Miami Beach Referendum 6: Floor-to-area ratio along Washington Avenue and Alton Road

Lincoln Road

This post is part of our voter guide for the Nov. 5 local elections. Head to the main landing page for a guide to some other key races.

In addition to three commission races, Miami Beach voters will have to vote on six referenda when they head to the polls. The sixth referendum reads like this:

Floor area ratio (“FAR”) is the measure the City utilizes to regulate overall building size. The maximum FAR in the CD2 district is 1.5. However, if more than 25% of building area is used for residential / hotel units, the maximum FAR is 2.0. Shall City adopt Ordinance increasing FAR to 2.0 for buildings in CD2, along Washington Avenue and Alton Road, if more than 25% of the building area is used for offices? 

This is the second floor-area ratio referendum on the ballot, and while that term might sound really wonky, it’s not that complex. It refers to how big and tall a building can be (or in other words, how dense it is). 

The other FAR item is about historic buildings, but this one is a little more broad and focused on the city’s CD-2 development district. That area allows for development with “medium intensity.” Think bigger buildings than a normal residential street but not skyscrapers. 

This referendum is asking voters to potentially allow for taller or bigger buildings in the district, but only along Washington Avenue and Alton Road, and only if more than one-quarter of the building’s area is used as office space.

In case you’re curious (and want nerd points with your friends), here’s the section of the city charter that explains why this FAR change has to come before voters.

If you vote yes, you’re supporting a potential increase in floor-area ratio for buildings along Washington Avenue and Alton Road, if they have enough office space

If you vote no, then you’re supporting the current regulations for floor-area ratio in those areas.

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