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11 Years Later: Miami 21 Zoning Code Ready for an Update

Miami 21 was approved in 2009 and heralded as a sign of a new era in zoning. Since then, Miami 21 has been both credited and blamed for the city's transformation.
June 22, 2020, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Miami, Florida
Aurora Samperio

Andres Viglucci reports on a forthcoming update Miami's zoning code, Miami 21.

Can a simple zoning code — the rules that govern what can be built, and where, and how big it can be — transform a city?

If that code is Miami 21, a once-radical-seeming set of development regulations adopted by the city 11 years ago amid widespread skepticism, the evidence seems to support an emphaticYes [sic].

Viglucci credits Miami 21 with the urban, work-play changes that have come to several neighborhoods in the city in recent years, but also acknowledges the need to update the zoning code for new goals that weren't necessarily on the agenda back in 2009. 

Chief among those: Finding ways to promote development of critically needed affordable housing, figuring out new rules for developing projects to meet sea-level rise, reviewing the adequacy of existing zoning for specific city neighborhoods, and addressing issues of equity and gentrification that Miami 21 may have inadvertently helped fuel.

As reported by Viglucci, the city formally launched a special task force of experts and residents, after a COVID-19-induced delay, last week. "Almost certainly, the task force’s 12 members — a mix of architects and planners, developers, land-use lawyers and residents — will wrestle with how, or whether, to limit the massive and sometimes controversial Miami 21 Special Area Plan projects that have become flashpoints of community opposition," writes Viglucci.

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Published on Sunday, June 14, 2020 in Miami Herald
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