I can at least feel confident one way or the other, because I can't afford to spend $5-10,000 getting everything drawn up, designed, and stamped, then turn around and throw the plans away and do it all over again. At this point I don't really care whether I build #1 or #2, I just want to build one of them and be through with it.

Ultimately, if the City doesn't either pass Miami21 (or some modified variant) by October or November, or abolish Zoning in Progress and allow the submission of conceptual drawings that define things of interest to zoning for approval, then give a 6 month window of time to get them properly drawn up to official plans consistent with the approved conceptual plans and secure a building permit, I'm f**ked, and can pretty much forget about having my house built next year, either. The City's problem is that it's so used to dealing with big, rich condo developers who think nothing of going back to the architect for complete overhauls 3 or 4 times prior to approval that they have no concept of how financially devastating something like that is to a normal person who has no choice but to get it exactly right on the first try.
 
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