Planning FAQs

1. What Uses are permitted on my property?

1.Uses are allowed on an individual parcel depending on the Transect Zone for that parcel. You may search for a parcel's Zoning information using the Zoning Map in the Miami 21 Code. 

Search for a parcel’s Zoning information

2. The types of and definitions for Uses allowed in the City are located in Article 1, Section 1.1 of the Miami 21 Code.

View the definitions for Uses 

3. Once the Zoning information for a parcel is known, refer to Article 4, Table 3 of the Miami 21 Code to see if a Special Permit is required.

See if a Special Permit is required

  • “R” Allowed By Right (Zoning review only)
  • “W” Allowed by Warrant: Administrative Process (Planning Review)
  • “E” Allowed by Exception: Public Hearing - granted by Planning, Zoning & Appeals Board (Planning review)
  • Boxes with no designation signify Use prohibited.

NOTE: The Uses listed in Article 4, Table 3 may be further modified in the Miami 21 Code including Article 6, Table 13, the City Code, and State Regulations. 

4. For more information on Planning’s review process, visit the Planning Department at the Miami Riverside Center during customer service hours (Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 12:00 pm) to meet with a Planning Technician or schedule a Pre-Application Meeting.

Learn more about Pre-Application Meetings

2. How do I know if a property is in a Transit Corridor or Transit Oriented Development (TOD) area? 

  1. Properties located within 1/4 mile of a Transit Corridor or in a TOD area may be eligible for development incentives such as parking reductions and increased Density.

2. Search for Properties using the Zoning Map in the Miami 21 Code

3. How can I receive feedback on a project prior to submitting a Special Permit application? 

  1. For projects to be formally reviewed by the Planning Department, applicants are required to upload complete project plans through the City’s Electronic Plan Review (“ePlan”).
  2. Planning staff is available to answer general process questions during customer service hours in-person at the Miami Riverside Center, Monday – Friday, 8:30 am to 12:00 pm, by email at, or by phone at Planning's customer service, 305-416-1400
  3. Customers may apply for a Pre-Application Meeting with the Planning Department. This allows customers to receive initial feedback on a proposed project.

Learn More about the Pre-Application Process

4. Per Miami 21 Code, Pre-Application Meetings are required for the following Special Permit applications:

  • Affordable/Workforce Housing
  • Class II Special Permit
  • Comprehensive Plan Amendment (FLUM)
  • Exception
  • Historic Resource Nomination
  • Interim Parking
  • Major Use Special Permit (MUSP)
  • Minor Modification
  • Rezoning
  • Special Appearance
  • Special Area Plan Designation
  • Special District Permits
  • Temporary Use on Vacant Land
  • Vacation and closure via plat
  • Variance
  • Warrant Modification

Not all Special Permits need a Pre-Application Meeting. Contact the Planning Department if you are unfamiliar with the City’s review and approval process.

4. What fees are associated with a Special Permit? 

  1. Special Permit fees are outlined in Chapter 62 of the City Code:

    View Special Permit fees 

 2. Use the Fee Estimate Calculator on the Planning Department’s website to estimate the costs associated with the review of a Special Permit(s):

Calculate my Fee Estimate 

Note: The Fee Estimate Calculator is intended to provide applicants with a rough estimate. Exact fees owed will be calculated by the Planning Department once an application is submitted. Total fees depend on the size and scope of the project.

5. What information do I need to include in a letter of intent (LOI)?

  1. The LOI is a narrative that describes all aspects of the project, associated request(s), and is required for all Special Permit Applications processed by the Planning Department.

 2. The following information, as applicable, is to be provided in the LOI:

  • Name and contact information of Applicant, applicant's representative and relationship to property.
  • Subject property address(es) and folio number(s). LOI must reference the City address and tenant space, as applicable.  
  • Description of the property (size, zoning, land use, historic district, subdivision, other designations). 

      Obtain my property information from the City of Miami GIS Application

  • Project description (adaptive use or new construction, existing and proposed uses, development program, etc.)
  • Pertinent operational details including hours of operation, number of employees, parking, etc., as applicable.
  • The type of Special Permit(s) being requested (Waiver/Warrant/Exception, etc.) with applicable Miami 21 Code or City Code section.
  • Justification statement for granting approval of request(s).
  • Analysis of how request(s) satisfy applicable code criteria.
  • Photos of site and maps, if applicable.
  • Any Building, Public Works, Planning and Zoning permit numbers associated with the property (previously issued, under review).

