Miami 21, the long debated and approved zoning code for the City of Miami is coming back to the City Commission tomorrow for additional amendments being presented by Commissioners and Miami Neighborhoods United. Transit Miami supports Miami 21 and asks that the City Commission not delay any more in implementing the new form-based code before revising, tweaking, and amending further areas of the code without knowing the large scale implications on the city.
Transit Miami promotes pedestrian friendly neighborhoods built around a structure that promotes transit and alternative forms of transportation such as bikes. To achieve these goals the city needs a solid foundation upon which to work. Miami 21 attempts to meet many of these by allowing bonuses in high density areas and creating urban centers or nodes. We do not want to see the code further degraded by allowing “free” bonuses allowing builders to build above height limits without giving open spaces or other public benefits specified in the code.
We are not against further reductions in the neighborhoods or height caps next to single family homes however; we have lost sight of the idea of urban nodes. Urban nodes were to provide more height at the intersections of transit routes and major intersections not the typical commercial suburban strip zoning of today. Miami 21 should not reduce height on these urban nodes such as Coral Way at Douglas Rd and Coral Way at 5 points. Similarly, we would agree with a diversity of densities and heights along corridors such as Calle Ocho, Flagler Street, NW 7th St, 27th Avenue, 37th Avenue, 57th Avenue to name a few. Too often these corridors are given one transect zone for miles and miles as if the site conditions never change. We should be developing more near transit stations like 27th Ave and US 1 and less at the intersection of 27th Ave and SW 5th St as an example.
Additionally, specific changes for one area of the city may be better explained in Special Area Plans not in the transect that affects the entire city now and in the future. Areas such as the Marlins Stadium, Wynwood Arts District, or MiMo could be further studied in detail and planned systematically through this process. Special Area Plans are already in effect under 11000 as Miami WorldCenter and Midtown. Here regulations can be tailored to the site in exchange for public parks, transit investments, and other benefits.
Please ask your commissioner to move forward with Miami 21 without further delay and changes prior to the code being implemented. We will continue to fight for the urban nodes that are outlined in the code and fight for pedestrian-transit oriented new developments and the preservation of historic or stable communities.
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