Walmart Poised To Receive Final Clearance In Midtown Miami

Walmart appears to be on the verge of victory in a battle to build a store in Midtown Miami.

Opponents of the store filed a lawsuit earlier this year challenging the city’s decision to grant a construction permit. Neighborhood activists submitted arguments in court last week claiming that the Miami 21 zoning code only allows a maximum of three loading berths, while Walmart is planning five. The code however, is clearly stating that three berths are a minimum requirement, despite using language that says ‘three berths total’:

 

627.2.15. 627.1.17. Off-Street Loading.

The off-street loading requirements shall be as follows:

1. For residential uses:
(a) Berth minimum to be twelve (12) by thirty-five (35) feet by fifteen (15) feet in height;
(b) One (1) berth for every one hundred twenty (120) residential units or fraction thereof.

2. For non-residential uses:
(a) Berth minimum to be twelve (12) by fifty-five (55) feet by fifteen (15) feet in height;
(b) For non-residential floor area of twenty-five thousand (25,000) up to fifty thousand
(50,000) square feet, one (1) berth total. No berths are required for floor area less than
twenty-five thousand (25,000) square feet;
(c) For non-residential floor area up to one hundred thousand (100,000) square feet, two
(2) berths total;
(d) For non-residential floor area up to two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) square feet,
three (3) berths total;
(e) For non-residential floor area up to five hundred thousand (500,000) square feet, four
(4) berths total.

 

In the unlikely event that the court ruled in favor of the activists, Walmart could still come back with plans for a store with fewer berths, though it would delay construction. A decision from the court is expected within two weeks.

The activists are represented by attorney Paul Savage, who failed last week in his attempts to stop a board from voting to allow zoning changes needed for Miami Worldcenter.

 

Update: In response to numerous requests by Grant Stern, we have updated the code posted above. We have also retained the original posting with strike through, to demonstrate that the language is essentially identical. Our criticism of the opposition remains unchanged.

 

13 Comments
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global reach
6 years ago

I would support that walmart only if they would extend the metromover to Midtown.

Anonymous
6 years ago

YES! Extending MetroMover to Midtown is a great idea. I wish people would get behind it and force the City/County to do it. If every new development was forced to pay an impact fee that was designated specifically for transit, we may have better service.

Grant Stern
6 years ago

Sorry guys, Walmart’s lawyer Manny Diaz personally told me, and the entire room at the New Leaders Counsel meeting that Walmart is not responsible for transit in the area.

Laz
6 years ago

This still hasnt been approveD? if the Target can be there so can this.

Grant Stern
6 years ago

Not sure how highlighting random bits of zoning code tells a proper story in the English language… especially when the development in question is 200,000 sq. ft. in size.

The code (as published here) is explicit with my highlights of the reduction in bold since they highlight the actual case here (if you see a bunch of html tags, that’s the highlight:

The off-street loading requirements shall be as follows:

2. For non-residential uses:
(d) For non-residential floor area up to two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) square feet,
three (3) berths total;

I am truly uncertain how the author, or Walmart can construe the above language to mean minimum of 3 loading berths (the project has 5 illegally approved berths). However, I would be upset if I went to Walmart (which I do not because of my nowalmartinmidtown.com boycott) and when the register asked me for a Total of $10 for my purchase, and I handed them a $10 bill, the register then explained that $10 was the minimum cost of my order and I should fork over $10 more dollars because total, now means minimum.

Obviously, it’s unknown exactly who writes this kind of trash – but it’s becoming clear that Tadd Schwartz is a key contributor if not the author of this thenextmiami.com blog.

Marc305
6 years ago

Bringing the metro mover to midtown would be an amazing idea! It would connect Brickell City Center and Miami World Center to all the shops in Midtown. I am excited to see all the new plans going on in this area, including Nordstrom Rack, Walmart, and the new condo Hyde. It is time to get rid of all the warehouses and old decrepit buildings. I cannot wait!

Juan Carlos
6 years ago

Extend Metrorail to the Design District. The line would stop at Wynwood, Edgewater and Midtown. Instant high ridership. Especially with the thousands of new residents moving into Downtown and Brickell.

