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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Too much density at part of new NCD?

The Coconut Grove Park Homeowners Assn. (CGPHA)sent this mailing out yesterday, regarding the upcoming PZAB board hearing on the proposed new Coconut Grove NCD changes.

It appears to many that it supports too much density in the Grove. We are a small village, it makes no sense to add so much density to the village.

From the CGPHA:

This Wednesday at 6:30 pm there will be a PZAB hearing to vote on the new Neighborhood Conservation District ordinance (NCD).

This ordinance will have long-lasting affects on all future development in the Grove. It will decide how and what gets built over the next few decades so it is incredibly important that this ordinance supports what we want to see happen in the Grove.

One of the main impetus for the re-write of the code is the proliferation of overbuilding going on in our neighborhoods. The new NCD has some good things that help reduce cookie-cutter massing but it still has some glaring problems.

Such as:

Allowable Size of Houses Still Too Massive: The proposed maximum FLR of .65 is way too high and will result in houses being built that are virtually the same size as what is currently allowed. Because they are changing the definition for how they measure SF, it sounds like they are offering a reduction in size, but in reality, there will be virtually no change in the size of structures that get built. We find this completely unacceptable. Adjacent communities like Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Pinecrest and Key Biscayne max out at between .30 and .50. Why should we be more – we should be less!

Ancillary Units: The current draft will allow a separate apartment to be built on every single family lot of 7,500 SF or bigger. And to make matters worse, no additional parking is required for these units. This will fundamentally change single-family neighborhoods as we know them and should be opposed, or at the very least only be allowed on larger lots that can more easily accommodate the extra density and additional cars. And parking absolutely needs to be provided on site.

Higher Residential Height: They are changing the way they measure the height of houses. Currently the maximum 25’ height is measured to the midspan of a roof slope. They are revising this to be measured to the eave​,​ which will add approximately 5’ to the height of sloped-roof houses. They are raising this to more closely match how they measure flat roof houses - but instead of raising sloped-roof houses they should be lowering flat roof houses. We want less height in the Grove – not more height!

New hotel going up next to St. Stephen's
Commercial Areas: They are planning several bonuses to both density and the amount of area you can build. This has not been well studied and should be pulled from the NCD until the city and community better understand how these changes will affect our neighborhoods with increased people, parking, traffic etc. One bonus in particular will encourage 25’ high first floors. You only have to look at the new hotel that is going up next to St. Stephen's to see what that will look like along SW 27th Ave or Bird Ave. This will kill the human scale of the Grove. Another change they are planning will massively reduce​​ parking requirements by 50% for new apartments or commercial projects in areas immediately adjacent to single family districts. This could create massive overflow parking on our residential streets. We need to hold this to a maximum of a 30% parking reduction.

These are just some of the very important issues that are being voted on at the PZAB meeting on Wednesday​, April 18​. The meeting is at City Hall (3500 Pan American Drive) and we really need a full turnout to counteract the development forces that will be out there in force.

This meeting ​is our best chance to put an end to over-development and protect the Grove for decades to come. We need you to be there!

Coconut Grove Park Homeowners Assn.

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