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What can I do to change property zoning requirements in Miami?

As a commercial real estate owner in Miami, FL, you may want to use your property for a purpose that is not included in the current zoning requirements. Getting the property re-zoned is often not possible. However, you may be able to get a waiver that allows you to use your property in the way that is most beneficial to you, as long as it does not cause hardship to anyone else. This waiver is called a variance, and the City of Miami’s Planning and Zoning Department typically issues one to provide authorization for changes to the following:

  •          Lot size or coverage
  •          Dimensions of setbacks
  •          Parking, loading or open space requirements

The City of Miami requires a pre-application phase, which involves gathering information such as the building baseline, architectural plans and the legal description of the property. Within 15 days of the application submission, you must meet with the planning and zoning director and the zoning administrator. You may also request informal consultations with these departments at any time to answer questions you have about the process.

At a pre-application meeting with the city’s Hearing Boards, you will receive application materials, and you may be asked questions about the application. If your submission is acceptable, you will receive a referral that allows you to put in the application for a variance, and your plans are submitted for technical review. Hearing Boards reviews the completed application package with you during the application phase, you pay your fees, and your PZAB hearing is scheduled. The application forms, fee schedules and other details are available on the City of Miami Hearing Boards website. 

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