Miami Commissioners May Move To Trade Density For Parking
Written by Deserae del Campo on November 2, 2006
By Deserae del Campo
Commercial developers who build near downtown would gain building height increases in exchange for including public parking facilities in their development plans under an ordinance that received initial approval from Miami city commissioners last week.
The ordinance is aimed at promoting additional public parking close to downtown, said Lourdes Slayzk, Miami’s zoning administrator.
The ordinance specifies "an increase in height of 10 feet shall be permitted for every 150 additional public parking spaces located onsite for any retail project in the urban Central Business district and outside the downtown (development of regional impact)."
"The downtown (development of regional impact) requires the city to establish maximum parking ratios for the core of downtown in order to promote the usage of public transit," Ms. Slayzk said. "However, in order to capture the vehicles just before they hit the core, we need to provide incentives for the creation of public parking."
The ordinance applies to any commercial project built in a C-2 liberal-commercial and industrial zoned districts where the height limitations are 120 feet.
"This ordinance will allow for the additional height if public parking is provided as such an incentive," said Ms. Slayzk. "The additional height would be a 10-foot height increase for every 150 parking spaces provided to the public."
Ms. Slazyk said the city can’t provide height benefits for projects in C-1 areas because there are no height limitations.
"This will be utilized within C-2 and industrial districts primarily and only within the outskirts of downtown. Any use in these districts can qualify. All they need to do is include the public parking," she said.
Miami commissioners applauded Ms. Slayzk for the creation of the ordinance, which will be heard on second reading Nov. 9.
"This ordinance is a pro-Miami 21 concept," said Commissioner Joe Sanchez, referring to a blueprint for rezoning in the city to provide comprehensive structure. "This city should have a way to assist and alleviate the biggest problem we have — which is traffic in the downtown area."
"This ordinance is for the perimeter of downtown so we can catch the cars before they hit the urban core," Ms. Slayzk said. "We are lucky to have a downtown transit system that works."
"We need to have a vision where people have a pleasant experience parking and going into downtown Miami," said Commissioner Sanchez. "We are only 110 years old, and there has never been a city able to stop progress. This is the type of solution we need."