Development was a consistent storyline throughout 2021 as Wilton Manors grappled with changes to its land use and zoning codes.
This is one of SFGN’s most-read news stories of 2021.
In March, the city’s planning and zoning board approved the expansion of transit-oriented corridors. The decision led to commissioners increasing density regulations in the code, ultimately settling on 60 units per square acre.
Vice Mayor Paul Rolli was a proponent of the changes.
“The city spent the majority of 2021 revising its outdated zoning regulations to create opportunities for redevelopment on the commercial corridors,” said Rolli. “I advocated for extensive public outreach and the result was multiple open houses and public meetings that generated important feedback from our residents. Because of their input, the new regulations ensure that the new development, which is critical to the sustainability of the city’s future, will be high quality and sensitive to the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Much of the pushback came from the east side where former Mayor John Fiore led a group of residents opposed to the construction of mid-rise towers. The group also raised concerns about traffic congestion and the possibility of increased criminal activity. Using the Eastside Neighborhood Association as its vehicle, Fiore and his followers circulated anti-development fliers and criticized increased height and density regulations at commission meetings. In October, a new neighborhood association — Three Bridges — was formed on the east side.