Agenda Digest: City Commission (7/25/2022)

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
[email protected]


On Monday, July 25, 2022, 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.

The meeting will be split in two, with a 2:00PM break for a Commission Budget Workshop. Click here to see the budget workshop 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.

Watch Meeting

To watch the meeting live on Monday, July 25th at 8:30AM, click here. The meeting will also be available live on the City’s YouTube Channel. You can watch it by clicking here.

Mayor’s Comments

D-1: Discussion regarding property value increases.

D-2: Discussion regarding architectural design concerns.

D-3: Update regarding contract terms, landscaping, and City parking spaces at the Village of Merrick Park. Click here to see Shops at Merrick Park’s Landscape Improvements Plan.

D-4: An update on Coral Gables public schools ratings.

D-5: Discussion and video regarding peacock concern in the City.

Consent Agenda

E-1: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Grant Program Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Miami and the City of Coral Gables; and authorizing an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Annual Budget to recognize the $173,755.00 grant as revenue and to appropriate such funds to cover the grant expenditures.

“This agreement authorizes the distribution of $173,755.00 as part of the 2021 UASI spending plan for the City of Coral Gables. The grant will provide funding to execute Homeland Security initiatives. The project identified by the Fire and Police Departments to be funded includes Maintenance/Sustainment/Repair/Replacement for UASI Purchased Equipment. An amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Annual Budget is required to recognize the $173,755.00 grant as revenue and to appropriate such funds to cover the grant expenditures.”

E-2: A Resolution of the City Commission confirming the appointment of Maria Counts (Nominated by Board-As-A-Whole) to serve as a member of the Landscape Beautification Advisory Board, for the remainder of a two (2) year term which began on June 1, 2021 and continues through May 31, 2023.

E-3: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Chief Procurement Officer to award the Citywide Landscaping Services (Ponce de Leon) to The Native Guy, Inc., the lowest responsive and responsible bidder in the estimated amount of $175,939.00 pursuant to Section 2-763 of the Procurement Code entitled “Contract Award” and Request for Proposal (IFB) 2022-013.

“The purpose of this Invitation for Bids is to establish a contract with a successful bidder for landscaping services for the medians on Ponce de Leon Blvd. On May 5, 2022, the Procurement Division of Finance formally advertised, issued and distributed IFB 2022-013 Landscaping Services (Ponce de Leon). Thirty-three (33) prospective bidders downloaded the IFB package from Public Purchase, the City’s web-based e-Procurement service. On June 9, 2022, four (4) bids were received in response to the IFB from: Coco Tree Service Corp, SFM Landscape Services, LLC, Superior Landscaping & Lawn Services, Inc., and The Native Guy. The lowest responsive responsible bidder for this project was determined to be The Native Guy in a estimated amount of $175,939 based on the estimated quantities for various items. The responses were reviewed by the Procurement Division in order to determine responsiveness to the requirements of the IFB and to identify the lowest responsive responsible bidder. The Procurement Division finalized its due diligence process and confirmed that The Native Guy is both responsive to the requirements of the IFB and responsible bidder. The Public Works Department concurs with the Chief Procurement Officer’s recommendation to award the Landscaping Services (Ponce de Leon) in the estimated amount of $175,939 but not to exceed the available and approved budget.”

E-4: A Resolution of the City Commission appointing Alexa Tapanes (Nominated by Mayor Lago) to serve as a member of the Parks and Recreation Youth Advisory Board, for the remainder of a two (2) year term which began on June 1, 2021 and continues through May 31, 2023.

Presentation of Boards and/or Committees draft/final minutes requesting action from the City Commission

2-1: A Resolution from the Historic Preservation Board requesting that the City Commission adopt a Resolution authorizing Ad Valorem tax relief for the property located at 3701 Durango Street, a Local Historic Landmark, legally described as Lots 1 to 3 inclusive, Block 43, Coral Gables Country Club Section Part Three, according to the Plat thereof, as recorded in Plat Book 10, at Page 52 of the Public Records of Miami-Dade County, Florida. (Historic Preservation Board Meeting of May 18, 2022. (Vote: 9-0).

2-2: A Resolution from the Historic Preservation Board requesting that the City Commission adopt a Resolution authorizing Ad Valorem tax relief for the property located at 2907 Columbus Boulevard, a Local Historic Landmark, legally described as Lots 13 and 14, Block 15, Coral Gables Country Club Section Part One, according to the Plat thereof, as recorded in Plat Book 8, at Page 108 of the Public Records of Miami-Dade County, Florida. (Historic Preservation Board Meeting of May 18, 2022. (Vote: 9-0).

2-3: A Resolution of the Transportation Advisory Board requesting that the City Commission adopt a Resolution amending Resolution No. 2015-101, passed and adopted on June 16, 2015, to include the Transportation Advisory Board in the site plan review process for proposed and existing development applications and proposed legislation which include variances and/or changes to existing Building and Zoning Code, Comprehensive Plan, Land Use Designation, PAD, TOD, and other development overlays which could impact transportation and traffic. Review by the Transportation Advisory Board would not be quasi-judicial but rather advisory in nature and effectively considered by other City boards, administration and Commission before project applications are denied or approved.

