vacantLotShould architects and landscapers be allowed to sit in municipal committees?  That’s one of the exemptions being considered by Miami Beach commissioners in an effort to prevent less than attractive housing from blighting neighborhoods or a proliferation of vacant lots that only end up gathering mosquitoes.

Commissioners are looking to pass an ordinance that would require any single-family home plan to be reviewed by the Design Review Board or another architectural board before any demolition work can be performed.  For the time being, the board is only required to take a look at homes within historic districts or those that were built before 1942.  Besides a thorough review, developers must also acquire a permit before they can build any new construction and they must also pay any related fees.  These rules do not apply to homes that were built after 1942.

Homeowners have been complaining about real estate speculators which can cause vacant lots to remain empty for months.  Some commissioners also take issue with the look of current modern homes.  In 2015 over 350 permits were from homeowners seeking to alter their single family residence or requests to build a new home.  Over 150 of those permits did not require any approval from the Design Review Board.

Should things go as planned, the review board will have a significantly heavier workload, but it should result in a much nicer looking Miami Beach.

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