Miami Beach commission approves height increase for North Beach

Vote allows developer Silvia Coltrane to move forward with plans for a 10-story hotel

Sep.September 15, 2016 08:45 AM

Earlier today, Miami Beach city commissioners unanimously approved raising height limits in some areas of North Beach, paving the way for large-scale development in the neighborhood’s historic district.

Developers and property owners will be allowed to construct buildings as tall as 125 feet along 71st Street and some side streets. The previous cap was 75 feet.

“This is a great move to energize the North Beach master plan and all it aspires to,” said Commissioner John Elizabeth Aleman, who proposed the change.

The commission vote allows developer Silvia Coltrane to move forward with plans for a 10-story 175-room hotel with ground floor retail and 150 parking spaces on 72nd Street. During the meeting, Coltrane dispelled rumors that she was bringing a Courtyard Marriott to North Beach.

“It will be a very beautiful, branded hotel, but we have not decided who the brand will be,” Coltrane told commissioners. “Your vote will show people you are committed to progress in North Beach.”

Neisen Kasdin, the developer’s attorney, said the height increase from 75 feet to 125 feet is consistent with the master plan the city is drafting for North Beach. One of several recommendations made by urban planners Dover Kohl & Associates, the new ordinance also requires minimum setbacks of 10 feet on the first four floors and minimum setbacks of 25 feet between the fifth and 12th floors for buildings as high as 12 stories.

During the discussion, all the commissioners expressed their commitment to voting in favor of local historic districts in North Beach to protect buildings from being torn down. In July, the commission authorized a six-month demolition moratorium in North Beach. Daniel Ciraldo, founder of Save Miami Beach 2016, told commissioners he was worried the protections would be ignored with the passing of the height increases.

“We keep losing buildings,” Ciraldo said. “I’m just making sure we are not being baited and switched.”

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