McMasions Could Be a Thing of the Past in Miami Beach if New Ordinance Is Approved

When cities boom, and in this case Mid-Beach is having a spectacular moment, there come new ordinances, or municipal laws, to reign in construction rather than growth. Such is the case with Commissioner Joy Malakoff’s proposed ordinance, which was met with both supporters and dissenters of the development of Miami Beach.

Many Miami Beach residents want development reigned in to preserve the natural beauty of the area and also to preserve the urbanity without the urban feel of a bigger city. While neither side will ever be fully happy, there have certainly been attempts to reach reasonable compromises. The ordinance has moved to the city commission to iron out the details before it reaches the planning board.

The skinny on the municipal law is that the unit size of homes would be reduced to 45 percent, down from 50 percent, in single-family districts. The measure would affect building size as well as lot size, which will be downsized from 30 percent to 25 percent. For example, a 5,000 square foot-house will be reduced to 4,500 square feet.

An interesting aspect of the ordinance is that projections from the house will count towards square footage. Thus, if a homeowner wants to get creative with extended roofs, it will be counted towards total square footage. Another way to think about this is if it castes a shadow, it may count towards your overall footprint.

Not everyone is happy with the measure. Preservationists are miffed that considerations are being made for new homes while significant houses, both historically and architecturally, are being torn down.

Homes should be scaled to match the neighborhood and not seen as a free- for- all with building houses or purchasing older homes to demolish and create super homes that are out of place and which dwarf more modest homes. Certain groups are upset because Miami Beach is not just a vacation destination and those who want to express themselves through the design of their home are hindered. Many feel that the ordinance is unfair, as it disrupts homes already under construction and offers no incentives for bigger homes, which could lead to further growth.

For more information on Miami Beach properties contact Suzanne Feanny for a free consultation.

Source: The, “Miami Beach proposes rule to reduce size of future single-family homes”. James Teeple 10 September 2015.