New SAP Zoning Resolution Could Impact Large-Scale Redevelopment in Miami

Written by Hayley Smith

December 12, 2019

Last week, Miami’s Planning and Zoning board voted 8-1 to draft a resolution that could have a resounding impact on real estate development around the city.

The resolution would call for city commissioners to repeal a section of Miami’s zoning code that enables massive redevelopment projects called Special Area Plans, or SAPs. Adopted in 2009, SAPs allow developers who own nine or more contiguous acres to trade community benefits, such as streets or lighting, for the right to build taller and more densely. Brickell City Centre, for example, was built under the category.

Although SAPs were intended to allow city planners to work hand-in-hand with developers to provide new public amenities, some say the zoning is becoming problematic as projects move away from urban cores and into more residential areas. Communities like Little Haiti are pushing back with concerns that SAP developments are bringing rapid gentrification and are ignoring the scale of the neighborhoods.

According to the Miami Herald, several members of the Planning and Zoning board are ready to make a formal recommendation to the City Commission that SAP zoning be repealed, or at least drastically altered to better account for public concerns and housing needs.

If the board decides to move ahead, they will need to draft an official resolution and vote on it at a future meeting. If the resolution is passed, the policy change could have a significant impact on the future of large-scale redevelopment in the city. We will continue to keep you updated on this story as it progresses.

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