The Consensus Report on Density was adopted at the May General Membership Meeting. The Report was prepared by the Comprehensive Planning Committee Chaired by Steve Buckingham, President of Tarpen River Civic Association. It was forwarded to the Mayor and City Commissioners and the City Manager as input to the City Commission Density Workshops. We look forward to discussing the Report with the Commisiners at an upcoming workshop.
Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations
Consensus Statement to the City Commission on Development/Density
The Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations believes that the City of Fort Lauderdale should encourage human-scaled neighborhoods over urban sprawl, multiple transportation modes over automobile dependence and orderly, predictable development patterns that balance growth with neighborhood preservation.
We feel strongly that Fort Lauderdale should:
- Encourage transit-friendly office, commercial and multi-family residential development within high density, mixed-use activity centers (ex: Downtown RAC, S. Andrews Ave/SRAC) surrounded by lower density/single-family neighborhoods, parks and natural amenities.
- Discourage unsustainable, inappropriately-scaled development on the barrier island.
- Continue to explore new opportunities for growth in the Uptown district and along the major identified corridors. However, until planning for a predictable and acceptable level of density and design is agreed upon, new large-scale projects should be discouraged or subject to further review.
- Provide greater incentives for sustainable development that utilizes solar, wind, and other alternative energy sources to power the projects’ needs once built.
With 3 annual Neighbor Surveys pointing to traffic flow/congestion as the single biggest challenge facing the city, increased large-scale development and density should be encouraged only in sections of the city that either presently have the necessary transportation and self-supporting infrastructure (places of employment, shopping, food choices, etc.) in place to mitigate traffic flow issues or in sections of the city where it is planned and financed for the immediate future. For example, the Council would be generally supportive of density development along the phase 1 route of the Wave Modern Streetcar as it would be conducive to place more housing where residents have public transportation options. We also strongly support more transit options to airport, beach and the port to reduce car trips.
Further, we believe that growth and neighborhood strengthening can be accomplished by committing to the following:
- We advocate an acceleration of improving neighborhood streets deemed critical for the movement of people by all methods of transportation; specifically sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, lighting, street striping, and details outlined in “Complete Streets” and “Connecting the Blocks”. We would not be supportive of large-scale residential construction moving forward in any neighborhood unless these aspects of planning are either in place or planned and financed in part or wholly by the developer.
- We support promoting distinctive, attractive neighborhoods and local business districts with a strong sense of place, including the rehabilitation, re-use, and protection of structures of importance; specifically, we support emphasizing and protecting existing community assets such as community centers, existing or planned parks, waterway access points and vistas, historic structures, etc.
- We support responsible, compatible growth in existing neighborhoods. For example, more needs to be done to preserve the general character of established neighborhoods that have developed over time. In-fill residential development (i.e., duplexes, cluster dwellings, etc.) has often become out of character with the pre-existing built environment and we request a review and modification of height and bulk allowances for new construction on existing lots in residential neighborhoods that are mostly composed of older stock, single family homes. Regenerate and implement the recommendations of the ULDR Modifications Plan outlined in the Neighborhood Development Criteria Revisions Project (NDCR).
- We want development decisions to be predictable and fair. While the Council supports flexibility from time to time for truly innovative development proposals that will enhance the community, we would prefer that Staff and Citizen Boards either stop or limit exceptions to our building codes and zoning regulations, especially within or nearby highly established and traditional neighborhoods.
- Continue to encourage and foster neighborhood participation as early as possible in development and density placement decision-making.