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On Tuesday, February 28th, 2023, the Coral Gables City Commission will hold its next City Commission meeting. Here is a rundown of the agenda for this upcoming meeting. Click here to see the full agenda.
Non-credited quotes in this article are excerpts from the memos presented to the Commission explaining the items.
Gables Insider comments on specific items can be found in blue.
C-1: Discussion regarding street signs in downtown.
C-2: Discussion regarding golf carts.
C-3: Discussion regarding Unleashed dogs at Catalonia and Majorca Park.
C-4: Discussion regarding implementing cameras and signage at Salvadore Park.
E-1: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the waiver of City -related fees and the use of a storage container at Ponce Circle/Fred B. Hartnett Park for Moon over the Gables, a project co-sponsored by the Coral Gables Community Foundation and the City of Coral Gables taking place March 9-25, 2023.
F-1: An appeal to the City of Coral Gables City Commission from the decision of the Historic Preservation Board on December 21, 2022, for a Special Certificate of Appropriateness application requesting approval for the demolition of the existing residents at the property located at 1258 Obispo Avenue, a contributing resource within the “Obispo Avenue Historic District”, legally described as Lots 1 and 2, Block 3, Coral Gables Section “E”, according to the Plat thereof, as recorded in PLat Book 8, Page 13 of the Public Records of Miami-Dade County, Florida.
“In 2014, a Special Certificate of Appropriateness (SCOA) was approved for a one-story addition to the residence. It was not built, and the COA expired. In 2019, a SCOA for additions and alterations to the residence and sitework was approved with conditions by the Historic Preservation Board. It was not built. In 2021, the Historic Preservation Board reviewed a request for a revision for the removal and replacement of the roof and floor framing due to their poor condition. The Board deferred the request and suggested a structural engineer be present at the next meeting. The applicant did not return to the Board and the proposal did not proceed. Staff met with the current owners prior to their purchase of the property and explained the outcomes of the previous Board reviews. The Historical Resources & Cultural Arts Department received a complete Certificate of Appropriateness application on December 8, 2022, from the Property Owners requesting design approval for the demolition of the existing residence. On December 21, 2022, the Historical Preservation Board approved a motion to deny the demolition of the existing residence as the demolition is historically inappropriate, detracts from the integrity of the historic structure and the historic district, and is inconsistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The motion passed 9-0. On December 28, 2022, the Property Owner submitted a Notice of Intent to Appeal the Board’s Decision to the City Clerk. On February 7, 2023, the Property Owner submitted the completed appeals package to the City Clerk.”
Ordinances On Second Reading
F-2: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Chapter 62 – Streets, Sidewalks and Other Public Places to reduce abandoned construction signage and barricades in connection with approved work on the right of way and amending Section 1-7 entitled “Penalties” to include additional penalties for violations; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).
“In the City of Coral Gables there has been a prevalence of abandoned construction signage and barricades after the completion of work in the public right-of-way and a relaxed sense of urgency on contractors to remove unnecessary obstructions on the right-of-way. This proposed ordinance would provide our Code Enforcement and Public Works teams with additional tools to remove, discard, and cite as necessary any unapproved obstructions in the right-of-way. Passed first reading on February 14, 2023. There have been no changes since first reading.”
F-3: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the City Code, Chapter I -General Provisions, Section 1-7 Entitled “Penalties” to include additional penalties for violations of Section 74-241, entitled “Motorized Scooters on Sidewalks” and Section 74-2 “Prohibiting Skateboard Use Generally”; providing for repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).
“Section 74-241 of the City Code currently allows the riding of motorized scooters upon all sidewalks located within the city, except where prohibited by official posting. Section 74-2 of the City Code prohibits skateboarding on the city’s public sidewalks where prohibited by official posting. In order to deter prohibited riding and increase pedestrian safety this ordinance adds additional penalties for violations of those sections. This ordinance sets the fines for these violations as: first violation $35.00, second violation $100.00, and for third or subsequent violations $200.00. This item was adopted on first reading, February 14, 2023, and there have been no changes since first presented to the City Commission.”
Ordinances On First Reading
F-4: An Ordinance of the City Commission combining the Human Resources Department and the Labor Relations and Risk Management Department in accordance with Section 17 of the City Charter and amending the FY 2023 Budget to reflect that change.
