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It May Finally be Easier to Build Small Infill Buildings in Miami

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In the City of Miami's current real estate climate, building large scale projects is significantly easier than smaller developments due to parking requirements in the zoning code, practically eliminating smaller developers from the game. Somebody who may want to built five or ten residential units on a small lot has to provide ten or twenty parking spaces underneath those units along with the ramps and driveways to access them. From a design and cost perspective, this becomes ridiculous. However it all could soon change in areas close to mass rail transit if the city planning board votes at their meeting today to approve a two-pronged plan that would also encourage large-scale developments close to rail.

The City of Miami Planning Board is set to vote today on a proposal to reduce parking requirements around Metrorail or Metromover stops to 50% of what they normally are for large scale development projects over 10,000 square feet, and eliminate them altogether for some projects under 10,000 square feet, reports The Next Miami. Developers would be able to utilize the discounted parking requirements by paying into a city transit fund. The Next Miami says that only "a handful of projects in limited areas will be able to build without any parking at all by paying into the fund" although the parameters themselves seem a bit more generous than that. The 10,000 square-foot-or-under exemption applies only to projects that are near a Metrorail, Metromover or high-frequency bus or trolley stop, and are not in a single or duplex family home neighborhood." It also has the enthusiastic support of various groups advocating for Miami's urban growth, including the design firm that wrote the Miami 21 form-base, New Urbanist zoning code that the city now follows, Duany Plater-Zyberk. In some ways, Downtown Miami could soon look and feel a lot more like Miami Beach.
· Miami residential towers could be built with 50% less parking in new proposal [Next Miami]