6. How do I execute and record a Covenant? 

1. Covenants are processed through the City’s Electronic Plan Review (ePlan).

2. A Covenant proffered in conjunction with an administrative Special Permit (Warrant, Affordable/Workforce Housing, off-site/shared Parking) must be processed under a separate PZ application and executed and recorded prior to issuance of the Special Permit Final Decision.

     If a Covenant is proffered in conjunction with an entitlement requiring a public hearing (Exception, Variance, Rezoning, etc.), a copy of the covenant must be uploaded to the ePlan application for Department review.

  • Execution and recordation of the final Covenant is done under a separate PZ application once a determination has been made on the application.

3. Templates and submittal checklists for the various Covenants processed by the Planning Department are provided on our website 

View Covenant Templates and Submittal checklists

4. Fees required for the review, execution, and recording of a Covenant are outlined in Chapter 62 of the City Code.

View Covenant fees

7. How do I obtain a City of Miami Code Violation or Lien Search Report?

1. Lien Search reports can processed online using the property’s folio number.

2. Detailed instructions can be found on our website:

Run a Lien or Violation Search

3. Please note that pursuant to Article 7, Section of the Miami 21 Code and Section 2-208 of the City of Miami Code of Ordinances, a Special Permit will not be issued a Final Decision or heard at public hearing if a property is subject to an ongoing City enforcement procedure unless the subject of the application would cure the outstanding violation or the Special Permit is issued to a government entity.

8. How do I pay an invoice?

1.Payments to the City of Miami can be made online using the Customer Number or Transaction ID that appears on the invoice.

2. View detailed instructions on how to make a payment

9. Who do I contact at the Miami Parking Authority regarding the availability of on-street parking in front of a property?

1. A letter from the Miami Parking Authority (MPA) is required for any on-street parking that is being used to satisfy off-street parking associated with a development project.

2.Contact MPA Customer Service: or 305-373-6789

10. Who do I contact regarding the review of traffic and circulation for a project?

1. Certain Planning and Zoning entitlements may require a traffic study.

2. To verify if a Traffic Impact Study or Traffic Study is required, contact the City of Miami Department of Resilience and Public Works:, (305) 416-1200

3. For educational projects, contact the Traffic Engineering Division of the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works: 786-469-5675

NOTE: For projects that require external review of traffic and circulation, Applicants are encouraged to engage with Miami Dade County Traffic Engineering Division early in the Planning entitlement process. Comments from Miami Dade Miami Dade County Traffic and Engineering will be requested by the Planning Department during the first review cycle of a project.   

11. What information needs to appear on a boundary survey?

  1. A Boundary Survey is used to verify all existing conditions on a property or assemblage of properties. 

 2. A Boundary Survey shall be to scale and signed and sealed by a Professional Surveyor and Mapper.   

 3. A Boundary Survey shall depict the following, unless when the items are not existing and applicable:

  • Date of Survey (must be 6 months or less for Rezone/Comprehensive Plan Amendments (Article 7, Section or 12 months or less from application for all other Special Permits (Article 7, Section
  • North arrow/point
  • Graphic Scale
  • Elevation datum (NGVD or City of Miami Datum)
  • Legal description
  • Lot dimensions/boundary information
  • Net and gross lot areas (in feet and acres)
  • Buildings and other essential and significant features
  • Easements
  • Dedications
  • Width of the Right of Way; dimensions from base building line to monument line and center line of street, un-dedicated right of way width
  • Street names
  • Spot elevations relative to stationing with exact location denoted by point or cross sign next to elevation numbers (i.e. x 12.34) along centerline of street, lip of gutter, top of curb, front and back of sidewalk spaced at 15 – 20ft on center.  All elevations shall be based on City of Miami Datum and it shall be indicated as such on the survey
  • Existing stormwater drainage system – inlet and manholes (description, elevation, invert, bottom elevation, pipe size, type, length), curb and gutter/valley gutter (location/horizontal alignment)
  • Existing sewer and water mains and overhead utilities
  • Sidewalk (width) and handicap ramp
  • Existing edge of pavement/width of pavement, driveway approaches (location and width)
  • Existing trees, utility poles

12. What projects require a public hearing?

The Miami21 Code includes the required public hearing processes required per application or permit-type. The following quasi-judicial boards review and approve Special Permit applications:

