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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Recommended Changes to NCDs Now in City Hands

Over the past few months the Grove 2030 Governance Working Group, in collaboration with the Coconut Grove Village Council and other community organizations, has prepared a number of recommended changes to the Grove’s zoning laws. The so-called Neighborhood Conservation District 2 & 3 overlays (or NCDs), created about a decade ago, allow city planners to tailor growth and development regulations to our community with its unique needs and challenges. The intent of the laws, enshrined in City code, is clear: “To establish a protective series of legislative elements to preserve the historic, heavily landscaped character of Coconut Grove’s residential areas; enhance and protect Coconut Grove’s natural features such as the tree canopy and green space; and protect the architectural variety within the unique single family neighborhood that comprises Coconut Grove. The community of Coconut Grove predates the City of Miami, and is known for its character, derived from lush landscaping, and naturally occurring vegetation and trees, and its unique property sizes and shapes; bay views geologic features; proximity to Biscayne Bay; public open space; recreational opportunities; commercial services; and a special character imparted by its tropical vegetation and historic structures.”

But the laws, according to many residents we spoke with, are not working. The very things which make the Grove unique, and which the NCDs were designed to protect – tree canopy, architectural variety, historic structures and more – are at grave risk of disappearing. Our recommendations help address some of these challenges. Among them are:
·       Restrictions on the size of new homes being built within single-family districts.
·       Rules to promote tree canopy, including protection for so-called “heritage” trees greater than 24 inches in diameter.
·       Provisions for a City review of historic significance for all structures older than 50 years when a demolition permit is requested.
·       An increase in the green space and canopy requirements within single-family building sites.
·       An exemption from City’s provisions that allow developers to circumvent zoning laws on large-scale development sites.

In many ways, we’ve merely proposed stronger, clearer language. And apart from the changes to the NCDs, we are recommending a series of additional measures – such as creation of a Coconut Grove Design Review Board -- to further protect the Grove’s unique character. To be clear, these are merely our recommendations; we surely recognize that not everyone will agree with them. They now rest in the hands of both District 2 Commissioner Ken Russell and with City of Miami Planning Director Francisco Garcia who are overseeing the project to revamp our NCDs. They need your input.

You can view all of our proposed changes by visiting our website ( Please keep in mind that only through strong and consistent community support will our City leaders provide the legislative protections that Coconut Grove needs and deserves.

David Villano
Grove 2030  

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Blogger Seth Sklarey said...

You forgot one important sentence in the revisions:
"Coconut Grove don't need no stinkin' white boxes."

March 07, 2017 7:26 AM  
Blogger John Snyder said...

Blogger John Snyder said...
I am heartened that the proposed changes are at last being made public. There are However, some serious flaws in the proposal:
Primary is the FAR requirements, At present the average Floor Area Ratio is about 15% In the South Grove, the proposal seems to call for doubling and tripling this ratio. The requirements for green space make no distinction for areas on Septic systems and those on sanitary sewers; there is a major difference. A septic drain field for a 4 or 5 bedroom house requires a large space double that required for the drain field alone. This space should not support anything but grass or ground cover. Homes with septic systems should not be allowed to count this space as part of the "green space" as they are not a space for trees to grow.

March 07, 2017 9:05 AM

March 07, 2017 1:22 PM  
Blogger Lance said...

You she'll take a shower prior to make those comments.
The Estructure in front of your house with the flat roof it's a legal one I was done without a permit ?

March 07, 2017 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I commend the Grove 2030 group for their efforts. But I respectfully suggest that the tone of this letter is a bit too apologetic and should be a little more assertive. It sounds as if you are begging for help. Instead you need to state the qualification of those that have been considering these issues and the amount of time they have dedicated to discussing solutions with our community. That your position has "Standing" and that you are available to help the City of Miami make peace with residents and business operator's. That Center and West Grove would have kept it authentic charm and community if they had not been decimate with Faux Mediterranean Townhouses and now Faux Contemporary Townhouses and PUD's if the zoning had remained Single Family Residential. That a "Design Board" should have been established 20 years ago to help the halt the cookie cutter proliferation of the same designs. The effort of Grove 2030 is most noble and I wish them success. But elected leaders seem to be more concerned in benefiting those developers and lawyers that helped fund their political campaigns and those developers that promise them more property taxes. In the 35 years I have lived in Coconut Grove the only time I recall justice for our community was when the Vizcayan’s and Grove Isle rich folk sued the City of Miami for their willingness to illegally rezone Mercy Hospital for three luxury condo towers. The lesson here is that if you want a chance of getting justice, you have to sue. At the very least, it’s time for our City to make sure the residents have a more level playing field and chance for fairness by providing a Public Zoning Advocate.

March 07, 2017 3:23 PM  
Blogger Lance said...

You live en a old dirty house full of mildew
( not allowed by code) .problaby you have painted in 30 years and you pretended to by a soldier on code compliance.I rader have no trees than a neighbor like irresponsible way to act already cost a lot of money to many people's.shame that people like you have a voice.take care of you house before worried about waivers ad codes

March 07, 2017 3:39 PM  
Blogger Lance said...

David villano : you own a property in city of miami ?

March 07, 2017 3:48 PM  
Blogger Rafael T said...

I VEHEMENTLY Oppose an Architectural Review Board. The whole point of the Grove is in freedom to build what we feel like building. We DO NOT want to be Coral Gables. Most houses in the Grove are 50's ranches anyways.

March 08, 2017 9:49 AM  
Blogger Glenn Patron said...

The revision of NCD2 and NCD3 is a positive step. However, there is ample proof that the City has not followed the current law. Why should we think they will enforce anything new?

Look at now infamous 13 new homes in the South Grove with "Mistakes" mentioned at the City Commission last year. Has any one in Planning and Zoning been reprimanded?

Has any developer been forced to remediate as in section 2108 of the Municipaal code?

March 08, 2017 10:24 AM  
Blogger Rafael T said...

Doubtful. Most cases of "illegal" or Zoning violation typically goes through a "legalization" process which for the most part never requires any kind of demolition.

March 08, 2017 10:44 AM  

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