OPA-LOCKA — Opa-locka elected officials recently changed the city’s land-use codes to encourage developers to build a mix of restaurants, grocery stores, office buildings and multifamily housing along major Opa-locka roadways, in an effort to foster a concept similar to Midtown Miami, but for the Opa-locka community.
The new Mixed-use Overlay District opens opportunities for development that are not currently permitted through the city’s zoning regulations. Coupled with factors in the market, officials say, the new code can help create economic and development opportunities for the Opa-locka community.
“This change in our code allows people to live, work, play and shop in one place, said Mayor Myra L. Taylor. “We are creating a live-work environment where our city’s major corridors become a destination for people from other neighborhoods.”
Mixed-use districts are seen among many planning officials, politicians and citizens as embodying the idea of “smart growth” because they create a walkable neighborhood. Designed to easily access public transportation, mixed-use districts ultimately produce a local sense of community for residents.
In Opa-locka the new ordinance applies to development along Northwest 135th Street, Northwest 42nd Avenue, State Road 9, Northwest 22nd Avenue, Northwest 27th Avenue, Ali Baba Avenue and portions of Opa-locka Boulevard.
“We all have more complex lives,” said Taylor. “The mixed-use district is a catalyst to building complete, compact and complex neighborhoods because it facilitates easy access to where people live, work, play and shop through walking, biking, transit and driving.”