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On Tuesday, March 14th, 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 traffic and speed calming on Milan Avenue.
C-2: Discussion regarding parking and food delivery scooters.
C-3: Discussion regarding Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions by JOLT.
C-4: Discussion on tree mitigation on City swales.
C-5: Discussion regarding a banning from downloading TikTok on City phones.
E-1: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing a Fifth Amendment to the Amended and Restated Agreement with Actor’s Playhouse Productions, Inc. regarding the City-owned property at 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL, commonly known as the Miracle Theater, permitting the portion of the Miracle Theater designated as apartment on the approved Phase III Miracle Theater Renovation Architectural Plans to be used by one Actor ’s Playhouse Productions, Inc. service employee to reside as required in connection with the maintenance, operations and/or service of the Miracle Theater.
“Pursuant to Resolution No. 28739, the City of Coral Gables (the “Landlord”) entered into a Management Agreement, dated April 13, 1995, with Actors’ Playhouse Productions, Inc. (the “Tenant”) for the city-owned premises at 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, Florida (the “Miracle Theater”). On September 13, 2011, pursuant to Resolution No. 2011-215, Landlord and Tenant entered into an Amended and Restated Agreement (the “Agreement”), which was further amended on February 5, 2013, pursuant to Resolution No. 2013-18; on January 28, 2015, pursuant to Resolution No. 2015-06; on March 11, 2016, pursuant to Resolution 2015-258; and on March 29, 2021, pursuant to Resolution 2021-41. On December 12, 2022, the Tenant requested that the Landlord amend the Agreement to reflect that in the Phase III Architectural Plans for the Miracle Theater Renovations prepared by Fullerton Diaz Architects Inc., dated September 15, 1997, last revised September 26, 2000, bearing Job No. 9415 (the “Final Architectural Plans”), a portion of the Miracle Theater was designated as an apartment (the “Sleeping Quarters”) for the limited purpose of allowing one (1) Tenant employee responsible for maintenance, operations and/or service of the Miracle Theater (“Service Employee”) to reside in such Sleeping Quarters. The Fifth Amendment to Amended and Restated Agreement approves the following: 1. Tenant shall be permitted to use the Miracle Theater Sleeping Quarters solely for the limited purpose of allowing one (1) Service Employee to reside in the Sleeping Quarters. 2. Tenant represents that the Service Employee residing in the Sleeping Quarters is required in connection with the business operations of the Miracle Theater. 3. The Service Employee residing in the Sleeping Quarters will be responsible for maintenance, operations and/or service of the Miracle Theater. 4. The Sleeping Quarters shall be for non-profit purposes only, and in no event shall Tenant be permitted to charge rent or impose any payment obligations for the use of the Sleeping
Quarters. 5. In the event that any person, other than one (1) Service Employee, resides or sleeps in the
Sleeping Quarters, or in the event that Tenant charges rent or receives profit from the use of the Sleeping Quarters, Tenant shall be in default of the Lease.”
E-2: A Resolution of the City Commission approving the annual review required by the City of Coral Gables and University of Miami Development Agreement and Section 163.3235 of the Florida Statutes, for the period from September 28, 2021 through September 27, 2022.
“The City of Coral Gables and University of Miami Agreement, dated September 28, 2010, requires the University to submit an Annual Report to the City. The Agreement provides that the City Manager or his designee shall review the Annual Report and prepare an Annual Review to be reviewed and approved by the City Commission.”
E-3: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the acceptance of grant funds in the amount of $187,615 from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) resilient Florida Program Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection for an updated Citywide Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan; authorizing execution of the grant contract; and authorizing an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Annual Budget to recognize the $187,615 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 to update the vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan. The previous vulnerability assessment plan was completed in 2018. The purpose of this plan is to identify flood vulnerabilities by conducting exposure and sensitive analyses citywide that will include reports, maps and tables presenting results in a standardized form to align with the requirements of S.3803093, F.S. Resilient Florida Grant Program. An amendment to the FY 2022-2023 annual budget is required to recognize the $187,615 grant as revenue, and to appropriate such funds to put toward the cost of the project. There are no matching funds required for this grant. The City of Coral Gables will implement the grant funded initiative in accordance will all requirements provided by the state of Florida Department Of Environmental Protection (Fdep) Resilient Florida Program.”
F-1: An Appeal to the Coral Gables City Commission from the decision of the Historic Preservation Board on January 18, 2023, regarding a request for historic designation for the property located at 110 Phoenetia Avenue (“The Garden of Our Lord”), legally described as Lots 1 to 10 inclusive, Block 21, Coral Gables Douglas Section, according to the Plat thereof, as recorded in Plat Book 25, at page 69, of the Public Records of Miami-Dade County, Florida.
