North Beach Town Center Development Regs Close to Final

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

North Beach Town Center Development Regs Close to Final:

Second reading of ordinance which establishes height and other guidelines

The last step in creating guidelines for implementing the voter-approved increase in density for the North Beach Town Center will be this Wednesday. Miami Beach City Commissioners approved the guidelines on first reading in September. Following a review as required by the State, the item is back for second and final reading at the Commission meeting this week.
 
If approved, buildings could be taller than 125 feet if a developer agrees to a public benefit, either in the form of expedited construction or a fee. The areas where additional height is allowed, however, have been tiered in an effort to keep height away from the residential area around 69th Street. Specifically, for lots under 20,000 sq ft, the maximum allowable height would be 125 feet. For lots between 20,000 and 45,000 sq ft, the maximum allowable height would be 165 feet, and for lots greater than 45,000 sq ft, the maximum height would be 200 feet.
 
Obtaining a full building permit for new construction in excess of 100,000 sq ft quickly – within 15 months of the effective date of the guidelines ordinance – would constitute a “public benefit” and would provide an extra 75 feet in height (above the 125 where permitted). When that is not possible, the other public benefit option – a fee – could be paid by developers wanting the extra height.
 
A consultant hired by the City recommended the public benefit fee be set at $3 per sq ft of floor area above 125 feet. Several Commissioners in attendance at the September Land Use and Development Committee meeting where the issue was discussed asked for a higher fee

In a memo to Commissioners, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales wrote the Administration recommends going with the consultant’s $3 proposal.
 
Using a chart to illustrate the public benefit fee for a building at the max height of 200 feet, Morales notes a $3 public benefit fee would result in a total of $225,225 due; at $4 the fee would be $300,300; and at $5 it would be $373,375.
 
“As noted above, the public benefit fees generated by $3.00 per square foot are not insignificant, and they increase substantially above $3.00 per square foot," Morales wrote. "In this regard, the Administration has concerns that increasing the fees above $3.00 per square foot could result in developers foregoing additional height and, in turn, not going forward with a project, or developing a project that would not provide more significant overall benefits for the area. Additionally, a number of the standards of the ordinance, including mandatory requirements for the undergrounding of utilities, minimum pedestrian paths and size of required street trees, will result in significant public benefits. As such, the Administration recommends that the public benefit fee be set at $3.00 per square foot, in accordance with the recommendation of the economic consultant.”

The item has a time certain of 5:00 pm. Details can be found here.

Photo courtesy North Beach Now

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