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FROM FIXER UPPER TO TRENDY TOWNHOUSE: OUR ZONING ODYSSEY IN COCONUT GROVE

Updated: Dec 24, 2023



Back in February 2019, we took on a challenge that had everyone raising eyebrows – turning a rundown 1948 home in Coconut Grove into not one, but four modern townhouses. The catch? We had to play zoning chess in a city where the rules seemed like a puzzle.


Our plan was to split the oversized 10,000 sq ft lot into two, and thanks to the duplex zoning in the area, build two townhouses on each of the new lots. It seemed like a no-brainer, but when it comes to replatting in Miami, nothing's easy. Multiple government agencies, city, county, and state levels – you name it, they're involved. And just when you think you're in the clear, neighbors get a say too.


People told us it was a pipe dream, but we weren't having it. We brought in heavy hitters, a top-notch land use law firm, to help us navigate the bureaucratic maze. Sure, it cost us, but it was the only way to cut through the red tape.


But here's the kicker: getting the green light came with strings attached. The city had a laundry list of things we had to do – improve the neighborhood with better roads, drainage, lighting, and sidewalks. It was a bit like making a deal with the zoning devil, but we were up for the challenge.


Oh, and did I mention the old 1948 house still stands? We didn't want to kick out our awesome tenant. Call us sentimental or just plain practical, but it felt like the right thing to do.



Now, as we gear up to break ground in 2024, it's been a wild ride. We've faced setbacks, jumped through hoops, and learned more about zoning laws than we ever thought we would. But the vision is alive and kicking – turning an eyesore into a cool set of townhouses.


Our story isn't about pomp and circumstance; it's about stubborn determination and a little bit of luck. It's proof that you can dream big, even if others think you're nuts. And soon, those four townhouses will stand tall, a testament to the idea that with grit, a solid plan, and a good team, you can turn even the craziest dreams into reality.

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