Ordinances On Second Reading

F-1: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the City of Coral Gables Zoning Code, Article 8 “Historic Preservation” and Article 14 “Process” to address inconsistencies in the Zoning Code and revise the Historic Designation process; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date.

“The protection and preservation of historic properties is of the upmost importance to the City of Coral Gables and its residents and accordingly staff is proposing to make amendments to the City’s Historic Preservation processes to address inconsistencies in the City’s Zoning Code. The proposed amendments were presented to the City’s Historic Preservation Board on April 20, 2022 and the Planning and Zoning Board on May 11, 2022. Both Boards unanimously recommended approval of the proposed amendments.
The item was approved on first reading on June 28, 2022, no changes since first reading.”

F-2: An Ordinance of the City Commission providing for a text amendment to the City of Coral Gables Official Zoning Code by amending Article 10, “Parking and Access,” Section 10-110, “Amount of Required Parking” to modify requirements for electric vehicle charging, providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago) (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

“In January of 2018, the City Commission adopted text amendments to the Zoning Code to require electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure. In fall of 2018, Tesla and other electric vehicle manufacturers approached the City to consider amending the Zoning Code to specify the appropriate electrical infrastructure. The City Commission increased requirements for electric vehicle charging stations and clarified required infrastructure with Ordinance No. 2019-19. The City Commission wishes to increase the requirements for electric vehicle charging as the demand for EV vehicles has rapidly increased and the infrastructure required for their use is crucial to their successful operation. The Planning and Zoning Board on May 11, 2022 voted (5-0) to approve a version of the text amendment which is provided as Attachment D in strikethrough/underline format. The proposed text amendment drafted is provided in strikethrough/underline format with the red text representing new changes since the Planning and Zoning Board. The proposed text amendment was approved on first reading on June 28, 2022 and no changes since first reading.”

F-3: An Ordinance of the City Commission making zoning district boundary changes pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process”, Section 14-212, “Zoning Code Text and Map Amendments,” for the property located at Lots 1 thru 4, Block 34 of Coral Gables Section K, Coral Gables, Florida from Special Use (S) District to Mixed-Use 1 (MX1) District, and Lots 42 thru 48 including 20-foot alley laying between Block 34 of Coral Gables Section K, Coral Gables, Florida from Special Use (S) District to Mixed-Use 2 (MX2) District; to restore prior zoning districts; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date.

“As requested by the City Manager, the City is proposing to restore the zoning of the Coral Gables Museum to Mixed-Use 1 (Museum plaza and structure built in 2011) and Mixed-Use 2 (historic old fire station) districts. During the Zoning Code Update, City-owned properties like the recent neighborhood parks, Public Safety building, and the Museum were rezoned to Special Use (S) district to reflect the civic uses of the properties. This zone change of the Coral Gables Museum resulted in the inadvertent elimination of transfer of development rights (TDRs) from the historic property to other applicable properties as specified in the Zoning Code and as determined by the City Commission. The proposed change of zoning request restores that ability to have available TDRs. No exterior building additions or modifications are requested to the Coral Gables Museum as a result of this request. A similar request was granted in 2011 after the comprehensive rewrite of the City’s Comprehensive Plan in 2010, when the property’s land use and zoning was reverted from Public Building and Grounds land use designation to the current Commercial Low- and Mid-Rise Intensity. The draft Ordinance of the Zoning Code map amendments is provided as Exhibit A.”

F-4: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Ordinance No. 2017-04 which approved a Planned Area Development for the property legally described as Lots 24-38, Block 7, Biltmore Section and located at 501-525 Valencia Avenue, to allow for the completion of certain off site improvements and drainage improvements to be completed prior to the issuance of the final Certificate of Occupancy, instead of prior to the issuance of the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth in the Agreemenet for Issuance of Temporary Certificate of Occupancy Prior to Full Completion of Certain Off Site Improvements and Drainage Improvements, providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date.

