Proposed ordinance would legalize efficiencies in parts of Miami-Dade – NBC 6 South Florida

Secondary units, in-laws quarters, and guest houses are just a few of the names of efficiencies that were illegal in parts of Miami-Dade County — until now.

A proposed ordinance introduced by Commissioner Raquel Regalado would make them legal.

“What we want to do is legalize efficiencies, but also give people the ability to do it right,” Regalado said.

The ordinance would change the county’s zoning code to allow secondary suites and guest houses in certain residential areas. And here’s the fine print — this would only apply to unincorporated parts of Miami-Dade County.

“We’ve had so many calls and so many inquiries about it. Whether you want to remodel your garage or do a grandma’s apartment, how do you do it?” said Regalado.

Proponents of the plan hope it will bring some relief to the affordable housing crisis by providing cheaper single-family living options.

A landlord who rents out the added part of his property and wishes to remain anonymous says the proposed change would have pros and cons.

” It’s already done. Making it official doesn’t create more units,” he said. “It’s just going to make it legal for people. That might help with insurance and regulations etc. The disadvantages are that it decreases the value of the house because now you will increase the charge on a property. So I think the loss in value outweighs the gain in income.

The ordinance would take some official work. If you wanted to build an accessory unit, you would need to apply for a certificate of use and pay an inspection fee.

So how many people would this affect? According to the ordinance, nearly 172,000 single-family properties are eligible to build or create efficiency in their existing home.

“We spent a lot of time focusing on not changing the character of the neighborhood, the cars, the security, the inspection,” Regalado said. “It’s a very comprehensive overview and we’re sharing it with our municipal partners.”

Short-term vacation rentals like Airbnb will not be allowed under the order. The file will be the subject of a preliminary vote on Thursday.

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