Miami Beach board moves to create overlay district to keep out chain restaurants, stores

Board members mentioned examples of businesses like Hooters and Neiman Marcus

Jan.January 25, 2017 02:15 PM

Ocean Drive in Miami Beach

The Miami Beach Planning Board on Tuesday approved an ordinance that would establish the “Art Deco-MiMo Commercial Character Overlay District,” geared to prohibit chain businesses in certain historic neighborhoods.

The district would include areas from Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue between Fifth and 16th streets in South Beach. The additional areas would include Ocean Terrace, Collins Avenue, and Harding Avenue between 73rd Street and 75th Street in North Beach.

Planning board members said creating the district is aimed at keeping out chain restaurants and shops from Miami Beach’s historic areas to preserve the character of North Beach and South Beach neighborhoods. They mentioned examples of such chain businesses as Hooters and Neiman Marcus.

“I’m not advocating for more TGI Fridays… that’s the last thing I want,” said board member Jeff Feldman.

Among board members’ concerns is Ocean Drive. While it’s a major tourist hot spot with unique restaurants, cafes, and architecture, its prime location makes it a target for property owners to open chain businesses. The overlay district would address the concern by prohibiting this type of development in the future, they said.

“The concept sounds evil, but it’s not evil,” said board member Mark Meland.

The issue will now go to the Miami Beach City Commission for approval.

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