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On October 12, 2021, the Coral Gables City Commission will hold its next City Commission meeting. Here are some of the more notable items on 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.
E-1: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the execution of an agreement for sewer connection for properties located outside the city’s sewer district at 4461 SW 16 Street and 4465 SW 16 Street, Miami, Florida to the City of Coral Gables wastewater collection/transmission system, subject to the requirements of the Public Works Department, as provided under chapters 62 and 78 of the City Code, Ordinance No. 2007-29 and 2009-39 and Resolution No. 2008-07; and provided that the executed agreement be made part of this resolution.
E-2: A Resolution of the City Commission granting permission to the Coral Gables Firefighter’s Benevolent Association to sell Christmas trees, install a temporary chain link fence, and display an inflatable Santa Claus on the Coral Gables Baptist Church property, located at 5501 Granada Boulevard, starting on or about November 20, 2021 through December 24, 2021.
“The Coral Gables Firefighter’s Benevolent Association has conducted the annual Christmas tree sale since 1957, and as in years past, all rules and regulations will be followed.”
E-4: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the release of the Declaration of Restrictive Covenant recorded in the Official Records Book 8408, Page 1955, of the Public Records of Miami-Dade County, Florida for 1533 Sunset Drive.
“The property located at 1533 Sunset Drive currently contains two (2) parcels of land located on the North and South side of San Ignacio Avenue. The parcel to the South of San Ignacio Avenue, and fronting onto Sunset Drive, consists of a 2-story office building with a surface parking lot while the parcel to the North of San Ignacio Avenue is improved with a surface parking lot that provides for overflow parking. There is a Declaration of Restrictive Covenant unifying the two parcels for parking purposes (the “Restrictive Covenant”) recorded in Official Records Book 8408, Page 1955 of the Public Records of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The property owner wishes to release Declaration of Restrictive Covenant and enter into a new Covenant with the property directly abutting 1533 Sunset Drive to the west, 1541 Sunset Drive. The new covenant will serve the same role as the previous covenant to make sure that 1533 Sunset Drive has adequate parking as required by the City’s Zoning Code. Furthermore, the new overflow parking will allow for safer and more convenient access for visitors and patrons alike as they would no longer be required to cross San Lorenzo Avenue.”
E-5: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the waiver of special event, parking and barricade fees for the “Day of the Dead” event to occur from Giralda Plaza to Pittman Park on Saturday, October 30, 2021.
“The ‘Day of the Dead’ is a tradition in at the center of Mexican culture. It was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2008. The ‘Day of the Dead’ event will take place on Saturday, October 30, 2021 from Giralda Plaza to Pittman Park. Organized by the Consulate of Mexico, this is the second year the event is held in Coral Gables. The goal of the event is to celebrate and educate the community on Mexican culture with a culturally enriching experience at no cost to participants. At the request of the Consulate of Mexico, the City desires to waive the special event permit fee ($500), parking fees for the closure of Lot 25 on Giralda Plaza ($456) and parking spaces on Merrick Way in front of Pittman Park ($216), and the barricade rental fee ($200) for a total value of $1,372. With more than 3,000 people expected to attend, the event will generate positive economic activity.”
E-6: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the City Manager to enter into a State-Funded Grant Agreement between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the City of Coral Gables to renovate the intersection of Coral Way and Granada Boulevard.
“The City submitted a Local Funding Initiative Request last legislative session seeking funds from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to harden and improve the intersection of Coral Way (SR 972) and Granada Boulevard (“Intersection”). The Intersection is currently a span wire signalized intersection and during Hurricane Irma, the signalized intersection was inoperable and therefore the City proposes to convert this intersection to a hardened span wire to maintain the historic character of the plaza while adding exclusive left turn lanes and safe pedestrian crossings. Coral Way is a State road serving as a connection for commuters traveling from the western end of Miami-Dade County to The City of Coral Gables and The City of Miami, and these improvements will help increase capacity of the roadway and move traffic more efficiently through the area, especially during hurricane evacuations. The Local Funding Initiative Request was approved and the City was awarded a grant in the amount of $375,000 to fund 50% of the expected total project cost.”
