Transformative Urban Policy: Miami's Live Local Act

Revolutionizing Housing Density

The Live Local Act in the City of Miami marks a significant shift in urban development policies. By allowing for the construction of up to 4.5 times more housing units than currently permitted by base zoning regulations, this act could dramatically alter the cityscape, particularly in areas zoned as T4-L, which are known for their restrictive housing policies. Despite its potential, the act introduces complexities, especially in the interpretation of setback rules.

Empirical Approach to Urban Planning

Our journey to decipher the impact of the Live Local Act began with an in-depth analysis of 346 properties within the T4-L zoning designation. Focusing on 74 single-family homes, we utilized property assembly and advanced modeling techniques to compare the potential for housing development under traditional zoning constraints and the expansive possibilities offered by the Live Local Act.

Revealing the Potential

The findings from our study were revealing:

Existing zoning regulations allow for an expansion to 282 units from the initial 74 single-family homes.

The Live Local Act could potentially increase this number to a staggering 1,267 units, all without exceeding an eight-story height limit to avoid the complexities of additional setback requirements for plots around 7,500 square feet.

Navigating Regulatory Ambiguities

The application of setback rules under the Live Local Act remains ambiguous, with official statements from the City of Miami adding to the confusion. This ambiguity raises questions about whether the T4-L setback rules could be bypassed, allowing for the development of taller structures that could potentially reach the heights of 12-story buildings.

Ongoing Quest for Clarity

As the urban planning and development community awaits clearer guidelines from city officials, the potential for significant urban transformation under the Live Local Act hangs in the balance. The resolution of these regulatory ambiguities will be crucial in unlocking the full potential of this transformative policy.

Author Olivia Ramos
Founder and CEO of Deepblocks, holds master's degrees in Architecture from Columbia University and Real Estate Development from the University of Miami. Her achievements before Deepblocks include designing Big Data navigation software for the Department of Defense's DARPA Innovation House and graduating from Singularity University's Global Solutions and Accelerator programs.