“515 Valencia SPE, LLC (“515 Valencia”) owns the real property located at 515 Valencia Avenue, Coral Gables, Florida, (the “Property”). Pursuant to Ordinance No. 2017-04, the City Commission approved a multifamily residential project at the Property. One of the conditions of approval requires construction of the project in substantial conformance with a November 2016 traffic study (the “Traffic Study”). While the Traffic Study concluded that the Project’s traffic impacts were de minimis, Section 4.8 of the Traffic Study lists several off site improvements which 515 Valencia’s predecessor in interest had proffered and which were accepted by the City, (the “Off Site Improvements”). Several, but not all of the Off Site Improvements have been completed, The City has also identified certain improvements which may be required to repair and improve certain impacted drainage lines which serve the Property, (the “Drainage Improvements”), Ordinance No. 2017-04 further provides: 4. Prior to the issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (CO) for the project, the Applicant, property owner, its successors or assigns shall complete the following: a. Right of way and public realm improvements. Installation of all right-of-way improvements and all landscaping, public realm and streetscape improvements identified on the Applicant’s approved plans, subject to review and approval by the Directors of Public Works, Public Service and Planning and Zoning. Any changes to and departures from the right-of-way and public realm improvements identified on the Applicant’s approved plans and associated detail plans and specifications via the permitting process shall be subject to review an approval by Directors of Public Works, Landscape Services, Planning and Parking; and 515 Valencia has requested that the City Commission amend Ordinance No. 2017-04 to allow for the Off-Site Improvements and the Drainage Improvements to be completed prior to the issuance of the final Certificate of Occupancy, instead of prior to the issuance of the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (“TCO”), subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Agreement for Issuance of Temporary Certificate of Occupancy Prior to Full Completion of Certain Off Site Improvements and Drainage Improvements (“Agreement for Issuance of TCO”), attached as Exhibit A. 515 Valencia further requested that the City issue the TCO by June 9, 2022 to allow closings of individual units to occur and 515 Valencia deposited $892,509 (the “Bond Amount”) in cash with the City and agreed to hold harmless and indemnify the City in connection with the Off Site Improvements and the Drainage Improvements. The City issued the TCO, subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Agreement for Issuance of TCO, which requires, among other things, Commission approval of this ordinance amending Ordinance No. 2017-04. The proposed Ordinance approves the Agreement for Issuance of TCO and amends Ordinance 2017-04 to allow for completion of the Off Site Improvements and Drainage Improvements prior to the issuance of the final Certificate of Occupancy, instead of prior to the issuance of TCO. The proposed ordinance was approved on first reading on June 28, 2022. There have been no changes since first reading.”

F-5: An Ordinance of the City Commission providing for text amendments to the City of Coral Gables Official Zoning Code, Article 4, “Zoning Districts,” Section 2-100, “Residential Districts,” and Article 16, “Definitions,” to increase the interior side setback of certain Multi-Family 3 (MF3) properties; providing for severability, repealer, codification, and for an effective date. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

“At the June 28, 2022, meeting, the Commission requested the following changes to be incorporated into the conditions of approval or submittal plans: 1. Landscape: The expected high quality of landscape was clarified in the conditions of approval. The Applicant has also updated the plans to use Liriope, Juniper, and Purple Queen instead of green island ficus. 2. Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs): The Applicant intends to purchase unused development rights from City historic buildings to fund capital projects of high public benefit. After negotiations, the request will be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Board, Planning & Zoning Board, and the City Commission as a receiver site. 3. Off-street remote parking: The street design for all streets has been updated to only include bump-outs at the intersections and allow tree plantings within curbside planting strips. The total anticipated loss of on-street parking has been included in the Applicant’s updated plans and provided as Exhibit A. Any remote residential parking accommodated on-site as recommended by the North Ponce Community Master Plan will be determined by the City Commission. 4. Additional Traffic Calming: A raised intersection at the main entrance of Phillips Park at Menores and Galiano and the clarification that all traffic calming will be by City standards has been added to the Conditions of Approval for the PAD and Mixed-Use Site Plan draft ordinances. A covered trolley stop is also proposed at the corner of Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Menores Avenue. No other changes have been made since First Reading. The proposed project referred to as “1505 Ponce” is a mixed-use project with ground floor live/work units and is located in the North Ponce area on Ponce de Leon Boulevard, between Mendoza and Menores Avenues. The property is currently occupied by one 1920’s apartment building – which was recently designated as a local historic landmark – and vacant land. It consists of twelve platted lots, totaling approximately 67,892 square feet (1.55 acres). The proposed building consists of 10,500 square feet of retail space, 7 live-work units on the ground level, 80 residential units on upper levels, 318 parking spaces, with 20,144 sq. ft. of public landscaped area including a garden/dog park and linear plaza on Ponce de Leon Boulevard. The proposed building height is 16-stories at 190 feet. The Applicant is proposing Comprehensive Plan Map amendments, Zoning Code map amendments, Planned Area Development (PAD), Receipt of Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs), and Conditional Use Site Plan review.”

F-6: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the Future Land Use Map and Mixed-Use Overlay District Map of the City of Coral Gables Comprehensive Plan pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process,” Section 14-213, “Comprehensive Plan Text and Map Amendments,” and Small Scale amendment procedures (ss. 163.3187, Florida Statutes), from “Commercial Mid-Rise Intensity” to “Commercial High-Rise Intensity” for Lots 3 through 5 and Lots 18 through 20, and from “Multi-Family Medium Density” to “Commercial Mid-Rise Intensity” for Lot 6, Block 36, Douglas Section, and extending the “North Ponce de Leon Boulevard Mixed-Use Overlay District” to include Lots 6 and 17 of said Block 36 (1505 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, 126 and 122 Menores Avenue), Coral Gables, Florida; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. Lobbyist: Mario Garcia-Serra, Lauren Kahn, Leslie E. Pantin and Leonard Roberts. (Agenda Items F-6, F-7, F-8 and F-15 are related).