I. Historic and Environmental Preservation Board (HEPB)

  1. The following Special Permits require a hearing by HEPB:
  • Special Certificates of Appropriateness
  • Special Certificates to Dig
  • Special Certificates of Approval

2. Historic Resource Nominations

3. Appeals of Tree Permits

4. All new construction, major alterations, and additions along Charles Avenue

Learn more about HEPB

II. Planning Zoning and Appeals Board (PZAB)

1. The following Special Permits require a hearing by PZAB:

  • Exceptions
  • Variances
  • Rezonings
  • Special Area Plan Designations (SAPs)
  • Comprehensive Plan Amendments (FLUM)
  • Special Appearances
  • Vacation Closures
  • Appeals of Warrant and Waivers

Request a hearing for PZAB  

III. City Commission

1. The following Special Permits require a hearing by the City Commission:

  • Certain Exceptions (Extensions of Time, Alcohol Service Establishments with floor areas greater than 5,000 sf)
  • Rezonings
  • Special Area Plan (SAPs) Designations
  • Comprehensive Plan Amendments (FLUM)
  • Special Appearances
  • Vacation Closures
  • Appeals of PZAB decisions
  • Appeals of HEPB decisions 

IV. Art in Public Places Board (AIPPB)

1. The following development projects are subject to compliance with Art in Public Places:

  • Government Development Projects, as defined in Article 1, Section 1.1. of Miami 21.
  • Private Sector Capital Development on land owned by the government or on private land with the Structure owned by the government.
  • All development projects funded or partially funded by General Obligation Bond (“GOB”) dollars.

2. Projects that wish to satisfy public art requirements through on-site public art shall require review and approval by the Art in Public Places Board.

Learn more about AIPPB

13. What projects require review by an advisory board?

The following review boards are advisory in nature. The advisory review boards listed below provide recommendations to the Planning Director:

Urban Development Review Board (UDRB)

  1. By Right projects with floor areas in excess of 200,000 sf

2. Special permits (Waiver, Warrant, Exception, SAP) with floor areas in excess of 200,000 sf or as deemed necessary by the Planning Director

3. Projects with parking that extends into Second Layer 

Learn more about UDRB

Wynwood Design Review Committee (WDRC)

  1. All new Buildings within the NRD-1 boundaries shall be referred to the Wynwood Design Review Committee.

 2. Eligible properties in the NRD-1 that wish to participate in the Wynwood Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program.

 3. Projects in the NRD-1 with parking that extends into Second Layer along a Primary Frontage.

 4. All newly constructed Principal Building ground floor Facades along Primary and Secondary Frontages in the NRD-1.

 5. Projects that intend to screen parking stalls, access aisles, or driveways located along any side or rear lot line with a wall or fence.

 6. Building Identification and Business Identification Signs in the NRD-1.

Learn more about WDRC

Coordinated Review Committee (CRC)

  1. Special permits (Warrants, Exceptions in excess of 200,000 sf

 2. Special Area Plans (SAP)

 3. Any buildings within a Special Area Plan that were not specifically approved as part of the SAP.

 4. All properties located within the Coconut Grove Village Center.

14. Which outside agencies may be required to participate in the review of a Special Permit?

I. Miami Dade County Preapplication Review Processes

  1. Miami Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) and Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) have preapplication processes for certain Uses such as educational projects and Piers/Docks.

 2. The Applicant shall provide comments from external processes in the first review cycle of a Special Permit application or Building Permit.

II. Miami Dade Biscayne Bay Shoreline Development Review Committee

  1. Any development which falls wholly or partially within the shoreline development review boundary and meets the thresholds described in Section 33D-34 of the Miami Dade County Code of Ordinances shall be reviewed by the Biscayne Bay Shoreline Development Review Committee.

 2. The Applicant shall notify Miami Dade County staff coordinator in writing at the time of filing the application with the City of Miami for any proposed development that is subject to review by the committee.

Learn more about the Biscayne Bay Shoreline Development Review Committee 

III. Miami River Commission

  1. Any development which fronts onto the Miami River.

 2. Warrant applications for Crew Quarters in the D1, D2, D3 Districts shall receive comments from the Miami River Commission prior to Warrant Final Decision.

 3. Contact Brett Bibeau, Managing Director for the MRC:

Learn more about the Miami River Commission 

15. Where can I learn more about ePlan? 

ePlan FAQs

Learn all things ePlan 

16. Where can I learn more about other City of Miami Departments' reviews? 

Learn more about Zoning Review