Miami Springs resident, John Souder, has submitted the following review of the controversial new downtown development at 1 Curtiss Parkway.  According to Mr. Souder, the proposed project is “unlawful” in 3 areas:  Height, Number of Units, and Overall Size.  Read the complete report below:

Report from John Souder:

Mr. Suarez,

I have spent some time reviewing the Proposed Multi-Use Project at 1 Curtiss Parkway, and wanted to share with you (and perhaps your interested readers) some of my findings.

I believe that this Project will be unlawful – contrary to Our Building Code – on no less than 3 counts.

1 – The Proposed Project, (as drawn by the Developers’ Architect,) will be a structure that is TALLER THAN ALLOWED by Miami Springs’ Building Code.  This Project will exceed our Code of Ordinances’ Height Restriction of 40′ by absolutely no less than 1 foot 4 inches.  (Please note that I believe the Project will actually be much taller – not less than 46’8″.)

2 – The Proposed Project has MORE THAN TWICE the lawful allowance of residential dwelling units per acre.  The Project is slated to contain 51 apartments on 1.1128 acres.  The Comprehensive Plan of The City of Miami Springs allows for no more than 20 dwellings per acre.

3 – The Proposed Project, (as submitted by the Developer, the Developers’ Architect, and as verified by Our City Planner,) has an advertised Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 1.52.  However, this Project will actually have a Floor Area Ratio of 1.71, EXCEEDING THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE FAR for the Gateway District.

Please find attached to this e-mail 18 PAGES [sections], (as indexed below,) that will help to substantiate my claims, and perhaps help to raise some concerns among your Readers.

Thanking you in advance for your kind attention and consideration.

Very Respectfully,

John Souder
Miami Springs

SECTION 1 – BUILDING HEIGHT

Page 1 – Architect/Developer-submitted rendering of the Proposed Project at 1 Curtiss Parkway.  (View is from the SE corner of Hook Square.)  The picture has highlighted areas (red circles showing 4 stair-towers/roof access points) where the Project appears to exceed the 40-foot maximum Building Height set forth in the Miami Springs Code of Ordinances.

SECTION 2 – BUILDING HEIGHT DEFINITIONS

Excerpts from the Miami Springs Code of Ordinances, Section 150 showing the definition of Building Height.

CHAPTER 150 – ZONING CODE

Sec. 150-002. Definitions.

(C) The following words and phrases shall have the following meanings ascribed to them respectively:

(17) Building, height of. The vertical distance from the grade to the highest point of the COPING of a flat roof or to the deck line of a mansard roof, or to the mean height level between eaves and ridge for gable, hip, and gambrel roofs.

 (44) Height of building. The vertical distance from the grade to:

(a) The highest point of a flat roof.

(b) The deck line of a mansard roof.

(c) The average height between eaves and the ridge for gable, hip, and gambrel roofs.

(d) The average height between high and low points for a shed roof.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 1107 – 2018

CREATING SECTION 150.070.1, “MIAMI SPRINGS OVERLAY GATEWAY DISTRICT”

CHAPTER 150 – ZONING CODE

ARTICLE VII. BUSINESS DISTRICT

Sec. 150-070.1. – Miami Springs Gateway Overlay District

(A) Purpose……

(B) Boundary……

(C) Design Standards.

  1. Building height limitations. In keeping with the applicable requirement of the CBD, the maximum building height shall be no more than forty (40) feet and no more than three (3) stories. Rooftops may be activated provided that no vertical construction exceeds the height restrictions stated herein.

SECTION 3 – SITE PLAN SUBMISSIONS

Architect Seals from Site Plan drawings (dated 03-04-2019 and 04-16-2019, respectively.)

 

SECTION 4 – DISSIMILAR SITE PLAN DRAWING

Dissimilar Site Plan drawings, (Sheets A-3.0, dated 03-04-2019 and 04-16-2019, respectively,) showing OMITTED height specifications.

SECTION 5 – SITE PLAN DRAWINGS

Site Plan drawings, (Sheets A-3.2, dated 03-04-2019 and 04-16-2019, respectively,) showing the Height of the Proposed Project AS SUBMITTED TO THE CITY.

