Tuesday, October 13, 2009

News from Florida

Alan Krischer sends us the following update from Miami:

As with Denver, the City of Miami is also in the process of adopting a completely new zoning code.  The "Miami 21" rewrite is a form-based code reflecting many tenets of New Urbanist planning principles. 
It's expected to come before the City Commission relatively soon, since outgoing Mayor Manny Diaz wants to have it adopted before his term ends with this November's elections; I believe it will be on their October 22, 2009 meeting, though the agenda is not yet available.
Also, next year, Florida's citizens will vote on a state constitutional amendment to require referenda in land use decisions state-wide.  A group of citizens successfully garnered the necessary signatures to put on the ballot a proposal to require that all amendments to local government comprehensive plans be effective only upon a vote of the electorate in that jurisdiction.  Under Florida's growth management regulations, all local governments are required to adopt these comprehensive plans, and all zoning and permitting decisions are required to be consistent with them.  The proposed amendment, the "Florida Hometown Democracy Amendment" or "Amendment 4," would therefore have the effect of requiring a wide range of land use decisions, both major and minor, to go to a vote.  It's another example of efforts to use referenda and other forms of direct democracy in land use decisions, which you've touched on in the blog before - but it's one of the most expansive efforts that I'm aware of.

Also, for those of you who have posted comments, we've got the comment-approval system sorted out now.  Please comment away!  We appreciate your feedback and additional information on our posts.



Form-Based Codes, Planning, Politics | Permalink

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There are several publications that summarize the state of the practice for form based codes, and that would be of interest to attorneys: Codifying the New Urbanism: How to Reform Municipal Land Development Regulations (American Planning Association, PAS Report No. 526, 2004), and D. Slone & D. Goldstein, eds., A Legal Guide to Urban and Sustainable Development for Planners, Developers and Architects (John Wiley & Sons, 2008), and D. Parolek, K. Parolek and P. Crawford, Form-Based Codes: A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities, and Developers (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). We recently wrote a citywide form based code for Albuquerque that was adopted last year, and codes for St. Petersburg, Florida and San Antonio, Texas that have strong design based elements. San Antonio's code has been in place since 2002, and St. Pete adopted its code several years back.

Posted by: Mark White | Oct 13, 2009 11:10:51 AM

I wrote about "Hometown Democracy" some years ago at


Posted by: Michael Lewyn | Oct 23, 2009 7:57:07 AM