Miami 21…postponed again

What a couple of weeks it’s been for Miami 21. After initially getting excited over the prospect of a final commission vote early next year, I was disappointed when the PAB voted yesterday to postpone the approval of zoning maps for the  remaining three quadrants until the board can review changes that have been made since they approved the document last year. Then there was the recent Chamber of Commerce showdown between Bernard “I-can’t-design-my-way-out-of-a-paper-bag” Zyscovich and Lizz P.Z. His very vocal opposition to the plan, despite the City’s repeated attempts to graphically respond to his criticisms show one of two things: a) he’s not very bright, b) his ego won’t let him support the plan because he isn’t the author.

Bernard: you are doing the city a disservice by holding the plan back. Your criticisms (repeated here in a letter to the editor by the AIA president) regarding creativity and public process show a basic ignorance of what the code calls for. Yes the code limits what you can build (as codes are apt to do), but not anymore than the current code does. Public input is not limited by the code - it is supported by it. The streamlined process of approvals is for projects that are as-of-right anyway - these projects will never require public input because they follow the law ! (this is the same system we have today, except with more bureaucracy - not public input).

The AIA’s position on Miami 21 shows what an irrelevant institution it has become in South Florida.

“Look at Miami’s signature buildings: Bank of America, Alfred I. Dupont, Wachovia, Ingraham, Espiritu Santo Plaza. None of these iconic landmarks could be constructed under Miami 21.”

Thank god for that! You couldn’t come up with a better list of buildings that are the reason we need Miami21 (except for the Dupont building - which is exactly the type of building we want!) We want buildings that are beautiful and architecturally significant - but you can’t have good architecture that comes at the expense of the city.  These buildings lack human scaled facades, active ground floor uses, and expose their parking garages. Miami21 addresses these issues by making people’s comfort on the street its priority.  The real question for Bernard and company is: who are you fighting for?

2 Responses to “Miami 21…postponed again”

  1. 1 Kordor

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Bernard is poisonous, the Ellsworth M. Toohey of this town.

  2. 2 ray

    Who can say after 4 years they understand the code and if they do, that it is anything close to the simple “smart code” promised. Planning has been consistently deceptive about the details, ask why? Get into the details and you will see, overall, buildings can be bigger, taller, so developers won’t need the use changes and variances they get now. An almost “no zoning” code, which it is, means it’s “predictable”, since developers can do almost anything they want with a piece of land (outside single family areas, definitely in T6, high rise areas). when they want a variance, they go to the Planning Director usually, not the public. Forget the AIA, whatever your perspective, it sucks.

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