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By: Mark Maurer
January 17, 2014
South Florida planning councils and several other counties in the state are joining forces to compile a 50-year proposal for long-term zoning and real estate development. The plan supports mixed-use projects with an emphasis on communities of homes and businesses – merging both residential and commercial in each building.
Local leaders from municipalities such as Coral Gables, Hialeah and Boynton Beach have thrown support behind initiative, known as Seven50. The “seven” refers to the alliance of seven total counties. Hundreds of people attended a summit yesterday at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center to learn more about the strategy.
Developers are likely to be rewarded for building “walkable downtowns” in which pedestrians can readily access supermarkets and eateries. Seven50 also takes rising sea levels into consideration.
“We could also be smarter about parking,” Victor Brandon Dover, a principal of Coral Gables-based Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planning and a consultant for Seven50. “Typical zoning, which may have been adopted in the 1950s, requires too much parking. But it’s a huge impediment to affordable housing, especially as land gets more expensive. Local governments can choose to update their zoning codes. The ones that do are going to be the most competitive.”