E-7: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the in-kind contribution of 125 “A Taste of Coral Gables: A Culinary Tour and Recipes from the City Beautiful” cookbooks to Beaux Arts, the fundraising arm of the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami.
“Founded in 1952, the mission of Beaux Arts is to provide improvements, equipment and financial assistance to the Lowe Art Museum and art education to Title 1 schools. The not-for-profit organization has created several fundraisers and programs to assist in these efforts. Among the organization’s major fundraisers are the Beaux Arts Ball and the Beaux Arts Festival. The organization is requesting the City donate 125 of its “A Taste of Coral Gables: A Culinary Tour and Recipes from the City Beautiful” cookbooks. The books will be given to the sponsors, attendees and donors of the Beaux Arts Ball taking place on October 16, 2021. The value of the in-kind contribution is $2,743.75.”
Items E-3 and E-8: are appointments of residents to City Advisory Boards.
Presentation of Boards and/or Committees draft/final minutes requesting action from the City Commission [Note: A vote to accept the minutes does not mean approval of the substance within the minutes]:
2-1: A Resolution of the Historic Preservation Board requesting that the City Commission adopt a Resolution authorizing Ad Valorem tax relief for the property located at 1223 Lisbon Street, Local Historic Landmark, legally described as Lot 29, Block 59, Coral Gables Granada Section, according to the plat thereof, as recorded in Plat Book 8, at Page 113 of the Public Records of Miami-Dade County, Florida. (Historic Preservation Board Vote: 8-0).
“On August 18, 2021 the Historic Preservation Board unanimously (8-0) passed a motion to recommend
approval of the application as presented. This application is associated with the related Special Certificate
of Appropriateness, COA (SP) 2016-024 which was granted design approval by the Historic Preservation
Board on January 19, 2017.”
2-2: A Resolution of the Historic Preservation Board requesting that the City Commission adopt a Resolution authorizing Ad Valorem tax relief for the property located at 4209 Santa Maria Street, a Local Historic Landmark and Contributing Resource within the Santa Maria Street Historic District, legally described as Lots 11 and 12, Block 96, Coral Gables Country Club Section Part 5, according to the plat thereof, as recorded in Plat Book 23, at Page 55 of the Public Records of Miami-Dade County, Florida. (Historic Preservation Board Vote: 9-0).
“On September 15, 2021 the Historic Preservation Board unanimously (9-0) passed a motion to recommend approval of the application as presented. This application is associated with the related Special Certificate of Appropriateness, COA (SP) 2015-005, which was granted design approval by the Historic Preservation Board on June 18, 2015.”
2-3: A Resolution of the Communications Committee requesting the City Commission to support the creation of a working group for the purpose of organizing and executing events promoting the City’s Centennial anniversary.
“On June 9, 2021, the Communications committee met and discussed the assembly of a working group to plan and execute the Centennial celebration of the City of Coral Gables set for 2025. The Centennial festivities will mark the founding of the City’s establishment in 1925, the same year that the University of Miami and the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce were founded. The Centennial commemorations will provide cultural and historical value to the Coral Gables community. The working group’s scope will be limited to the purposes of the Centennial celebration and will dissolve after the Centennial events have taken place at the end of 2025. Due to the reasons outlined in this resolution and further discussed in the Communications committee June 9 minutes (attached hereto), the Coral Gables Communication’s committee requests the City Commission to support the creation of a working group for the purpose of organizing and executing events promoting the City’s Centennial anniversary.”
F-1: An Emergency Ordinance of the City Commission amending Chapter 46 of the “Code of the City of Coral Gables,” entitled “Pensions,” implementing provisions of the 2021-2024 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City and the Teamsters, amending Section 46-29, “City Contributions”; and providing for severability, repealer, codification, and providing for an effective date. (RELATED TO ITEM F-7).
“This Ordinance implements the following pension changes contained in the recently ratified collective bargaining agreement between the City and the Teamsters, Local 769, covering the time period from October 1, 2021 through September 20, 2024 (the “Agreement”): The retirement cost sharing contribution cap for bargaining unit employees covered by the Agreement shall be as following during the term of the Agreement: Fiscal Year 2022 – 13.5%, Fiscal Year 2023 – 13.0%, and Fiscal Year 2024 – 13.0%. The retirement cost sharing contribution cap returns to 13.5% at the expiration the Agreement.”
