City of Coral Gables Updates its Zoning Code

Bilzin Sumberg

Bilzin Sumberg

For the past century, the City of Coral Gables has been known for the high quality of the original plan implemented by George Merrick in the 1920s and its thoughtful application of high standards for zoning and architectural design. Over the years, the Zoning Code has served as the main document that has preserved the City’s Spanish Mediterranean aesthetics. Now, at the request of the City Commission, the Zoning Code is in the process of being updated to be reorganized and streamlined.

After more than two years of meetings and community input, on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at its first virtual meeting, the City’s Planning and Zoning Board will consider certain proposed substantive changes to the Zoning Code. These changes include transitioning from the existing Industrial, Multi-Family Special Area, Commercial Limited, and Commercial districts to the proposed Multi-Family 3, Multi-Family 4, Mixed-Use 1, 2, and 3 districts. The changes also include creating new zoning districts with heights, FAR, and density to embed existing limits allowed in the Comprehensive Plan and the Design District to replace the North and South Mixed-Use Design Districts, and adding a new article for Urban Design and Public Improvement Standards.

The Zoning Code will also be updated to allow certain uses within the new zoning districts, increase certain landscape requirements, permit remote parking /payment-in-lieu, and clarify the process for zoning applications. Specifically, the new open space regulations will clarify the distinction between landscaped and urban open space and increase the landscaped open space requirement for certain multi‐family developments. The new mixed-use regulations permit a mix of uses as‐of‐right, provide consistency between the Zoning Code and Future Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan for maximum heights, incentivize small-scale development, and allow certain parking reductions.

In addition to voting on the Zoning Code update, the Planning and Zoning Board will consider three ordinances which will change the future land use designation for certain properties located within the Crafts section from either Single-Family High Density or Multi-Family Duplex Density to Commercial Low-Rise Intensity; rezone those properties from either Single-Family Residential (SFR) District or Multi-Family 1 Duplex (MF1) District to Mixed Use 1 (MX1) District; and amend the Site Specific Regulations by deleting provisions for height restrictions on those certain properties.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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