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On May 17th, the Planning Board will discuss a new ordinance which will eliminate the parking requirements on residential buildings located within 600 feet of a Rapid Transit/Metrorail station in the Central Business District. I just did a little math and most of the Downtown area buildings are within 600 meet of a metrorail or metromover station. The exceptions are most of Brickell Bay Drive and all of Brickell Key. I wonder if they will count bus stations? I also wonder if developers will built a lot of parking anyway even though they do not have to because they know their buyers will want some?

Item #10 on page 12
http://egov.ci.miami.fl.us/meetings/2006/5/1271_A_Planning_Advisory_Board_06-05-17_Agenda_Short.pdf
 

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Building a condo with reduced parking -- especially reduced RESERVED parking -- would be economic suicide for any developer, regardless of how many spaces are mandated. Even if you accept the inflated industry standard cost of $20k per constructed garage space, it's a drop in the bucket compared to the total cost of even the cheapest, smallest condo that gets built and sold anymore in Miami.

My guess is that developers will use it as an opportunity to build MORE spaces, some of which don't satisfy the standards of the City's formal offstreet parking requirements and can't be counted towards satisfying them, but will be usable by residents anyway. For instance, the offstreet standars require that spaces be at least 18 feet deep, but don't actually specify any maximum depth, so the developer could make a bunch of spaces that are ~9x36 feet deep, officially count them as one space, but know that residents will end up parking two cars in each one.

I thought of the same strategy as a possible way to legally shoehorn a pair of double garages into a pair of townhomes built on a 50' lot with 5' side yards... at ~17-18 feet wide, they wouldn't satisfy the City's requirements for two spaces... but if you made each driveway 20 feet wide and called them single-car garages, you'd legally satisfy the parking requirements with 3 spaces per unit. In the real world, it wouldn't even matter much, since most people end up using half the garage as a basement substitute and have junk piled from floor to ceiling on one side anyway.
 

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well... as long as miami 21 mandates that garages be hidden i guess where making progress...
... as long as they don't let anti-car ideology (which unfortunately seems to be pervasive within city planning circles) blind them to real-world hardships arising from the lack of public support infrastructure (alleys) needed to make such a policy viable with small lots -- especially narrow ones.

It's one thing to require that parking not be visible from the street when there's a perfectly good alley behind that can be used to access a garage or parking lot running the full width of the lot's rear (preserving the integrity of the streetscape from the front). It's another thing entirely to impose harsh limits on garage frontage, parking visibility, and/or driveway width in future T-3, T-4, and T-5 neighborhoods where the City government short-sightedly vacated the alleys 10-25 years ago, leaving no good alternative. The City currently doesn't allow hydraulic car stackers in R-1 and R-2 neighborhoods (which would enable 2 or 3 cars belonging to a single residence to be stored behind a single garage door), and the City's offstreet parking standards mandate minimum aisle widths, turn radii, clearances from walls & side property lines, and stall depths that make it impossible to legally build a side-loaded garage on a normal 50-foot wide lot.

And as for businesses, people can gripe about parking lots fronting streets all they want... the fact is, making someone with a commercial, alley-less narrow lot blow more than half the lot's width on a code-compliant ~26 foot wide aisle leading to a rear parking lot that's wide enough for two-way traffic and 90-degree stalls is neither fair nor an improvement. At least with a front lot, there's room for some landscaping. With an alley-less rear lot, practically every inch of the lot needs to be paved to accommodate the mandated aisle width and turn radii and still have enough room left for a meaningful building.

Fortunately, the City's (frustrated) planning staff do seem to be painfully aware of those realities, and generally seem to accept the fact that there are limits to what even the most enthusiastic and cooperative individual can achieve without alleys to make it work.

Personally, I'd love to see the City buy back the vacated alleys and re-establish them. But I doubt any of us will see it happen in our lives, or at least not within the next 5 years. The *only* way it could reasonably happen without riots at city hall would be if the City ate the cost of land re-acquisition and paving up front, mandated alley usage where available for all new construction, and assessed a one-time (per property) special impact fee when a building permit were issued for something that would take advantage of the alley (new building, garage, rear parking lot, etc). And rigorously sent out people once or twice a year to look for homeowners who were parking cars in their back yards without paying the fee or building a proper hard-surfaced parking lot and/or garage.

I can't believe the original homeowners didn't throw fits years ago and try to stop the original vacation attempts in the first place. I've seen a LOT of homes in the city with rear garages that haven't been usable as garages in years, or decades. I know I sure as hell would have been enraged if I had a house with alley-accessed rear garage and the City wanted to make it unusable by getting rid of the alley. What were people thinking back then?!?
 

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Update. After reading through the Miami21 draft document, I noticed something interesting... one of the final slides implies that the City DOES plan to restore alleys, at least in some areas.

Another subtle detail... it appears that T-3 setbacks are 20 feet for rear yards for BOTH primary structure AND ancilliary buildings (vs 10 feet for ancilliary buildings under R-1 and R-2). I'm guessing that it's because they want to try and keep the rearmost 10 feet of lots free of new construction to leave room for future alleys.
 
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