So it is after four years, countless meetings, and hours of testimony over the fate of Miami 21, that we still find ourselves fighting for a walkable future for the city of Miami. It is absurd that the new mayor (and longtime foe of liveable cities) is requesting that the fractured City Commission vote on delaying implementation of Miami 21 for 90 days (until May 20).

Forget that the full commission voted in favor of the code (with Regalado casting the lone ‘no’ vote), and also forget that over a third of the city is not going to be represented when the item comes to vote tomorrow because the commission seats are empty (a detail that Regalado would have cried fowl over were he still on the commission). Not to mention bringing such an important item to vote right before the holiday and with less than a week’s notice. What ever happened to transparency and public involvement in government? It would seem by the Mayor’s actions that he only believes in these principles as they apply to people who are running for office (not those already in office).

Lets also forget that one of the items being presented before the commission is to delay implementation of the land use changes associated with the code even though these changes, by the planning department’s own admission, have already been transmitted and accepted by the State of Florida. How do you delay implementing something that has already become effective according to state law? Weird.

The newbies to the commission are not likely to pick a fight with the new Mayor, but they should know that delaying the code will only cost the city taxpayers money. The cost to the real estate market will be devastating, as   property owners will be uncertain what rights are being taken away from them, further exacerbating the current economic problems. Litigation by property owners and concerned citizens could bring financial ruin to the city. All of this to allow a couple of projects to move forward under 11000? (Another anomaly for Regalado, considering his strong criticism of the previous administration’s relationship with the business community. Why is it now ok to change the law around to suit private development?)

If reconsidering the code is about allowing projects already in the pipeline  to move forward then the commissioners should propose that they advance these projects under 11000, while not moving back the start date for Miami 21.  I urge all three commissioners to respect the votes of the previous commission and allow the code to become effective. All new commissioners will have time to review and propose changes to the code - but it has to be allowed to start functioning. How the new commissioners vote tomorrow will be a strong indicator of what smart growth advocates can expect from our newly elected officials. I am deeply concerned that the progress we made this year in advancing smart growth and walkability will be have been shortlived. I hope I am wrong.

PS. Dear Commissioner Sarnoff: please don’t increase parking requirements downtown. That’s just plain dumb. We don’t need more parking. I drive downtown all the time and never have trouble finding parking. Evidence from around the world shows that cities are reducing requirements to support pedestrian life.  Please listen to your professional city planners (and local professional planners like me) when we tell you that parking requirements downtown should be very different from parking requirements in Kendall. Read up on Donald Shoup, guru of parking.

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8 Responses to Why Miami 21 Should Not Be Delayed

  1. I hate Regalado says:

    I hate Regalado. Enough said.


  2. Teodo2 says:

    27,000 votes put Retardado in office. Maybe people will wake up and start paying attention.


  3. Mike Lydon says:

    It is difficult to take Miami seriously when it’s leadership is so unserious about meeting the problems of the 21st century.


  4. Saw it coming says:

    Regalado promised that he would do it…..I dont understand the outrage from everyone. I will be more upset when he does things that he said he would not.


  5. TM reader says:

    This is the same mayor candidate that complained Miami 21 did not give enough time before hearings for the public and asked heraings should not be in the summer when people are on vacation. Looks to me like this was added on an agenda 1 week before the hearing, 1 week before Christmas, with 3 commissioners, and he held the hearing before the scheduled 10am time. No one talks about the projects that will be delayed without Miami 21?


  6. Anonymous says:

    I dont agree with Regalado but he did it for those same reasons. So there can be more meetings etc. I dont think he truly means to kill it. I think he just wants to put in what AIA and MNU want. It is what it is.


  7. Anonymous says:

    Miami 21 needs to go. I am sick of DPZ. They should go sell their horrible form code to Prince Charles again. West Palm Beach tried the DPZ experiment, and had to scrap it after less than 4 years. Lets not have to do the same here. While walkability is a laudible goal, it can be obtained through changes to the existing code, rather than creating a new code that is frought with problems. Bert J. Harris claims will cripple the City. The status of legal non-conformities will affect local insurance rates. Reduction in required parking can be done by modifying Ordinance 11000. The 3-d limits on design will create buildings that look the same, without articulation. We can have all of the good of Miami 21, and toss out the bad, by adopting Miami 21 as the land use concept, and modifying 11000 to codify what the Planning Department is already doing during the design process. I think we can get all of what everyone wants, without the potential downside. If it is called Miami 21 or revised 11000, who cares. Miami 21 just goes a bit too far in some areas, and is more suitable for a non-existant city, like Seaside or Celebration. So, if they want to extract those deficiencies from Miami 21, that would be fine by me as well.


  8. RICHARD says:

    No other good-sized US city has rezoned using DPZ’s code and not even small existing ones have used their transects (zoning categories), period. (New, tiny ones and new-town suburbs have.)
    Old cities with good mass transit have little to do with Miami when it comes to rezoning, so talking about NYC or SF as though DPZ had anything to do with them, is insulting to our intelligence.
    Some cities using new urbanism principles which are rezoning, have made sure to not use DPZ or their endless glossary, since DPZ wants everyone to use their branded words instead of the zoning terminology everyone knows and made sense. Their theory is simply a bad rework of a theory in use since the early 1980’s in NY and SF, so hardly “cutting edge”, or even theirs.
    Almost no other good size city is rezoning their entire city, but the few which are chose NOT TO USE DPZ exclusively, except Miami. And only Miami might use those confusing transects and words DPZ wants to shove down our throats.
    Pretending that new urbanism, or old urbanism for that matter, and DPZ are the same, is confusing, and false. New urbanism has many good elements which Miami can use. But, this plan is bad and needs major revisions. Miami 21 misses the boat and is not progressive. We know this now, before implementing it, so it’s time to revamp this bad plan.



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