FYI Miami: October 4, 2018
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
GAMBLING RULE APPROVED: Miami city commissioners on Sept. 27 approved a zoning ordinance amendment to define gambling facilities and to require that approval of gambling uses, including pari-mutuel gambling, card rooms and slot machines, be required via a city commission four-fifths vote. Sponsor Ken Russell said residents ought to have a voice on gambling establishments in their neighborhoods. The catalyst was news that the state granted a license for a possible gambling establishment near Biscayne Boulevard and 30th Street for a jai-alai fronton and card room. Magic City Casino plans to open the venue, and its attorneys and representatives are fighting the proposed city legislation, saying they feel they are being targeted for unfair treatment. One of the casino owners and one of the attorneys threatened to sue the city if the legislation was passed.
ELECTRONIC PLAN REVIEW BEGINS: Miami this week launched an Electronic Plan Review (ePlan) to give city residents, contractors and developers the option to submit plans and documents for building permits and development projects electronically. Electronic Plan Review hastens permitting by replacing traditional paper-based reviews. It improves the plan review cycle, reduces costs associated with obtaining right of way, special permits and building permits and reinforces the city’s commitment to resilience by reducing paper, officials said. “We’re committed to customer service and efficiency, and ePlan helps us achieve this while also proving that resilience and innovation can be part of everything we do,” said City Manager Emilio Gonzalez. ePlan reduces review time as different disciplines review a plan simultaneously. The first phase will include the departments of planning, zoning and public works. It’s to be expanded to other areas by year’s end Details: www.miamigov.com
CONSTRUCTION DIPS: Total construction starts in South Florida dipped 7% in August from August 2017 levels, though they remain 11% above the first eight months of last year. Residential starts fell 20% in the month while nonresidential starts rose 10%. For the year to date, residential starts in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are up 25% while nonresidential starts are down 3%, according to Dodge Data & Analytics, which tracks construction activity.
BRIDGING THE GAP: As the MacArthur Causeway is rebuilt with the addition of a signature bridge and better roadways, motorists facing traffic jams will get a boost from Miami-Dade County, which has suspended tolls on the nearby Venetian Causeway from 7 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 9 p.m. weekdays to keep traffic moving faster there.