“The proposed text amendment has been revised since First Reading to exclude Multi-Family 3 (MF3) properties when abutting an active alley, as requested by the City Commission. The additional 5-foot interior side setback now only applies to proposed townhouses that abut an existing multi-family building without an active alley. As requested by the City Commission, the City is proposing a Zoning Code text amendment to increase the interior side setback of townhouses and rowhouses to 5 feet when abutting a developed property that is not a townhouse and does not abut an active alley. There is currently no interior side setback for townhouses, unless abutting a designated historic building. The proposed text amendment is requiring a 5-foot interior side setback when abutting any developed multi-family property that does not abut an active alley. The Multi-Family 3 (MF3) is a townhouse zoning district that was created from the Zoning Code Update to reflect the development rights of the Multi-Family Low Density land use designation of the Comprehensive Plan. Many regulations in the MF3 zoning district were transferred from the former Multi-Family Special Area (MFSA), including the interior side setback of 0 feet. However, there have been issues constructing townhouses with a 0-foot setback next to existing multi-family buildings. Therefore, the text amendment proposed is to require a 5-foot interior side setback when abutting a developed multi-family property, except if abutting an active alley. Planning & Zoning Board Meeting: At the March 9, 2022, Planning & Zoning Board meeting, members of the Board expressed concerns about limiting the development potential of future townhouses when building next to an existing townhouse with a 0-foot side setback. Therefore, the Board recommended denial of the text amendment as presented, vote 4-0. As requested by the City Commission, Staff revised the proposed text amendment prior to First Reading to exclude the required side setback if the abutting developed property is a townhouse. After First Reading, the text was revised again to not apply to properties also abutting an active alley. As currently drafted and presented to the Commission, the side setback will only apply to a property if it abuts an existing multi-family building without an active alley.”

F-7: An Ordinance of the City Commission making zoning district boundary changes pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process,” Section 14-212, “Zoning Code Text and Map Amendments,” for Lots 3 through 5 and Lots 18 through 20, from Mixed-Use 2 (MX2) District to Mixed-Use 3 (MX3) District, and for Lot 6, Block 36, Douglas Section, from Multi-Family 2 (MF2) District to Mixed-Use 2 (MX2) District; and extending the “North Ponce de Leon Boulevard Mixed-Use Overlay District” to include Lots 6 and 17 of said Block 36 (1505 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, 126 and 122 Menores Avenue); providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE). Lobbyist: Mario Garcia-Serra, Lauren Kahn, Leslie E. Pantin and Leonard Roberts. (Agenda Items F-6, F-7, F-8 and F-15 are related).

F-8: An Ordinance of the City Commission granting approval of a Planned Area Development (PAD) pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process,” Section 14-206, “General Procedures for Planned Area Development” for a proposed mixed -use project referred to as “1505 Ponce” on the property legally described as Lots 1 through 6 and Lots 17 through 22, Block 36, “Douglas Section” (1505 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, 126 and 122 Menores Avenue), Coral Gables, Florida; including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. Lobbyist: Mario Garcia-Serra, Lauren Kahn, Leslie E. Pantin and Leonard Roberts. (Agenda Items F-6, F-7, F-8 and F-15 are related).

Ordinances On First Reading

F-9: An Ordinance of the City Commission providing for a text amendment to the City of Coral Gables Official Zoning Code by amending Article 14, “Process,” Section 14-205.3, “Declaration of Restrictive Covenant in Lieu of a Unity of Title” to encourage the creation of city parks by allowing non-contiguous building sites with dedicated park spaces; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

“The City has consistently stressed the important of open spaces such as public parks and therefore seeks to promote and incentivizes the establishment of additional public park space for the use and enjoyment of its residents. In recent years parks and recreational spaces have normally been proffered by developers only when directly abutting a proposed development and the City believes that allowing the creation of non-contiguous building sites would encourage the creation of more public park spaces by not limiting the would be developers to directly abutting parcels. There will be further evaluation of the ordinance between first and second reading and it will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Board between first and second reading.”

F-10: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the City of Coral Gables Zoning Code, Article 6 “Landscape,” Section 6-104 “Landscape Requirements for Public Rights-of-Way: to amend planting height and various other provisions, providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

“The City has certain Zoning Code provisions which address the planting heights of tress placed in the City’s public rights-of-way. In order to incentivize diversity in the urban canopy, the City Commission wishes to give the Greenspace Management Division discretion to allow trees of a lower height at planting, provided they meet life safety requirements and contribute to that diversity. In addition, this ordinance amends provisions regarding the percentage of palms able to be planted in rights-of-way. This item will go to the Planning and Zoning Board between first and second reading.”

F-11: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the City of Coral Gables Code by creating Division 9, “Mayor’s Advisory Council,” in Chapter 2 “Administration,” Article III “Boards and Committees,” providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

“In Resolution No. 2021-204, the City Commission created a limited-purpose board known as the Mayor’s Advisory Council, to be created for a period of 364 days in order to facilitate the Mayor’s strategic priorities during his first term in the office of Mayor. The Council has been successful in accomplishing its purpose and the City Commission feels that having a permanent Mayor’s Advisory Council is beneficial to the Office of the Mayor and to the City, generally. This City Commission wishes that the members of the Mayor’s Advisory Council not be precluded from serving on other City boards and committees, as their work does not conflict with that of any other board or committee. This ordinance establishes the Mayor’s Advisory Council as a permanent City board.”

