Re-envisioning the Town Center North Overlay

Town Center North Overlay Public Engagement Project

Thank you to everyone who participated in our public engagement efforts. We are now in the final steps of the Town Center North Overlay Public Engagement Project. Below you can read about the four strategies our consultant from Calvin, Giordano & Associates created based on the public feedback received throughout the last year of outreach.

Read the Town Center North Overlay Final Report

Town Center North Overlay Strategy Options Scorecard

At the end of the Town Center North Overlay Public Engagement Project, the City must decide what it wants to achieve (policy goals) with regards to the future of the TCNO and how to achieve it (regulatory implementation). Weighing the public input and the elements of the vision, the project team has compiled four (4) policy and regulatory strategies and provided a neutral basis for evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Scoring Factors: Get to Know the Scorecard

This scorecard is designed to facilitate a side-by-side review and evaluation of several potential courses of regulatory action available to the City of Sunny Isles Beach, with the factors involved in each potential decision concisely and objectively presented. These strategies are broad concepts, not designed to encapsulate every detail of the processes needed to achieve a strategy. To allow for an “apples to apples” comparison, four criteria, important to residents, business owners, landowners, developers, staff, and the City, were scored on a simple scale of 1 to 5.

Scoring on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being least favorable to 5 most favorable. Community Response refers to input provided by the public via the community engagement process it also refers to consensus identified through the process regarding specific ideas. Risk refers to potential legal and fiscal ramifications to the City, based on an estimate of the development impact of changes, as well as on feedback from the City Attorney. Complexity reflects the relative level of exertion required in terms of City coordination and effort due to thresholds to meeting technical analyses to prepare and/or documentation to assemble due to the number of moving parts. Process expediency indicates the estimated length and pace of the process based on the number of local administrative or legislative requirements and the applicable level of State review.

Strategy Options Scored

Each strategy option has been scored using the four criteria referenced above.

Option Let It Be. Keeping the district as originally intended. This option entails keeping the TCNO in the Comprehensive Plan, and ensuring that it meets the district's original intent. Implications: While keeping the current boundary and character of the TCNo, intensity and density measures must be added to achieve compliance with the Florida Statutes (these metrics are not in the TCNO land use designation today). A text amendment is therefore required. Text changes to the Town Center zoning district will be needed to achieve consistency with the Comprehensive Plan amendment, and the Zoning Map must be amended to match the Zoning Code changes. Score: Community response scored a 4, risk scored a 1, complexity scored a 2, process expediency scored a 2. Cumulative score of 9.

Option Toss it away: Eliminating the district. This option would simply eliminate the TCNO in the Comprehensive Plan, leaving future development and redevelopment to be guided by the existing underlying land use districts (Medium to High Density Residential and Mixed-Use Business). Implications: Considers whether the City needs a "town center" at all. Requires Comprehensive Plan text and Future Land Use Map amendments to eliminate the Overlay. Text amendments to the Zoning Code are needed to eliminate the Town Center zoning district. Zoning Map amendment is needed to rezone the land currently zoned Town Center to more appropriate zoning designations (compatible with the underlying future land use districts). Community response scored a 3, risk scored a 2, complexity scored a 2, process expediency scored a 2. Cumulative Score is 9. * A variation of this strategy could be to convert the Town Center Zoning District base designation to a zoning overlay with any necessary variations, for example, adding in design guidelines from the Comprehensive Plan. This change still would require Zoning Code and Zoning Map amendments.

Option: A Narrower Focus - Redefining the district. In this option, the overlay is shrunk (i.e., redrawn) to apply only to the residential portion of the present district. The overlay is removed from the commercial properties fronting on Collins Avenue. There, future development would be controlled by the underlying Mixed Use Business land use designation. New zoning would have to be established for the commercial properties. Implications: Requires Future Land Use and Zoning Map amendment to remove the TCNO designation from the commercial portion of the current district, to redraw the boundary of the Town Center zoning district to match the Future Land Use Map, and to rezone the commercial portion of the current Town Center zoning district to a different zoning category. Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code text amendments will be necessary to clarify density and intensity in the overlay as well as the provisions of the zoning district. Score: Community Response scored 5. Risk scored 3. Complexity scored 2. Process expediency scored 2. Cumulative score of 12.

Option A New Vision: Creating a new district from scratch. In this option, a new "Town Center North" land use designation (i.e. base district) would be established to replace the Overlay. New development guidelines would be created as part of the new district. Implications: Requires Comprehensive Plan text amendments to create a new land use designation, with its own density and intensity measures, and to eliminate the existing TCNO and underlying land use districts. A Future Land Use Map amendment is required to re-designate all properties within the current overlay to the new base district. The Zoning Code will have to be amended to match changes in the Comprehensive Plan. Zoning Map changes are also necessary. Score: Community response scored a 4, Risk scored a 3, complexity scored a 2, Process expediency scored a 1. A potential variation on this strategy is to consider whether the Town Center, as a general concept, should be applied (i.e. relocated) to an entirely different area of the City. This may require regrouping and assessing the implications of this. A Separate study might be needed to understand the implications of this as a strategy.

Contact Us

Planning and Zoning Department
[email protected]



Additional Resources and Information

Project Facilitator

Silvia Vargas ~ Calvin, Giordano & Associates

Silvia Vargas
Silvia Vargas
Principal Planner
Calvin, Giordano & Associates

Silvia Vargas is a professional planner with more than 26 years of experience throughout the U.S. and abroad. After starting as a public sector planner in the Florida Keys, Silvia’s subsequent private practice spans planning projects at every scale, in urban, suburban and rural contexts. She has directed some 24 region-wide, county and municipal comprehensive plans, many of which have received national or state awards for planning excellence from the American Planning Association and other professional organizations. Silvia has also led numerous community visioning and strategic planning processes, parks and open space plans, regulatory codes and design standards, university campus master plans, community revitalization processes, and placemaking initiatives. Silvia is a skilled Project Manager and an imaginative facilitator who specializes in designing creative public engagement processes. Her background and experience give her great competence and sensitivity toward the challenges of collaborating with diverse stakeholders in the planning process.