Ordinances On Second Reading
F-2: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the City of Coral Gables Code by amending Chapter 2 “Administration”, Article IX “Sponsorship Program”, Section 2-1123 “Administration” providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez) (RELATED TO ITEM F-6).
“Article IX “Sponsorship Program” of the City Code of Coral Gables, Florida sets forth in detail a sponsorship program which provides opportunities for the City to work with outside third parties to enter into sponsorship agreements with the City. The City has previously utilized the sponsorship program in accordance with the ordinance adopted in The City Commission would like to emphasize the sponsorship program opportunities for third parties to sponsor community recreation events, such as the Fourth of July programing, Tree Lighting, Literacy Festival, Pumpkin Patch, and Movies Under the Gables Moonlight. The City Commission wishes to amend the existing Code provisions to specify that when a sponsorship program relates to sponsorship of an event organized by the City’s Community Recreation Department, the Community Recreation Department will be responsible for administering that sponsorship program in conjunction with the Economic Development Department. This item passed on first reading during the September 28, 2021 City Commission meeting and there is an associated resolution for consideration during this meeting.”
F-3: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the City of Coral Gables Code by creating Chapter 2 “Administration”, Article III “Boards and Committees”, Division “FEMA Community Rating System Program Activity 330 Program for Public Information Committee” providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date.
“The City participates in FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS) Program, which offers flood insurance policy premium discounts in communities like the City of Coral Gables that have developed and implemented extra measures beyond minimum floodplain management requirements to provide its residences protection from floods. The City Commission wishes to establish a “FEMA Community Rating System Program Activity 330 Program for Public Information Committee” (The PPI Committee) in accordance with FEMA’s CRS Program Activity 330 Outreach Projects and policies and applicable laws and regulations. The City Commission believes that the addition of a PPI Committee will provide valuable flood outreach materials to property owners within the City and to help lower the cost of flood insurance for policy holders as part of the City’s participation in FEMA’s CRS program. This item passed on first reading on September 28, 2021. Section 2-57 of the City Code provides that the second reading of an ordinance creating a new board shall be held no earlier than 15 days after passage on the first reading of the ordinance creating said board, however, requirements from the Community Rating System Program and the important of the board require the City Commission to hear this Ordinance on second reading 14 days from its initial passage, as such the City Commission is explicitly waiving the relevant requirement in Section 2-57 of the City Code.”
Ordinances On First Reading
F-4: An Ordinance of the City Commission providing for text amendments to the City of Coral Gables Official Zoning Code, Article 5, “Architecture,” Section 5-200, “Mediterranean Standards” including re-prioritizing the purpose of the Mediterranean bonus, encouraging Coral Gables Mediterranean architectural style, expanding review process, reinforcing compatibility and context review standards, and reducing certain criteria and providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date. (TIME CERTAIN 5:00PM).
“The City Commission is considering Zoning Code text amendments to address the incentives and/or bonuses provided in Section 5-200 of the Zoning Code ‘Mediterranean Standards.’ The City Commission sought to obtain resident input and established a seven (7) members Blue Ribbon Committee of professional architects to meet and advise on possible amendments to Section 5-200 of the Zoning Code and directed Staff to work with the Committee on recommendations to be presented to the City Commission. The Blue Ribbon Committee met on multiple occasions to discuss and review the proposed changes to Section 5-200 of the Zoning Code and finalized those proposed changes on Thursday September 30th, 2021. The City Commission is now being presented with the Blue Ribbon Committee’s proposal on text amendments to Section 5-200 of the Zoning Code ‘Mediterranean Standards,’ attached hereto as Exhibit ‘A.'”
After a four month process, the City’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Mediterranean Bonuses has finalized its recommendations to the City Commission on changes to the City’s Code in relation to the Mediterranean Bonuses. The topic will be heard discussed on first reading at a time certain of 5:00PM.
F-5: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the Cocoplum Phase 1 Street Lighting Special Taxing District, as created by Miami-Dade County pursuant to County Ordinance 20-114, to increase the proposed streetlights from 55 to 123 lights and change the method of assessment from assessing on the basis of lot frontage to applying a per parcel charge; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, and providing for an effective date.
