North Beach’s Ocean Terrace upzoning still up in the air

Change, which would allow 22-stories and greater density, was deferred to July 29

TRD MIAMI /
Jul.July 08, 2015 06:15 PM

A proposed zoning change for Ocean Terrace in North Beach that would allow for greater height and density sparked an outcry from some residents at the Miami Beach City Commission meeting on Wednesday.

The proposed upzoning would create an overlay district between Collins Avenue, Ocean Terrace, 73rd Street, and 75th Street. Claro Development, which backs the change, has bought four hotels in the area for a combined price of $57.3 million. The tallest structure is seven stories. Miami Beach code now allows new structures that are eight stories or 75 feet in height.

The proposed code would allow buildings 250 feet in height, or 22 stories. It will also allow a pedestal as large as 15,000 square feet in size.

Future density for lots greater than 20,000 square feet in size would increase from 2.0 FAR (floor area ratio) to 3.0 FAR. Therefore, the size of a future building could be three times the gross area of the lot on which it is built, instead of two times, as allowed now.

Although a proposed ordinance was deferred until July 29, more than a dozen people insisted on speaking against the project at the commission meeting. Many of the speakers argued that the zoning change would destroy North Beach’s historic character and block views. There were also some accusations that the mayor and commissioners were being unduly influenced by David Custin, a lobbyist and political consultant who represents Claro Development.

“We don’t live in Aventura,” said Clotilde Luce, a Miami Beach activist and preservationist. “You are all slowly diluting and dilapidating Miami Beach’s post card image.”

Miami Beach voters, however, will ultimately decide on the overall density. Under Miami Beach charter, any zoning change dealing with an increase in FAR (not height) must be approved by the electorate.

Neisen Kasdin, a lobbyist representing Claro Development, said the ordinance was delayed because the city’s planning board insisted on changes to the proposed code. Those changes include “reducing the allowable commercial [area] over what is presently allowed” and “imposing new restrictions” including banning package stores in the area, Kasdin said.

Besides the referendum requirement, Kasdin also stressed that any future project in Ocean Terrace must come before the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board since it’s located in an historic district.

Kasdin insisted that the project is supported by “the vast majority” of North Beach residents because it will revitalize Ocean Terrace and northern Collins Avenue. “That area is in trouble,” he said, “and it needs this.”

But Franciska Medina said Ocean Terrace’s buildings, built between the 1940s and 1950s, were the reason she moved to North Beach. The overlay district, she believed, puts those buildings in jeopardy.

“My opinion is that Ocean Terrace, being part of a historic district, is not an obstacle that needs to be erased,” Medina said. “…  It’s the only comparable place we have to Ocean Drive.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
citizenM founder Rattan Chadha, Russell Galbut and a rendering of 1212 Lincoln

CitizenM buys hotel portion of Crescent Heights’ 1212 Lincoln project

CitizenM buys hotel portion of Crescent Heights’ 1212 Lincoln project
Commissioner Ricky Arriola and an aerial of Sunset Harbour in Miami Beach (Compass)

Miami Beach moves toward banning chain restaurants and stores in Sunset Harbour

Miami Beach moves toward banning chain restaurants and stores in Sunset Harbour
1 Hotel South Beach (Credit: Google Maps)

Starwood Capital affiliate sues 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach condo association for trademark infringement

Starwood Capital affiliate sues 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach condo association for trademark infringement
Venetian Islands estate (Credit: Paul Stoppi)

Venetian Islands estate with $1M aquarium hits the market for $34M

Venetian Islands estate with $1M aquarium hits the market for $34M
Ziel Feldman and Richard Branson with renderings of the Shore Club (Credit: Getty Images)

The breakdown: Inside Virgin Hotels’ $330M vision for South Beach and how it vanished

The breakdown: Inside Virgin Hotels’ $330M vision for South Beach and how it vanished
Mitchell Kaplan and Books & Books at 927 Lincoln Road (Google Maps) 

Books & Books closes its chapter on Lincoln Road

Books & Books closes its chapter on Lincoln Road
South Florida rents are starting to fall (Credit: iStock)

South Florida rents starting to fall, especially in Coral Gables

South Florida rents starting to fall, especially in Coral Gables
BridgeInvest Alex Horn, Variety Hotel at 1700 Alton Road in Miami Beach

Lender files to foreclose on new South Beach hotel

Lender files to foreclose on new South Beach hotel
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...