Wednesday May 17, 2006
Went to a Miami21 meeting yesterday. Miami 21 is a great big master plan the city’s working on with Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company, and they recently unveiled a draft of the document (actually, the “document”: is a Powerpoint presentation, so I’m not sure it technically counts as a “draft”); this meeting was one of three intended to be an opportunity for citizen feedback. In the first hour, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk ran through the Powerpoint. A lot of her presentation was in city planning lingo and acronyms (sample slide: “Calculation of NFA based on GLA”), and I hadn’t really done my homework.
Still, the plan is commendable: it re-does the current zoning codes to create a logical distribution of density, human-scaled development, pedestrian-friendly streets, agreeable public spaces, and the like. If Miami were being built from scratch according to a plan like this (don’t laugh: see New Songdo), everything would be great. Coming, as it does, at the tail end of a building boom, well . . . we’ll see – it’s still a worthwhile effort, I guess.
The second half of the meeting (which ran quite precisely 5:45 – 7:45 pm) was for citizen comments and questions, which ran more or less as you would expect: a few property owners complaining that the changes would reduce their property’s value, a few passionate citizens with problems specific to their neighborhoods, and general grumbling that the process isn’t allowing enough time for citizen input. With regard to the latter, they have a point – the plan has only been on the web a couple of days, and there were a number of hands still up when the meeting ended. Ms. Plater-Zyberk handled this part of the meeting very well, answering the questions as best as possible, promising, as appropriate, to revisit each of the specific issues raised, and assuring everyone that, while the whole process was being rushed, they’d take the time to work through everyone’s concerns and stretch the schedule if necessary.
More meetings follow for Little Haiti, Upper Eastside, Wynwood, and Edgewater over the next couple of days (the plan is divided up into four quadrants, and all this is really just referencing the first of them).comments powered by Disqus