F-12: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the Future Land Use Map of the City of Coral Gables Comprehensive Plan pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process,” Section 14-213, “Comprehensive Plan Text and Map Amendments,” and Small Scale amendment procedures (ss. 163.3187, Florida Statutes), from “Commercial Low-Rise Intensity” to “Commercial High-Rise Intensity” for Lots 8 through 21, less the West ½ of lot 8, Block 29, Crafts Section, together with that portion of the 20-foot platted alley lying east of Lots 11 and 19, of said Block 29, (3000 Ponce de Leon Blvd, 216 & 224 Catalonia, 203 University Dr, and 225 Malaga), Coral Gables, Florida; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. ( LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE) (LPA review/Future Land Use Map Amendment). Lobbyist: Anthony De Yurre, Lauran Kahn, W. Allen Morris and Walter Allen Spencer Morris. Agenda Items F-12, F-13, F-16, F-17 and F-18 are related.

Click here to see staff’s memo.

You can find additional background on this project by reading: Ponce Park Residences To Get Fourth Bite Of The Apple At Planning & Zoning Board, At Request Of City Attorney, Morris’ Controversial Ponce Park Residences Once Again Fails To Secure Support Of Planning And Zoning Board, Meeting Today To Discuss New 17-Story Development On Ponce + Gift Of City Land, UPDATED: Second Time’s The Charm? Staff Asks Planning And Zoning Board To Approve All Developer Requests For Massive Project On Wednesday, Planning & Zoning Board Unanimously Votes To Deny 17-story Tower, and UPDATED: Staff Ignores Moratorium, Pushes For Gifted Land To Developer At Wednesday’s Planning & Zoning Meeting.

F-13: An Ordinance of the City Commission approving the vacation of a public alleyway pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process,” Section 14-211, “Abandonment and Vacations” and City Code Chapter 62, Article 8, “Vacation, Abandonment and Closure of Streets, Easements and Alleys by Private Owners and the City; Application Process,” providing for the vacation of the twenty (20) foot wide alley which is approximately one hundred and fifty-five (155) feet in length lying between Lots 12 thru 18 and Lots 11 and 19 in Block 29, Crafts Section (3000 Ponce de Leon Blvd, 216 & 224 Catalonia, 203 University Dr, and 225 Malaga), Coral Gables, Florida; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE). (Vacation of public alleyway). Lobbyist: Anthony De Yurre, Lauran Kahn, W. Allen Morris and Walter Allen Spencer Morris. Agenda Items F-12, F-13, F-16, F-17 and F-18 are related.

F-14: An Ordinance of the City Commission providing for a text amendment to the City of Coral Gables Official Zoning Code amending Article 14, “Process”, Section 14-200, “Procedures”, Section 14-204, “Transfer of Development Rights”, revising the purpose and process for the City to transfer unused development rights; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez). Agenda Items F-14 and G-7 are related.

“Coral Gables Zoning Code Section 14-204, “Transfer of Development Rights” sets forth the process for transferring unused development rights (TDRs) from local historic landmarks to approved receiving properties to encourage historic preservation and to provide an economic incentive to property owners to “designate, protect, enhance and preserve historic properties”. The purpose of this ordinance is to amend Section 14-204 of the Zoning Code to acknowledge the City’s unique obligation to maintain historic City-owned properties for the public trust regardless of and absent any economic incentives. The amendment would allow the City to utilize the proceeds of a transfer of development rights for projects of great public importance and benefit, while still maintaining the spirit of the code provision to promote historic preservation. The City Commission has identified TDRs as a viable way to fund projects that are of great importance and great public benefit to the City, without borrowing debt or raising taxes. Since 2005 the City has spent more than $45 million on the maintenance of historic properties, absent any significant economic incentive to do so. The City plans for long-term maintenance of its historic assets and all city-owned properties through the Capital Improvement Plan (“CIP”). The renovation of Phillips Park has long been anticipated by the community and is currently in the design phase, however, it is not currently funded in the CIP for 2022-2023 due to a lack of available funds. The renovation of Phillips Park and other large parks, as identified in the 2021 Community Recreation Master Plan, are considered projects of great importance and great public benefit. This amendment will allow for the renovation of large parks, like Phillips Park, to be paid for using proceeds from TDRs. This Zoning Code text amendment will go before the Planning and Zoning Board for a recommendation between first and second reading.”

F-15: A Resolution of the City Commission approving Mixed-Use Site Plan and Conditional Use review pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process” Section 14-203, “Conditional Uses,” for a proposed Mixed-Use project referred to as “1505 Ponce” on the property legally described as Lots 1 through 6 and Lots 17 through 22, Block 36, “Douglas Section” (1505 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, 126 and 122 Menores Avenue), Coral Gables, Florida; including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. Lobbyist: Mario Garcia-Serra, Lauren Kahn, Leslie E. Pantin and Leonard Roberts. Agenda Items F-6, F-7, F-8 and F-15 are related.