“On July 21, 2021, a Historic Significance Request was submitted to the Preservation Office for a determination on whether the site at 110 Phoenetia Avenue was historically significant. On August 9, 2021, Historic Preservation Staff responded that, after careful research and study of City records and the information presented by the applicant, the property did not meet the minimum eligibility criteria for designation as a local historic landmark. The property was purchased by the current owner on approximately November 24, 2021. On January 28, 2022, the property owner appeared before the Development Review Committee for review of a proposed new development of the site comprising a Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment, Zoning Code Map Amendment, Planned Area Development (PAD), Mixed-Use Site Plan, and Transfer of Development Rights Receiving Site Plan. On August 19, 2022, Bonnie D. Bolton submitted a Historic Designation application for the site to the Historic Preservation Office. The applicant and the property owner agreed to allow Staff sufficient time to review the submittal. On November 29, 2022, it was determined by the Historic Preservation Office that after careful research and study of City records along with information provided with the application, the property did not qualify as presented for listing as a Local Historic Landmark. Ms. Bolton was informed that the application and request should be presented to the Historic Preservation Board at the meeting of December 21, 2022. On December 2, 2022, Ms. Bolton requested 30 days to submit an amended report as permitted by Section 8-104 A.1 of the Code. The request was granted, and a final designation report was submitted to the Preservation Office on December 29, 2022. On January 18, 2023, the Historical Preservation Board approved a motion to deny the application for local historic designation of the property as it does not meet the minimum eligibility criteria for designation as a Local Historic Landmark. The motion passed 6-2. On February 13, 2023, the Applicant submitted the completed appeals package to the City Clerk with a request to defer the item to the March 14 City Commission meeting.”
- Bonnie Bolton Files Application To Designate Coral Gables’ Garden Of Our Lord A Historic Site; Owner/Developer’s Attorney Calls It An “Abuse”
- Bonnie Bolton Appeals, Following City Denial Of Her Application For Historic Designation Of The 71-Year-Old Garden Of Our Lord
- Future Of Coral Gables’ Historic Garden Of Our Lord Goes Before Historic Preservation Board This Wednesday
- Following Historic Preservation Board Vote, Future Of Historic Garden Of Our Lord To Be Decided By City Commission
- Developing: Developer Removes Plaques At Historic Garden Of Our Lord Before Appeal Complete, “As Instructed By The Commission”
- City Violates Own Code: Sends 110 Phoenetia Development To Board Of Architects, While Garden Of Our Lord Appeal Still Pending
- Board Of Architects Approves Med Bonus; As City Attorney And City Manager Pull Strings To Benefit Developer Of Phoenetia Project
Ordinances On Second Reading
F-2: 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 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. This item was adopted on first reading on February 28, 2023. There have been no changes since first reading.”
F-3: 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).
“No changes have been made since First Reading. 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-4: 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).
“No changes have been made since First Reading. 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.”
Ordinances On First Reading
F-5: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Chapter 54 – “Solid Waste” to prohibit placing clean yard waste in trash bags and depositing trash bags in trash piles before 6:00 p.m.; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).
“The City of Coral Gables wishes to improve the general cleanliness of the City and to ensure the safety of its citizens and visitors. As an environmental leader among local governments in the State of Florida, a goal of the City is to facilitate the proper disposal of clean yard waste and appropriate recycling of materials such as cardboard. The City Commission desires to eliminate the placement of clean yard waste into trash bags, which is not only aesthetically unpleasing but poses a safety risk to the City’s sanitation works, and to reduce the proliferation of trash bags throughout trash piles in the City.”
F-6: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Chapter 74 – Traffic and Vehicles, Article I – In General, Section 74-1 “Definition” and 74-2 “Prohibiting Skateboard Use Generally” in order to prohibit the use of other wheeled conveyances where posted; providing for repealer provision, codification, severabilty clause, and providing for an effective date; (Sponsored by Commissioner Cason).
“Section 74-2 of the City Code currently prohibits the use of skateboards on sidewalks where posted. Various other code provisions address the use of motorized scooters, mopeds, bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices. Pedestrian safety, especially in congested downtown sidewalks is and has been a priority of the City Commission and the City wishes to amend the code to anticipate technological advances and potential safety concerns. With this ordinance the City Commission wishes to update the City Code so that other new innovative conveyances are treated similarly as skateboards in the City Code.”
F-7: An Ordinance of the City Commission authorizing the City to enter into a Third Amendment to the Second Amended and Restated Master Lease Agreement for the property commonly known as the Village of Merrick Park, with Merrick Park, LLC, f /k/a Rouse Coral Gables, LLC, amending Section 3.1 relating to parking to clarify that the License Agreement may require consent of additional parties; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (Lobbyist: N/A).
