HOME » Press Room » Thursday, June 29, 2006
 News Article:  Buena Vista East-Group Response to Miami 21


Buildings should be no taller than six stories in the Design District. Bars and strip clubs should be banned from the area. And live-work spaces should bank North Miami Avenue.

Such were among the suggestions the Buena Vista East Historic Neighborhood Association made to city of Miami planners in a 25-page response to the city's Miami 21 zoning overhaul, which was recently unveiled for residents.

The neighborhood is located just north of the Design District.

Included in the Buena Vista East response is 16 pages of a 1997 planning study done by Duany Plater-Zyberk, the same planning firm that's currently helping with Miami 21.

''We feel this is our shot to correct the wrongs of the past,'' said Wendy Stephan, president of the Buena Vista East Historic Neighborhood Association. ``We care about it, I guess.''

The report comes as city of Miami planners seek public input for its Miami 21 project -- a citywide effort aimed at reshaping what some view as an antiquated zoning code. Starting with the city's ''eastern quadrant,'' neighborhoods from downtown to the Upper Eastside could see a more pedestrian-friendly setting, complete with narrower roads and shady trees.

The project -- behind schedule -- was expected to be adopted in October but will now likely will be brought to the City Commission for approval before year's end.

''We're aiming, hoping, that it will be done before the end of the year,'' planning department spokeswoman Luciana Gonzalez said about Miami 21's adoption.

For at least another month or two, the city's planning department will be seeking input from the public, Gonzalez said.

Hence the association's report -- a detailed reply to the city of Miami's proposed zoning codes as they apply to the Design District, which abuts the leafy neighborhood where many historic homes were built in the 1920s.

''They've made efforts to involve the public. They've asked us for our comments,'' Stephan said. ``You can't submit this kind of detail through the website.''

In the study, the group doesn't comment much on zoning proposals for the Buena Vista East neighborhood, which will keep the ''suburban'' designation under the current proposal.

The group, however, offers recommendations for the Design District, viewed by residents as the area's town center. One suggestion is that the low-lying neighborhood of galleries has enough ''contributing structures'' to make it eligible for a historic designation.

One major concern raised by the group is that Miami 21's zoning proposals call for taller buildings in the Design District, which could be as high as 36 stories.

A key component of Miami 21 is the need for parks. The neighborhood group applauded city consultant Goody Clancy for proposing a mini-park in the heart of Buena Vista East, at Northeast First Avenue and 44th Street.

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