From Thursday’s print edition:
By ANDRES VIGLUCCI
First Miami 21 was on, then it was off. Now it appears to be on again.
Three months after a new city commission majority put the controversial rezoning plan on ice, it's back for a new vote.
Or, to be more precise, several neighborhood-friendly revisions to the plan will be up for approval Thursday by the commission. Once the board vets that set of revisions, plus a second package of amendments that should be up for a vote next month, the new zoning code would finally go into effect May 20.
Commission Chairman Marc Sarnoff described the revisions as mostly ``tinkering'' with the pedestrian-friendly, urban-oriented Miami 21 code, which he said would not be fundamentally altered. The new code would replace the current auto-centric zoning rule book, which critics say encourages out-of-scale, helter-skelter development.
``I'm not looking to do heavy organic changes,'' Sarnoff (left) said. ``It's tweaks, and some mapping and corridor changes.''
But some of those proposed changes in the Miami 21 zoning map could significantly downsize development capacity along some major commercial corridors, including Coral Way and sections of Southwest 27th Avenue, from what the already-approved Miami 21 code would allow. The code got the thumbs-up from the previous city commission in October.
The contemplated density reductions were proposed by district commissioners and Miami Neighborhoods United, a coalition of neighborhood activists who complain the Miami 21 rules, like the code it would replace, would permit tall buildings backing up to single-family homes along those corridors.
Miami Neighborhoods backed Mayor Tomás Regalado, a Miami 21 critic, in the November elections. Regalado won a delay in the implementation after assuming office in November to allow reconsideration of the organization's proposals, which had been mostly rejected by the previous city administration of Mayor Manny Diaz.
The newest proposed revisions, which would limit new construction to three stories in those areas, have now drawn protests from some property owners already facing reduced development capacity under the approved Miami 21 rules.
In Wynwood, by contrast, certain revisions would increase allowable densities in light-industrial districts where Miami 21 would introduce ``live-work'' housing. Sarnoff said those changes would make redevelopment in the area more viable.
Other changes would allow affected residents to appeal certain development permits to the city commission, another change sought by neighborhood activists.