Cities

Miami’s plan to deal with climate change: Make developers pay up

Note: An earlier version of this story confused Miami Beach with Miami. The author has been sentenced to spend August there.

It’s hard to ignore climate change in South Florida, what with the city streets that flood at high tide and the worsening storms that routinely claim waterfront homes. Speaking about climate change on a visit to the state last year, President Obama said, “Nowhere is it going to have a bigger impact than here in South Florida.”

Now, according to the Miami New Times, four county commissioners have proposed placing “impact fees” on developers who build in environmentally sensitive areas. The idea has never been tried before, says the paper. Next, the commission will get input from the public and local businesses. If the plan does move forward, it will be at least a year before developers start paying up.

Meanwhile, the commissioners have asked Mayor Carlos Gimenez to prepare a report on the feasibility of such fees. 

They may face some resistance: Mayor Gimenez has said that a much of the discussion about sea level rise “is of doomsday scenarios which, frankly, I do not believe.”