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CRA board OKs Bimini Basin Zoning District land use regulations

By Staff | Jul 19, 2016

City staff’s presentation on the establishment of the Bimini Basin Zoning District that was heard by the city Planning & Zoning Commission last week went before the Community Redevelopment Agency Commission at a special meeting Monday at City Hall.

Patterned after the South Cape Downtown District, the Bimini Basin District also features a mixed use development designation for 134 acres consisting of 289 parcels. The area is 70 percent developed and while the new district does not allow for new single-family and duplex residences, existing residences will be allowed to remain indefinitely.

After about an hour of discussion Monday, the CRA board unanimously approved the zoning district land use regulations be forwarded to City Council for public hearings and final approval.

During Monday’s City Council meeting, the first public hearing date to hear the proposal and receive public comment was set for Aug. 15.

Most citizen concerns about the district expressed at several prior public workshops leaned toward preserving Four Freedoms Park, inclusion of public and green space along with entertainment and cultural development features.

“I think to do this right we need to narrow down the area a bit, but I definitely want to limit the area north of Southeast 47th Terrace from encroaching on the residential,” said Commissioner Richard Leon. “I will make my suggestions later in the council meeting.”

The Bimini Basin Zoning District will allow about 60 permitted uses. Its components include regulations on residential and commercial density, architectural standards, setbacks, landscaping and parking regulations.

“I’m a Bimini supporter,” said Commission Chair Jim Burch. “But when the tail wags the dog you must understand the complexity of the development and infrastructure. If not, you may wind up with something you did not envision. I want to know the cost of the infrastructure to support it along with who’s going to pay for it, when do they pay and when can they start building.”

The proposal comes with some uses that will be prohibited in the new district, including auto repair, gas stations, light manufacturing, outdoor storage or the use of large commercial vehicles.