“The City of Coral Gables (the “Landlord”) and Merrick Park LLC, f/k/a Rouse Coral Gables, LLC (the “Developer/Tenant”) entered into a Second Amended and Restated Master Lease Agreement (the “Lease”) for the property commonly known as the Merrick Shops dated July 10, 1997, as amended by that certain First Amendment to Second Amended and Restated Master Lease Agreement dated June 4, 2003, and that certain Second Amendment to Second Amended and Restated Master Lease Agreement dated January 19, 2023 (collectively, the “Lease”). In the January 19, 2023- Second Amendment to Second Amended and Restated Master Lease Agreement provided that if a request was made by a Licensee for exclusive use of parking spaces, the Developer/Tenant would, in good faith, seek the approval of the anchor tenants under the COREA should exclusivity of certain parking spaces be requested. However, the Developer/Tenant wishes to further amend the Lease to reflect the Developer/Tenant will also make good-faith requests and seek the approval of each Subtenant whose consent may be required under its Sublease for their consents to such exclusive use and, if such consents are obtained, the License Agreement will include such provisions.”
City Commission Items
G-1: Discussion on accessibility of information used for Historical Significance Determinations. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).
G-2: A recap of Codemania I. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez).
G-3: Discussion regarding Electronic Speed Warning Signs. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).
G-4: Discussion regarding Biltmore Way, Andalusia Avenue, and Valencia Avenue Bike Lanes. (Sponsored Commissioner Anderson).
G-5: A Resolution of the City Commission expressing its support for public safety responses to declared states of emergency. (Sponsored by Vice Mayor Mena).
“From time to time, the State of Florida experiences mass destruction from weather-related natural disasters, as well as from other incidents that require a public safety response that exceeds the capability of the affected jurisdiction. The State of Florida has a comprehensive Emergency Response Plan initiated and executed through the Florida Division of Emergency Management when needed to respond anywhere in the State. The Governor of the State can declare a “State of Emergency” statewide or locally to activate many different agencies through the Florida Division of Emergency Management to respond prior to and well after the said emergency occurs. The City of Coral Gables historically has been part of these responses both locally and nationally through its Police Department, Fire Department, and other resources to assist in the recovery and continuity of public safety in those affected communities throughout the State and nation. The proposed resolution supports this ongoing participation and partnership of mutual aid throughout Florida and other states and directs the City Manager to exercise his authority to consult with the Fire and Police Chiefs, and any other City resources, to evaluate appropriate requests for assistance and to respond as the City Manager deems appropriate.”
H-1: A Resolution of the City Commission approving amended Cultural Grant guidelines and process.
“|The Cultural Development Board annually assesses the cultural grant guidelines, application, and process from the previous year with the purpose of recommending updates that are then incorporated into the next grant cycle. This year, the Cultural Development Board thoroughly reviewed the program and did not propose significant updates. Prior to implementing this year’s cultural grant process, Vice-Chair Burgos was nominated to speak to the City Commission on the Board’s behalf to receive guidelines for staff, the Cultural Development Board, and applicants. The Commission responded with direction to encourage greater participation by Coral Gables’ organizations and residents, including added requirements to ensure fiscal responsibility. Following the City Commission meeting, staff met individually with the Mayor, Vice-Mayor, and Commissioners to gain further insight regarding proposed updates. Staff worked with the City Attorney’s office and drafted revised guidelines to present to the Commission as a whole. The cultural grant guidelines and application reflect these updates and were presented to the Cultural Development Board on Wednesday, March 8th .”
City Manager Items
I-1: Discussion on the impact of traffic calming on Police and Fire response times.
I-2: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the exchange of the Capital Improvement Revenue Bonds, Series 2018A (Coral Gables program) and Capital Improvement Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2018B (Coral Gables Program); approving the form of and authorizing the execution and delivery of an agreement relating to paying and registrar agency; approving the form of and authorizing the execution and delivery of a continuing disclosure certificate; delegating certain authority to the City Manager and Finance Director; authorizing the execution and delivery of other documents in connection therewith; and providing an effective date.
“The Board of Directors of the Sunshine State Governmental Financing Commission is dissolving the Commission, effective April 5, 2023. Pursuant to the terms of the documents authorizing the same, the Commission’s obligations with respect to its Capital Improvement Revenue Bonds, Series 2018A (Coral Gables Program) and Capital Improvement Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2018B (Coral Gables Program), are to be assumed by the City of Coral Gables. This resolution allows for the transfer of the current paying and registrar agency agreement to the City of Coral Gables in order to maintain continuity of service and payment to the bond holders. This resolution also authorizes the required Continuing Disclosure Certificate language and allows City staff the general authority to execute required documents in this process.”