XVS
6 years ago

Grant Stern,

What’s not “becoming clear” is who finances your “No Walmart” campaign…

Is it Publix?

As for Paul Savage, this character seem to sue every developer in downtown Miami. No integrity whatsoever.

Marc305
6 years ago

@XVC – I wonder that too. It amazes me how these people proclaim they would never ever ever ever! shop at Walmart and yet go on a crusade against them. If you don’t want to shop there, fine don’t. Live and let live.

Then they say it will kill the mom and pop shops but isn’t that the same thing with Target? I don’t see any of this vitriol against them.

Finally they say, they don’t pay their employees enough. At least they are working and getting paid and a lot more than what I got paid as a waiter in college.

The reality is that these people who claim to have a higher moral ground and say they are doing this to help the community are just snobs who think that Walmart will somehow ghetto-fy the area and bring undesirables.

But you know… now that you mention it XVS there maybe another component behind all this, and it may be someone like Publix. Good call.

Grant Stern
6 years ago

FYI, read our petition closely http://www.NoWalmartinMidtown.com

It is a boycott of shopping at Walmart – and I most certainly do not ever shop there, nor do I willingly or knowingly consume Walmart store products in my boycott.

I certainly encourage people to vote with their dollars, and vote Walmart out of business.

Grant Stern
6 years ago

Who “finances” NoWalmartinMidtown.com? Well, we used Indigogo to raise some quick funds. Otherwise our whole fight has been funded by in-kind donations from some service providers, a low four figure sum chipped in by some of the plaintiffs in the various appeals and LOTS of late nights by yours truly and friends doing what Walmart’s highly paid day jobbers do: studying the code, and the plans and carefully comparing them.

If I had a nickel for every time someone suggested I go to Publix or Target for money, the campaign would hire limos to ferry plaintiffs around. In lieu of such backing, or any large scale backing aside from generous donations of time and services, we simply rely on the only thing you can’t by: The Truth.

Speaking of which. Tadd or his underling that wrote this blog post obviously forgot to fact check the Miami21 code citation in this article. I know it’s not easy, because I’ve burned a lot of midnight oil with the goal of stopping Walmart’s horrid attempt to crush Midtown – and PR folks need to rush to publish before checking their facts.

The applicable zoning code in our fight is thus and proper highlighting might start with the 1st sentence “Off-Street loading requirements shall (N.B. a legal term meaning required) be as follows” and “d. For non-residential floor area up to two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) square feet, three (3) berths total;” the word total meaning what it sounds like:

627.2.15. Off-street Loading.

The off-street loading requirements shall be as follows:

1. For residential uses:

a. Berth minimum to be twelve (12) by thirty-five (35) feet by fifteen (15) feet in height;
b. One (1) berth for every one hundred twenty (120) residential units or fraction thereof.

2. For non-residential uses:

a. Berth minimum to be twelve (12) by fifty-five (55) feet by fifteen (15) feet in height;
b. For non-residential floor area of twenty-five thousand (25,000) up to fifty thousand (50,000)
square feet, one (1) berth total;
c. For non-residential floor area up to one hundred thousand (100,000) square feet, two (2) berths total;
d. For non-residential floor area up to two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) square feet, three (3) berths total;
e. For non-residential floor area up to five hundred thousand (500,000) square feet, four (4) berths total.

Since it is intended to promote the most efficient use of land, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 922.1 and 922.4, the maneuvering of trucks within the public right of way for the purposes of off-street loading shall be allowed by a Class II Special Permit.

Whoever published this story at exmiami with a grievous factual error should publicly and definitively identify themselves in public asap and issue a correction.

Grant Stern
6 years ago

Issue a correction or retract this factually incorrect article.

ms wynwood
5 years ago

WELCOME TO WYNWOOD
I live in wynwood and must travel very far when I want to go to a Walmart store, I think its good for the hood and for all the poor people that do not have transportation and for the disabled persons. This will bring plenty of jobs that are needed for the poor. I want to thank you Walmart for not giving up on us the residents that live here… Make it huge and beautiful so the whole community may enjoy for years to come… I love you store and very happy that your almost here , I’ve been waiting to long…Thank you..