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Miami developers still seek answers in FAA demands for shorter buildings downtown

 

mlamagna@MiamiHerald.com

A new aviation policy aimed at giving jets enough emergency airspace will not require developers to shorten buildings planned for downtown Miami, Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday. But questions remain about why some developers are being advised by the FAA that their buildings are too tall.

The emergency airspace policy drew about 40 people, including Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, to the meeting hosted by the Downtown Development Authority.

Jose Ramos, the director of aviation planning for Miami International Airport, said FAA regulations should not affect Miami buildings’ height allowances, which range from 310 feet to 1,010 feet, depending on locations. John Speckin, the regional administrator for the FAA who spoke at the meeting on a conference call, also said Miami building heights should not be affected.

But several developers at the meeting said they had been told by FAA officials that their projects would have to be reduced in height.

Among them was Dean Warhaft, a development officer at Florida East Coast Realty, who said he had been informed by the FAA that the Panorama Tower at 1101 Brickell would have to be reduced from a planned height of 851 feet to 830 feet, despite a 2005 approval by the FAA. In response, Speckin and Ramos said the emergency airspace rules were most likely not to blame. Jerome Hollo, the executive vice president of Florida East Coast Realty Inc., and the chairman of the urban design committee for the DDA, said all parties would keep in touchand to get written confirmation the emergency airspace rule would not affect the developers’ plans.

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