F-16: A Resolution of the City Commission approving receipt of Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs) pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process,” Section 14-204.6, “Review and approval of use of TDRs on receiver sites,” for the receipt and use of TDRs for a Mixed-Use project referred to as “Ponce Park Residences” on the property legally described as Lots 8 through 21, less the West ½ of lot 8, Block 29, Crafts Section, together with that portion of the 20-foot platted alley lying east of Lots 11 and 19, of said Block 29; (3000 Ponce de Leon Blvd, 216 & 224 Catalonia, 203 University Dr, and 225 Malaga), Coral Gables, Florida; including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE) (TDRs) (This Resolution is not for consideration at this time and will be included with the above Ordinance on Second Reading if approved on First Reading.) Lobbyist: Anthony De Yurre, Lauran Kahn, W. Allen Morris and Walter Allen Spencer Morris. Agenda Items F-12, F-13, F-16, F-17 and F-18 are related.

F-17: A Resolution of the City Commission approving the Tentative Plat entitled “Ponce Park Residences” pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process,” Section 14-210, “Platting/Subdivision,” being a re-plat of 42,543 square feet (0.977 acres) into a single tract of land on the property legally described as Lots 8 through 21, less the West ½ of lot 8, Block 29, Crafts Section, together with that portion of the 20-foot platted alley lying east of Lots 11 and 19, of said Block 29, together with a 1,318 square feet portion of University Drive that runs north of the Malaga Avenue right -of-way and west of the Ponce de Leon Boulevard right-of-way and dedication of 1,725 square feet; (3000 Ponce de Leon Blvd, 216 & 224 Catalonia, 203 University Dr, and 225 Malaga), Coral Gables, Florida; including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE) (Tentative Plat) (This Resolution is not for consideration at this time and will be included with the above Ordinance on Second Reading if approved on First Reading.). Lobbyist: Anthony De Yurre, Lauran Kahn, W. Allen Morris and Walter Allen Spencer Morris. Agenda Items F-12, F-13, F-16, F-17 and F-18 are related.

F-18: A Resolution of the City Commission approving Mixed-Use Site Plan and Conditional Use review pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process” Section 14-203, “Conditional Uses,” for a proposed Mixed-Use project referred to as “Ponce Park Residences” on the property legally described as Lots 8 through 21, less the West ½ of lot 8, Block 29, Crafts Section, together with that portion of the 20-foot platted alley lying east of Lots 11 and 19, of said Block 29; (3000 Ponce de Leon Blvd, 216 & 224 Catalonia, 203 University Dr, and 225 Malaga), Coral Gables, Florida; including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. ( LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE). (Mixed Use Site Plan and Cond. Use Review) (This Resolution is not for consideration at this time and will be included with the above Ordinance on Second Reading if approved on First Reading.). Lobbyist: Anthony De Yurre, Lauran Kahn, W. Allen Morris and Walter Allen Spencer Morris. Agenda Items F-12, F-13, F-16, F-17 and F-18 are related.

F-17: A Resolution of the City Commission approving the Tentative Plat entitled “Ponce Park Residences” pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process,” Section 14-210, “Platting/Subdivision,” being a re-plat of 42,543 square feet (0.977 acres) into a single tract of land on the property legally described as Lots 8 through 21, less the West ½ of lot 8, Block 29, Crafts Section, together with that portion of the 20-foot platted alley lying east of Lots 11 and 19, of said Block 29, together with a 1,318 square feet portion of University Drive that runs north of the Malaga Avenue right -of-way and west of the Ponce de Leon Boulevard right-of-way and dedication of 1,725 square feet; (3000 Ponce de Leon Blvd, 216 & 224 Catalonia, 203 University Dr, and 225 Malaga), Coral Gables, Florida; including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE) (Tentative Plat) (This Resolution is not for consideration at this time and will be included with the above Ordinance on Second Reading if approved on First Reading.). Lobbyist: Anthony De Yurre, Lauran Kahn, W. Allen Morris and Walter Allen Spencer Morris. Agenda Items F-12, F-13, F-16, F-17 and F-18 are related.

F-18: A Resolution of the City Commission approving Mixed-Use Site Plan and Conditional Use review pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process” Section 14-203, “Conditional Uses,” for a proposed Mixed-Use project referred to as “Ponce Park Residences” on the property legally described as Lots 8 through 21, less the West ½ of lot 8, Block 29, Crafts Section, together with that portion of the 20-foot platted alley lying east of Lots 11 and 19, of said Block 29; (3000 Ponce de Leon Blvd, 216 & 224 Catalonia, 203 University Dr, and 225 Malaga), Coral Gables, Florida; including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. ( LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE). (Mixed Use Site Plan and Cond. Use Review) (This Resolution is not for consideration at this time and will be included with the above Ordinance on Second Reading if approved on First Reading.). Lobbyist: Anthony De Yurre, Lauran Kahn, W. Allen Morris and Walter Allen Spencer Morris. Agenda Items F-12, F-13, F-16, F-17 and F-18 are related.

