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As Massive Developments Stir Controversy In Miami, Planning Board Wants To Hit Brakes

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KOBI KARP
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Neil Fairman, chairman of Plaza Equity Partners, one of the developers of the Magic City Innovation District, leads a tour of the site of the mixed use development in the Little Haiti neighborhood on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.

In a city driven by real estate development, it’s uncommon for government to take bold action against developers’ interests. Wednesday night, Miami’s planning and zoning board made a strong statement about the future of redevelopments on large swaths of the city’s neighborhoods: Stop doing them — or at least stop doing them the way they’ve been done for a decade.

The board voted 8-1 to draft a resolution calling for city commissioners to repeal a section of Miami’s zoning code that allows developers to redesign Miami at least 9 acres at a time, massive redevelopments called special area plans or SAPs. Several board members were ready to make a formal recommendation to the City Commission, but a city attorney advised them they needed to draft a resolution and vote on it at a future meeting.

Wednesday’s discussion showed a majority of the Planning and Zoning Appeals Board, a citizen advisory group that makes recommendations to elected district commissioners, wants the city to put a stop to SAPs, or at least to drastically alter how they are negotiated in order to ensure more public outreach and consideration for the area’s housing needs.

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.