Organized by The Wolfsonian–FIU in partnership with WLRN and The Miami Herald Media Company, March 20–23. (Read More)
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Small Buildings Prohibited
Andrew Frey · Townhouse Center


Small Buildings Prohibited

Pretend you are small property owner in one of Miami’s urban neighborhoods. Miami zoning laws (“Miami 21”) make it virtually impossible for you to build a building and to participate in the revitalization of your own neighborhood. For example, you own one lot, and in Miami that lot is typically 5,000 square feet. You want to build a modest rental apartment building with 8 units, but Miami 21 requires 5,040 square feet of parking spaces and driveway. Miami 21 requires 1.5 parking spaces per unit, each approximately 200 square feet, for a total of 2,400 square feet. The driveway along these 12 spaces must be 2-way (in and out), which is typically 22 feet wide, for a total of 2,640 square feet. A big developer could buy your lot and others nearby, build a parking garage to meet Miami 21 parking requirements, and continue with a condo tower on top. But your small lot in and of itself is rendered useless, worthless.


Help Small Buildings

The largest single regulatory obstacle to fine-grain urban revitalization is required parking. So get rid of required parking for small buildings! For example, no required parking for buildings 10,000 square feet and smaller. Doing so would help small property owners, make more revitalization projects feasible, reduce housing costs, promote walking and biking and transit, improve public health, and help build the dense but low-rise neighborhoods that create economic opportunity and culture.

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