City Commission Items

G-1: An update from staff on the design for sidewalks on Pisano. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

G-2: Discussion regarding the permitting process for events in parks. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

G-3: An update on the Flagler section Community Vision Master Plan. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

G-4: Discussion regarding the City’s 4th of July events at the Biltmore Hotel. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez).

G-5: Discussion regarding implementation of an expedited permit review procedure for senior citizens. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors).

G-6: A Resolution of the City Commission re-establishing and supporting the continuation of the Special Assessment District to be known as the Business Improvement District (“BID”) of Coral Gables, for a period of five years, subject to approval by a majority of the affected property owners; providing for an updated voting procedure for ascertaining whether a majority of the affected property owners approve continued existence of the BID; providing for levy of special assessments thereof; providing for location, nature and estimated cost of services to be provided; providing details of assessment procedure and future increases; and providing for publication of legal notice.

“During the June 28th City Commission meeting, the City Commission discussed the current petition process, and following discussion with the BID Executive Director and various residents, the Commission voted to cancel the current petition process; directed City staff to return with alternative methods of determining support for the continued existence of the BID; and directed to staff to review some of the concerns raised by residents and the Commission. The attached draft resolution and exhibits call for a new election period to be done via ballot, not petition process. There are various options for the election for the Commission to consider and the draft resolution provides additional details regarding the assessment process.”

G-7: A Resolution of the City Commission directing the City Manager and the City Attorney to negotiate the transfer of unused development rights, equal to approximately one hundred fifty thousand (150,0000) square feet, from the Coral Gables Museum and other City-Owned sending sites and directing that the proceeds of the transfer be earmarked for the renovation of Phillips Park and other large parks. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez). Agenda Items F-14 and G-7 are related.

“The Coral Gables Zoning Code Section 14-204, “Transfer of Development Rights” sets forth the process for transferring unused development rights (TDRs) from local historic landmarks to approved receiving sites to encourage historic preservation and to provide an economic incentive to property owners to designate, protect, enhance and preserve historic properties. The City is in the process of amending Section 14-204, to reflect the City’s unique obligation to maintain historic City-owned properties for the public trust. The City Commission has identified the sale of TDRs as a viable way to fund projects, without borrowing debt or raising taxes. The forthcoming amendment will therefore allow the City to sell TDRs and invest the proceeds of such sale in projects of great importance and public benefit, in addition to maintaining the spirit of the code provision to encourage historic preservation. The renovation of Phillips Park and other large parks are considered projects of great importance and great public benefit. According to the 2021 Community Recreation Master Plan, large parks are categorized based on their acreage, levels of service, and other factors. The renovation of Phillips Park has long been anticipated by the community and is currently in the design phase, however, it is not currently funded in the Capital Improvement Plan for 2022-2023. Upon passage of a related and pending ordinance, this resolution directs the City Attorney and City Manager to negotiate the transfer of unused development rights, in the amount of approximately 150,000 square feet from the Coral Gables Museum and other city-owned sending sites and directs the proceeds of such transfer to be earmarked for the renovation of Phillips Park and other large parks.”

Boards/Committees Items

H-1: A Resolution of the City Commission approving Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Cultural Grant recipients and setting in place a funding mechanism contingent on the City ’s approved budget. (Unanimously recommended by the Cultural Development Board approval /denial vote: 7 to 0).

“One of the responsibilities of the City’s Cultural Development Board is to recommend to the City Commission the annual allocation of cultural grant funding. On May 24, 2022, the Cultural Development Board reviewed and scored 35 applications for the allocation of City of Coral Gables Cultural Grants funding. One (1) application was required by the Coral Gables Museum, funded separately. Proposed funding of 34 applicants and their scores (including the Coral Gables Museum) are shown on Exhibit A attached to the proposed Resolution. Last year the allocated funding was $191,228, with gradual increases frozen since 2020 due to the pandemic. The Cultural Development Board has respectfully made a motion recommending an increase of 5%, which has been submitted for funding consideration, but has not been approved at this time. The requested increase would be $9,561, bringing the Cultural Grants budget to $200,789. The FY23 Budget Estimate is maintaining the $191,228 amount.”

Click here to see staff presentation on grant money allocation.

City Manager Items

I-1: Update regarding undergrounding of utilities. Agenda Items I-1 and I-2 are related.

Click here to see staff’s presentation.

I-2: A Resolution of the City Commission directing City staff to work with Florida Power and Light (FPL) to accomplish the undergrounding of utilities citywide in accordance with the Storm Secure Underground Pilot Program approved by the Public Service Commission, to pursue and implement all other commitments made by FPL, and to explore options to require attaching entities to underground co-located pole attachments. Agenda Items I-1 and I-2 are related.

Click here to see staff’s memo.

I-3: A Resolution of the City Commission directing City staff to move forward with the remaining of street names within the neighborhood known as Pine Bay Estates and with the installation of new street signage as required.

