sea level rise criteria, new commercial height standards

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

sea level rise criteria, new commercial height standards:

planning board preview

Two recommendations from the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Sea Level Rise are on the Planning Board agenda when it meets Tuesday.
The first is an ordinance to require Miami Beach's four land use boards consider sea level rise and resiliency criteria when deciding issues within their jurisdiction. Those boards are the Planning Board, Design Review Board, Historic Preservation Board, and the Board of Adjustment.
The Planning Board considered the ordinance at its February meeting but expressed reservations regarding a section that would prohibit below grade off-street parking and asked for further review.
In its memo to the Board, City Staff writes, “[B]elow grade parking may pose issues as roadways are raised to mitigate the impacts of sea level rise because they require increased ramp length which could encroach into the public right-of-way. Additionally, they typically require continuous pumping of water to be kept dry.” Staff did provide the Board options, however, if it decides to recommend against the prohibition when it transmits the ordinance to the City Commission. Those include: sufficient setbacks so that ramps won’t encroach into the public right-of-way when roads and sidewalks are raised; sufficient setbacks for permeable areas to allow for natural drainage of stormwater; and sufficient pumping capacity to ensure underground garages remain dry without affecting surrounding properties.
The ordinance lays out criteria to be considered for development applications including:
  • If resilient landscaping (salt and drought tolerant, native plant species) will be provided.
  • The ground floor, driveways, and garage ramping for new construction shall be adaptable to the raising of public rights-of-way and adjacent land.
  • Where feasible and appropriate, all critical mechanical and electrical systems will be located above base flood elevation.
  • Existing buildings shall be, where reasonably feasible and appropriate, elevated to the base flood elevation.
Full staff memo and ordinance

The second Blue Ribbon Panel recommendation under consideration is to allow for new height standards for commercial buildings so that first floors can be raised as surrounding streets and sidewalks are elevated. Commercial establishments rely on ground level foot traffic and elevating a first floor retail area prior to streets and sidewalks being raised is not ideal for pulling in customers.
The proposed ordinance allows “buildings in commercial districts that are proposed at the maximum number of stories, to be developed with an additional ten feet of height, provided the ground floor is a minimum of 18 feet high with the review and approval of the Design Review Board or Historic Preservation Board, as applicable. This would allow for the ground floor to be placed at a lower level, while providing sufficient ceiling height for the ground floor to be raised at such time when roadways and sidewalks are raised.”
Staff memo and ordinance

Other highlights
Sustainable roofing ordinance: Allows for the use of sustainable roofing systems for roof replacement, defining sustainable roofing systems as “a solar roof, blue roof, white roof, cool roof, green roof, or any other roofing system recognized by a green building agency that reduces heat island effect, allows for the reuse or retention of stormwater or reduces greenhouse gases.” It also prohibits the use of asphalt shingles “which typically absorb heat and increase the urban heat island effect and surrounding temperatures.”
Staff memo and ordinance

Modifications to the West Ave Bay Front Overlay: Proposed ordinance would prohibit new hostels in the West Ave Bay Front Overlay, establish maximum occupancies for suite hotel rooms based on the square footage of a unit, and refines provisions for allowable dining rooms to ensure they do not operate as commercial restaurants.
Staff memo and ordinance

4000 Collins, The Continental: Proposal for a new four-story structure with retail use on ground floor and 74 parking spaces on the upper floors. Existing five-story hotel on Collins Ave and 40th will be renovated and restored. Staff is recommending approval with conditions.
Staff memo and project application

Full agenda

Attend the meeting in person to make comments or email Atoinette Stohl

City Commission Preview: July

Susan Askew
Susan Askew
full agenda before august break

City to Test its Resiliency Efforts


Susan Askew
Susan Askew
commissioners debate research, "slowdown" of projects