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The Riviera Country Club, an exclusive members-only club that does not allow Coral Gables residents access unless invited by a member, is asking the City of Coral Gables to allow for it to go back on its commitment regarding the sidewalk and road construction in order for the Club to save money.
The Club spent upwards of $37 million on building its new clubhouse, however, they now want to take a cheap route when it comes to construction and maintenance of the pathway its patrons will use to cross Blue Road.
At the March 9th City Commission meeting, the Commission discussed the requested changes by the Riviera County Club. “The request is to change the paving material at the main entrance on Blue Road, from concrete pavers to asphalt; change the crosswalks from concrete pavers to thermo-plastic paint; change concrete pavers on the east and west parking lot entrances with Coral Gables beige concrete.”
The Club had requested the City’s permission in its original plans in 2016, to allow for use of concrete pavers to create a crosswalk from their parking lot across Blue Road up onto their property. They had also requested the use of pavers for the creation of sidewalks. As part of the request, the Club had agreed to maintain the pavers. This was all part of the Club’s full application that included the approval of its new clubhouse.
The clubhouse was completed in December of 2018. This final leg of the project has been stalled since then.
During this time, the Club’s representative stated at the Commission meeting, that they had presented plans which Miami-Dade County approved excluding the concrete pavers and using standard asphalt and concrete for the road and sidewalk respectively. They admittedly did so without consulting the City and knowing their prior approval by the City required the use of pavers.
When pressed by the Commission, the representative of the Club stated that the County would allow the revision of the permit to include pavers as the City’s approval showed, but that the Club is seeking for the City to allow the change, in order for the Club to save money.
Gables Insider has learned that the Club currently has a waiting list to become a member and charges between of $50,000 to $110,000 for induction fees plus its annual membership fees of upwards of $10,000.
Mayor Vince Lago asked that they “stop holding the neighborhood hostage,” and finish the project as soon as possible, as the neighbors and the City have waited long enough.
In a shocking attempt to force the Commission’s hand, the representative of the Club said the Commission should approve their changes or the denial would prolong the time this project would take to complete. He was clear, although they have an agreement with the City, now that they have completed their $37 million facility, they do not want to pay for the placement and maintenance of the pavers as was required by the City in order to approve their entire application.
The Commission decided to pass a motion reaffirming the requirement that the project remain as proposed when it comes to the pavers.
The item will come before the Commission again at the March 29th Commission meeting.