Miami's New Form Based Zoning Code Miami 21 Implications for Owners and Developers Suzanne Hollander Professor Real Estate
For the first time in 20 years, The City of Miami’s zoning changed. This change is BIG DEAL for property owners and developers.It impacts the $$$ that they may expect to make on the development and sale of property.I’vehelped the owners that I work with as a Realtor to understand the implications of the new code, Miami 21, to their property and sale price, save their entitlements and learn about the potential of up-zoning.
Miami 21 is essential to understand if you own or are purchasing property in the City of Miami.It regulates the density (number of units), size (height and building size), use and design of what can be built on every property in the City of Miami.
The new code is so important for property owners in the City of Miami that I invited one of the most instrumental officials in drafting the code, Mrs. Luciana Lamardo González, the Assistant to the Director of the City of Miami’s Planning Department and the City of Miami’s Project Manager for the new code, to Guest Lecture in class.
Ms. Gonzalez Guest Lectured on Wednesday February 9, 2011.Ms. Gonzalez’ lecture was dynamic and informative because of her role as a central figure in the development and implementation of the new code. She served a significant role in the drafting of the Code, managing all the public outreach, marketing and communications, briefing of political leaders, drafting legislation, and leading the Miami 21 implementation and staff training.Over the past five years, Ms. Gonzalez participated in 60 public hearings on behalf of the City of Miami Planning Department regarding the enactment of the provisions of the new code and 500 meetings with property owners, developers and stakeholders.
Ms. Gonzalez prepared a detailed power point presentation that explained the reasons that the City adopted the new code which include: providing a stable environment for investment in real estate, providing specific and clear guidelines for development and creating a more efficient permitting process.
Ms. Gonzalez also explained that new code divides the City of Miami into six Transect Zones: T1 (Natural), T2 (Rural); T3(Suburban); T4 (General Urban); T5 (Urban Center) and T6(Urban Core) as well as three districts: D1 (Work Place Light Industrial); D2 (Industrial) and D3 (Waterfront Industrial).
Most of the property owners that I work with as a Realtor own properties in the T6 – Miami Urban Core and T4 General Urban Core locations.
In terms of development capacity, Ms. Gonzalez explained that the new code uses Floor Lot Ratio (FLR) as the ratio to determine overall capacity, instead of FAR (Floor Area Ratio) used under the previous code.FLR is a multiplier, it is the net lot area (the property square footage) multiplied by the development capacity identified in the transect zone.The use of FLR eliminates confusing gross lot area calculations and adds predictability.
Ms. Gonzalez also shared with us that she and the City of Miami are very proud that the new code won significant national awards, recognition and praise, including: American Planning Association National Award of Excellence for Best Practice, Chicago Athenaneum- American Architecture Award, Form Based Code Institute – Driehaus Form Based Code Award – Paul Crawford Distinction for a Groundbreaking Code and Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association Best Practices Award.
We thank Ms. Luciana Lamaro Gonzalez for her Guest Lecture and participation in a lively class discussion with us about the importance, implications and application of the provisions of the new code to properties throughtout the City of Miami.
As mentioned above, most of the owners that I work as a Broker own properties in in the T6 – Miami Urban Core and T4 General Urban Core locations. I’vehelped them to understand the implications of the new code to their property.

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The People's Professor  - Professor Real Estate®
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3 Responses

  1. The lecture from Ms. Gonzalez was great. It was very informative and very important for us to know that the new code of Miami 21 promotes a healthy environment for residendts of Miami. Thank you!

    • Hi Esperanza – Good to hear from you ! I am glad you liked the Guest Lecture of Luciana Gonzalez, Assistant to the City of Miami Director of Planning! How are you? Did you graduate? Are you working in real estate? Please encourage your friends to “Like” Professor Real Estate on Facebook and to follow this RSS Feed!


      Professor Real Estate Suzanne Hollander

  2. Hi Esperanza – Thanks for your comment! You are right, Ms. Gonzalez is great – she has a very serious job at the City of Miami and she played an important role in drafting the new zoning code and she knows how to present it to make it understandable! I am glad you enjoyed the lecture! I am grading the homework from that evening now and it looks good!


    Professor Suznane Hollander

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