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City of Miami Is First to Publish Updated Live Local Act 2024 (SB328) Policies and Procedures

Anthony De Yurre, Javier F. Aviñó, Andrés T. Rivero & Carlos A. Markovich
City of Miami Is 1st to Publish Updated Live Local Act 2024 Policies and Procedures Blog Post ImageCredit goes to the City of Miami staff for becoming among, if not the first Florida municipality, to publish their updated interpretation and guidelines for Live Local Act 2024 (SB328). With the new clarifications generally, things are moving much faster for Live Local Act 2024 (SB328), than Live Local Act 2023 (SB102). After unanimous approval by the Florida Legislature on February 28, 2024, Florida Governor DeSantis, just 3 weeks ago, signed SB328 into law. Yesterday, the City of Miami, South Florida’s most populous (and unfortunately among the United States’ least affordable city’s) published its interpretation, policies and procedures for the administrative approval of Live Local Act projects.  

SB328 modified Florida Statute Sections 125.01055(7)(e) and 166.04151(7)(e) by creating a new requirement for cities and counties to “maintain, on its website, a policy containing procedures and expectations for administrative approval” for Live Local Act projects. This small tweak to the Live Local Act is critical because last year many owners and developers lacked transparency as to how the Live Local Act would be applied by the Florida’s nearly 500 municipalities.    

Miami, in its interpretation, provides how a development project may qualify under the Live Local Act, as follows (Live Local Act 2024 (SB328) guidelines (specifically noted as “NEW”) :

1. Zoning District: “In any area zoned for commercial, industrial, or mixed use.” -- The following Miami 21 Transect Zones are considered commercial, industrial, or mixed use and qualify under the Live Local Act: T4-L, T4-O, T5-L, T5-O, T6-R, T6-L, T6-O, CS, CI, CI-HD, D1, D2, and D3 (unless designated as CWW in the Miami Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan (“MCNP”)). All T3 zones as well as T4-R and T5-R do not qualify under the Act as they do not permit mixed use.

2. The project provides at least 40% of residential units at or below 120% of area median income for 30 years or more. Florida Housing Finance Corporation 2024 Rent Limits for all of Miami-Dade County, including all cities therein, are listed below:
2024 Rent Limits for Miami-Dade County Graph Image

3. The project contains 65% or more residential use by square footage (if mixed use);

4. The project cannot be in areas designated as recreational and commercial working waterfront (“CWW”) in Miami’s comprehensive plan;

5. NEW - The project cannot be located “within one-quarter of a mile laterally from the runway edge and within an area that is the width of one-quarter of a mile extending at right angles from the sides and end of the runway for a distance of 10,000 feet of any existing airport runway or planned airport runway identified in the local government’s airport master plan.” These areas are generally southeasterly of Miami International Airport to approximately the intersection of West Flagler Street and 37th Avenue, as well as, easterly to approximately the intersection of NW 17th Street and NW 30th Avenue. Properties close to these prohibited theoretical runway extensions may provide a specific purpose survey to prove compliance with the Live Local Act.

Miami states that upon qualification, a project is then reviewed, via administrative approval based upon the following development parameters (Live Local Act 2024 (SB328) guidelines (specifically noted as “NEW”) :

1. Units: The highest density allowed in the jurisdiction, which is 1000 dwelling units per acre;

2. Height: The maximum height permitted within 1 mile “for a commercial or residential development.” Properties close to the 1 mile distance requirement may provide a specific purpose survey to prove compliance with the Act 

3. NEW - A site sharing a lot line with a T3 Transect Zone containing at least 25 single-family homes, on two or more of its sides, is only permitted the higher of (a) 150% of the height allowed on a property sharing a lot line with the subject site, (b) the height afforded to the property by its own underlying Transect Zone, or (c) three stories, whichever is greater. This provision does not apply to subject sites with only one of its sides adjacent to a T3 Transect Zone.

4. NEW - FLR - A Floor Lot Ratio (“FLR”) of 36. Because a municipality may not restrict floor area ratio (a term similar to floor lot ratio and understood to be the same development parameter – overall building bulk or square footage) below 150% of the highest currently allowed before bonuses, a qualifying project receives an FLR of 36.  As per T6-80, Miami 21’s highest Intensity zone, FLR is permitted as 24 by right and 150% of 24 is 36. Note, though the Act grants a 36 FLR, the FLR limitations on commercial use in certain zones in the MCNP continue to apply, and due to T4-L and T4-O zones corresponding to the Low Density Restricted Commercial category of the MCNP, the limitation that the nonresidential portion of the development be no more than 3 times the net lot area continues to apply.

5. NEW - Parking requirements are eliminated for a mixed-use project in a Transit Oriented Development area. The project, to be mixed-use, must incorporate a Commercial, Office or other Use aside from Lodging.

6. NEW - Parking requirements are reduced by 20% if the project is located within a ½ mile of a “major transportation hub” where the project has available parking within 600 feet of the project. This permits the project to reduce parking requirements, though an offsite parking, however a covenant is required. Miami 21 permits a further distance of 1,000 feet to offsite parking but not if the project is within 500 feet of a T3 Transect Zone. The Act’s requirements are without that limitation, but only permit a maximum distance of 600 feet. “Major Transportation Hub” includes Metrorail and Metromover stops, as well as the Downtown Government Center bus depot, as well as the Omni bus depot.

City of Miami has determined that Live Local Act administrative review will be as follows:

1. As of Right: The Live Local Act seeks to allow projects “by right.” Miami 21 permits projects such as these in a by right fashion. 

2. Waivers: Use of the Live Local Act for a project does not preclude an application for Waivers. However, at that point the project will not proceed by right and will require an administrative waiver application.

3. Warrants: Especially in mixed-use projects, Warrants (also known as conditional use permits) shall follow the administrative process for receiving such approvals. 

4. Exceptions: Exceptions requiring public hearings, including for maximum lot size, continue to apply.

5. Historic: Projects subject to the Historic and Environmental Board (“HEPB”) process, whether at the board or staff level, continue to be subject to the same process. The HEPB board is required to apply its criteria, including compatibility, for these projects as they would for any other. The HEPB reserves the right, notwithstanding the maximum height permitted by the Live Local Act, to reduce or condition height based on its application of the appropriate standards for a district or property for purposes of compatibility.

6. Urban Development Review Board: Similar to other administratively processed affordable housing projects, the project may be subject to UDRB, per Miami 21 Code, Section This ensures that the aesthetics and design quality are maintained consistently for similar projects.

For more information on the Live Local Act 2024 (SB328), and the City of Miami’s interpretation, please do not hesitate to contact the author of this article at; or
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