“On April 12, 2022 the Pine Bay Estates Homeowners Association submitted a letter of intent with over 20% of the homeowners support seeking to rename the streets within the Pine Bay Estates Special Taxing District. This request does NOT seek an amendment to the District and solely seeks to determine the level of support in the community for street renaming. The Special Taxing District Amendment process is being used as a guideline since the District and the renaming area share the same boundaries. The petition language was approved by the City Commission on May 31, 2022 and the petitioner’s had 4 months to complete and return the petition. On July 6, 2022 the petitioners returned the petition to the City of Coral Gables with over 50% of the property owners supporting the name change. There is no expected cost to the Special Taxing District. The City, during the normal course of business, will remove existing signs and install the approved signage.”

I-4: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Police Department to waive the competitive bid process of the Procurement code pursuant to Section 2-691 entitled “Special Procurement/Bid Waiver” for the lease of eleven (11) 2022 FLHP Harley-Davidson motorcycles from Peterson’s Harley-Davidson of Miami, LLC., for a three (3) year period.

“The current lease agreement for the 2020 Harley-Davidson FLHP motorcycles for the Police Department’s Special Enforcement Division/Motor Unit will expire on September 30, 2022. Peterson’s Harley-Davidson of Miami, LLC., the current provider, has proposed a new lease agreement to replace the current fleet with new 2022 models at $740 per month, per motorcycle. The cost for the three (3) year lease term will be $293,040. This agreement provides full maintenance for the motorcycle at no cost to the Lessee, including regular scheduled services as recommended by the factory, plus parts and labor for repair and/or replacement of tires, brakes, and clutches. Transfer of any department-owned equipment, such as radars, radios, set-com moto-lights, and cameras will also be installed at no charge to the Lessee. Peterson’s Harley-Davidson of Miami, is the only local dealership in Miami-Dade County with authority from Harley-Davidson to lease to law enforcement agencies and to provide maintenance and repair services. Under Section 2-691 of the Procurement Code, entitled “Special Procurement/Bid Waiver,” a special procurement may be initiated when an unusual or unique situation exists that make the application of all requirements of competitive sealed bidding or competitive sealed proposal contrary to the public interest.”

I-5: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Chief Procurement Officer to award the Citywide Landscaping Maintenance Services to Brightview Landscape Services, Inc., the highest ranked responsive and responsible proposer, pursuant to Section 2-763 of the Procurement Code entitled “Contract Award” and Request for Proposal (RFP) 2022-008. Lobbyist: Leslie E. Pantin.

“The purpose of this RFP is to award a qualified and experienced professional firm (“Proposer”) to provide Citywide Landscaping Maintenance Services. On April 12, 2022, the Procurement Division of Finance formally advertised, issued and distributed RFP 2022-008 Citywide Landscaping Maintenance. Thirty-eight (38) prospective proposers downloaded the RFP package from Public Purchase, the City’s web-based e-Procurement service. On May 10, 2022, six (6) prospective companies submitted proposals in response to the RFP: Aero Groundtek LLC., Brightview Landscape Services, Inc., Sebastian (KP) Enterprises, Inc., SFM Landscape Services, LLC., Superior Landscaping & Lawn Services, Inc., and Tenusa, Inc. The responses were reviewed by the Procurement Division in order to determine responsiveness to the requirements of the RFP. During the review, it was determined that two (2) proposers, Aero Groundtek, LLC., and Tenusa, Inc. would be deemed non-responsive and receive no further consideration for award. On June 22, 2022, the Evaluation Committee convened to evaluate the four (4) responsive and responsible proposals and ranked the firms in the following order of preference: Brightview Landscape Services, Inc., (top-ranked ), Superior Landscaping & Lawn Services, Inc., (second ranked) and SFM Landscape Services, LLC (third ranked) and Sebastian (KP) Enterprises, Inc. The Evaluation Committee further recommended that should negotiations fail with Brightview Landscape Services, Inc., that negotiations may commence with the second ranked firm up to the third ranked firm, until a satisfactory agreement and contract amount is acceptable to the City has been reached. The Chief Procurement Officer recommends accepting the Evaluation Committee’s recommendation to award and negotiate an agreement with Brightview Landscape Services, Inc., for RFP 2022-008 Citywide Landscaping Maintenance for an initial period of three (3) years with the option to renew for two (2) additional one (1) year periods.”

City Clerk Items

K-1: A Resolution of the City Commission amending Resolution No. 2022-20, and in accordance with Section 2-30 of the City Code, entitled “Regular Meetings, Special Meetings” setting for the revised meeting dates for 2022; more specifically, changing the previously scheduled Tuesday, August 23, 2022 and Tuesday, November 8, 2022 City Commission Meeting dates.

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4 thoughts on “Agenda Digest: City Commission (7/25/2022)

  1. Request to speak against the Resolution I-3 under the City Manager agenda item. The petition was obtained with misleading proposed benefits of increased property values and better access to fire-rescue and WITHOUT a RISK SECTION detailing the substantial inconveniences to Pine Bay Homeowners which I addressed in an email to the Mayor and Commissioners. Request that this matter be subjected to a mail ballot process with the Pine Bay Estates homeowners now that they have received a detailed critique of the substantial negative effects this would have on all of us.

  2. Rumor has it a certain commissioner sings “you’ve got a friend in me” to developers when they meet with him.

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