“The City of Coral Gables’ Human Resources Department provides internal support to all City Departments and the City’s full-time and part-time employee population. The City’s Labor Relations and Risk Management department works to promote positive and effective relationships between labor and management and to provide a safe environment for City employees and the public they serve. Given the natural intersection of the two departments, the City Manager wishes to combine the employees, functions, duties, and budgets of the two departments under the Human Resources Department and the Human Resources Department Director. A budget amendment with a zero dollar change is required to combine the two department budgets and is set forth in this Ordinance.”
F-5: An Ordinance of the City Commission providing for text amendments to the City of Coral Gables Official Zoning Code by amending Article 6, “Landscape,” Section 6-103, “Landscape general requirements,” and Article 16, “Definitions,” providing a definition, requirements, and review processes to utilize artificial turf within athletic fields in the Special Use (S) Zoning district; providing conditional use review and approval when such artificial turf athletic field are visible from the street; clarifying minimal usage and requirements of artificial turf; and providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date. ( 02 08 23 PZB Meeting – Board recommended approval; Vote; 6-0).
“Staff has prepared Zoning Code text amendments for landscape regulations and general requirements to allow the installment of artificial turf for athletic fields and grassed areas actively used for sports when not seen from a street. Otherwise, the use of artificial turf on athletic fields will require Conditional Use approval. Conditional use review requires review by the Development Review Committee (DRC), preliminary approval by the Board of Architects, Planning & Zoning Board recommendation, and final approval from the City Commission. Planning & Zoning Board: At the February 8th, 2023, Planning & Zoning Board meeting, this proposed text amendment was well received by the Board due to artificial turf’s advancement in technology and installment in the last 5 years. The Board is interested in seeing artificial turf installed beyond athletic fields.”
F-6: An Ordinance of the City Commission providing for text amendments to the City of Coral Gables Official Zoning Code, Article 16, “Definitions”, by amending the definition of carport; and providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and an effective date. (02 08 23 PZB Meeting – Board recommended approval; Vote; 6-0).
“Staff has prepared a Zoning Code text amendment to update the definition of a carport. The Zoning Code initially defined CARPORT in 1983 as “a roofed structure not more than seventy-five (75%) enclosed by walls and attached to the main building for the purpose of providing shelter for one or more motor vehicles.” In 2018, the single-family residential (SFR) district section in the Zoning Code was amended substantially to both clarify regulations and encourage certain features in single-family residences. One of the desired outcomes was to reduce the massing of homes by encouraging detached accessory structures. This was intended to be accomplished by excluding “detached one- and two-story structures less than or equal to four-hundred (400) square feet where the ground floor level is a carport or garage” from the building’s maximum square footage. However, the definition of carport still requires that it be attached to the main building. Therefore, to fulfill the original intent of encouraging the smaller building bulk and massing, Staff is proposing to update the definition of carport to be consistent with the single-family residential regulations and allow detached carports.”
H-1: Discussion regarding the Cultural Development Grant Program.
City Manager Items
I-1: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the acceptance of grant funds in the amount of $1,000,000.00 from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for the Last Mile Transit Stop Improvements Program; authorizing execution of the grant contract; and authorizing an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Annual Budget to recognize the $1,000,000.00 grant as revenue and to appropriate such funds to put toward the cost of the program.
“The City of Coral Gables was awarded a grant for the purpose of the last mile transit stop improvements program. The purpose of this program is to bring each of the City’s trolley stops on local Coral Gables streets into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in addition to making other beneficial improvement to encourage mass transit ridership. This program compliments the City’s ongoing multi-modal transportation plan and aligns with the adopted strategic plan. With grantor approval, the City’s $1,028,650 match will be satisfied over two fiscal years; $635,000 already appropriated in FY 2022-2023, and $393,650 to be appropriated in FY 2023-2024. An amendment to the FY 2022-2023 annual budget is required to recognize the $1,000,000 grant as revenue, and to appropriate such funds to put toward the cost of the project. The completion date of the project is on or before December 31, 2024. The City of Coral Gables will implement the grant funded initiative in accordance will all requirements provided by the State of Florida Department of Transportation last mile transit stop improvements program.”