SECTION 6 – COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

Language taken from the City of Miami Springs Comprehensive Plan, Future Land Use Element, that clearly sets forth the ALLOWABLE RESIDENTIAL DENSITY, (no more than 20 dwellings per acre.)

SECTION 7 – STAFF ASSERTIONS

Staff assertions, taken from Approved Minutes of the April 1, 2019 Zoning & Planning Meeting.

SECTION 8 – SITE DATA TABLE

Site Data Table (taken from Sheet A-1.0) AS SUBMITTED TO THE CITY.  This paper shows many important Figures/Specifications of the Proposed Project at 1 Curtiss Parkway.  (It should be noted that the Figures for Building Height and Floor Area Ratio (FAR) appear to be mistakes, perhaps disingenuous.

(This page becomes important when attempting to evaluate the Floor Area Ratio of the Proposed Project.  It shows the numbers used by the Architect in determining the purported FAR of 1.52.  It also shows several of the numbers NOT USED (perhaps contrary to the Miami Springs Code of Ordinances) in the same calculation.)

SECTION 9 – F.A.R. Definition

A brief and (fairly) clear definition of Floor Area Ratio (FAR;)  An excerpt from the Miami Springs Code of Ordinances (Section 150) that outlines Our City’s definition of FAR;

(FAR is a measurement of BUILDING MASS; it tells us how much building can be built upon a given parcel.  Our City’s definition of BUILDING MASS or DENSITY or SIZE – length, width, height, breadth, girth – DOES NOT INCLUDE many features that make up the body of a given structure.  One critical EXCLUSION to the overall mass of the Proposed Project is the ENTIRETY OF THE PARKING GARAGE.)

SECTION 10 – ARCHITECTS’ FAR

Page 10 – An excerpt from the Site Data Table showing the Retail & Apartment areas (square footage) used in the Architects’ calculation of the Projects’ FAR;  The numbers and process used in determining the FAR of the Project;  Some notes on the numbers (inclusions and exclusions) used in the calculation;

SECTION 11 – CITY CONFIRMS FAR

City Staff confirmation of the Proposed Projects’ FAR of 1.52; The Developers’ assertion of the Proposed Projects’ FAR of 1.52;

SECTION 12 – GROUND FLOOR EXCLUSION

Ground floor AREAS NOT INCLUDED – that is, CODE-REQUIRED, but not included – in the FAR calculations of the Proposed Project;

SECTION 13 – 2nd Floor Exclusions

Second floor AREAS NOT INCLUDED – that is, CODE-REQUIRED, but not included – in the FAR calculations of the Proposed Project;

SECTION 14 – More 2nd Floor Exclusions

More second floor AREAS NOT INCLUDED – that is, CODE-REQUIRED, but not included – in the FAR calculations of the Proposed Project;

SECTION 15 – 3rd Floor Exclusions

Third floor AREAS NOT INCLUDED – that is, CODE-REQUIRED, but not included – in the FAR calculations of the Proposed Project;

SECTION 16 – More 3rd Floor Exclusions

Page 16 – More third floor AREAS NOT INCLUDED – that is, CODE-REQUIRED, but not included – in the FAR calculations of the Proposed Project;

Also – THIRD FLOOR TOTAL AREA – the sum of the SQUARE FOOTAGE REQUIRED by Miami Springs’ Building Code when calculating FAR;

SECTION 17 – Ground + 2nd Floor Total Areas

GROUND & SECOND FLOOR TOTAL AREAS – the sum of the SQUARE FOOTAGE REQUIRED by Miami Springs’ Building Code when calculating FAR;

SECTION 18 – TOTAL FLOOR AREA

Page 18 – PROPOSED PROJECT TOTAL FLOOR AREAS; and finally…………..

What appears to be the ACTUAL FLOOR AREA RATIO of the Proposed Project – 1.71 – above the FAR “cap” for the Gateway District.

Article submitted by Miami Springs resident John Souder.

Readers interested in submitting articles to be published on MiamiSprings.com may do so via email to editor@MiamiSprings.com.

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