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.