Zoning essentially consists of categorizing the City’s into zones called “districts,” and specifying the types of land uses that are allowed and prohibited within each zoning district.
Zoning is implemented through the Zoning Code: the City’s adopted regulation which specifies the nature of each of our zoning districts and how development takes place within them. This is achieved by regulating things such as lot size, building placement, bulk or density, building height, lot coverage, and many other development features.
The Zoning Code is a lengthy document which describes not only the appropriate use for specified areas of land (consistent with the Future Land Use Map adopted as part of our Comprehensive Plan) or the requirements for development, but also the procedures for obtaining approvals for projects, granting variances, amending the Code, handling infractions, and hearing appeals.
The City of Pembroke Pines Zoning Code was originally adopted in 1969. Many sections have been amended over the years –in some cases, multiple times. Because the amendments have been done piecemeal, it has resulted in a Code that is sometimes internally inconsistent, difficult to navigate, and overly complex. There are parts of the Code that may also lack consistency with the Comprehensive Plan and other relevant City and State documents.
It is important that the Code remain up to date so as to reflect the most current vision of the City, and to ensure the standards contained therein are relevant and produce the desired character within the built environment. For this reason, the City has hired Calvin, Giordano & Associates (CGA) to perform a major “housecleaning,” mainly targeted at updating, reorganizing, and simplifying the Code to make it more user friendly. This effort may involve providing clarification of existing language, removing conflicts between different sections, consolidating duplicate sections, adding graphics, and introducing more current planning principles reflective of best zoning practices.
The Zoning Code update process, now in its early stages, includes collecting direct input from various community stakeholders and “power Code users” about issues and concerns related to the Code and solicitations of ideas from the community about improvements they would like to see introduced in the Code.