“On April 1, 2021 the City of Coral Gables received a letter of intent from over 20% of the homeowners (“Petitioner”) within the Cocoplum Phase One Street Lighting Special Taxing District (“District”) requesting a modification to the District to increase the proposed streetlights from 55 to 123 lights and changing the method of assessment from assessing on the basis of lot frontage to applying a per parcel charge. A petition was been created and approved by the City Commission pursuant to Resolution 2021-75 on May 11, 2021. The Petitioners, in accordance with the Special Taxing District Amendment policies as adopted by the City, have circulated the approved petition throughout the District and have submitted a list of 105 signatures. The District contains 149 parcels and therefore the submitted list of signatures represents over 70% of the parcels in the District. It must be noted that some of the signatures are pending further information which Petitioner is working to provide prior to the Commission meeting. If Petitioner is able to verify at least 100 signatures to the satisfaction of the Commission, then the Commission may choose to amend the District through Ordinance with or without an election. If Petitioner is unable to verify at least 100 signatures to the satisfaction of the Commission then the amendment would, in accordance with the Special Taxing District Amendment policies, need to proceed to an election, assuming there are at least 75 signatures in favor of the petition.”
F-6: A Resolution of the City Commission directing the City Manager and City Staff to establish sponsorship packages for certain City events and further directing staff to secure sponsorship for those events. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez) (RELATED TO ITEM F-2).
“This resolution directs that City staff establish sponsorship packages, in accordance with the City Code and all other applicable laws and regulations, for City events and programming including the Fourth of July programming, Tree Lighting, Literacy Festival, Pumpkin Patch, and Movies Under the Gables Moonlight and pursue other sponsorship opportunities as they become available.”
F-7: A Resolution of the City Commission with attachments, ratifying the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City of Coral Gables and the Teamsters, Local 769, affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, for the period of October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2024. (RELATED TO ITEM F-1).
“The City of Coral Gables (“City”) and the Teamsters, Local 769, Affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (“Teamsters”), have been negotiating a successor collective bargaining agreement and have reached an agreement for the period of October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2024 (the “Agreement”). The Teamsters have ratified the Agreement. Upon ratification of the Agreement by the City Commission, the Agreement will reflect the following material changes: Article 7 ‘Wages’: Fiscal Year 22 – 2% increase, Fiscal Year 23 – 2% increase and Fiscal Year 24 – 2 % increase. Article 8 ‘Health Plans and Life Insurance’: Calendar Year 2022 – the City will provide a bi-weekly medical insurance stipend to employees who have dependent health insurance coverage to cover the increased cost in dependent health insurance in the following amounts: Employee & Children – $27.72, Employee & Spouse – $35.78, Family -$50.87. Calendar Years 2023 & 2024 – Stipend continues provided premiums remain the same or are
increased. If premiums decrease, stipends are reduced by the percentage of the decrease. Article 12 ‘Workweek, Overtime and Call Back’ Standby Duty Pay: $20/weekday and $30/per weekend day and holidays (non-pensionable). Maximum of 5 employees can be placed on standby duty. Article 21 ‘Temporary Assignment to Higher Classification’ Employees in the solid waste division that serve in a higher classification receive out of class pay after 8 hours of serving in the higher classification. Article 24 ‘Special Allowance’ Increase annual tool allowance for auto mechanics to $575. Article 34 ‘Retirement System’ Employee’s retirement cost sharing contribution cap into the Retirement System shall be as follows: Fiscal Year 22 – continues at 13.5%; Fiscal Year 23 – 13.0%; and Fiscal Year 24 – 13.0%. Cost sharing contribution cap returns to 13.5% at expiration of the Agreement. Article 39 ‘Tuition Reimbursement’ Increase maximum tuition reimbursement per semester to $2,000 from $1,500 (maximum per calendar year remains at $6,000).”
City Commission Items
G-1: A Resolution of the City Commission supporting the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ rulemaking process to phase-out the use and sale of polystyrene products in regulated Food Establishments. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).
“Expanded polystyrene (“polystyrene”), a petroleum by-product commonly known as Styrofoam, is neither readily recyclable nor biodegradable and can take thousands of years to degrade in the environment. Products made from polystyrene have little value, are not accepted in single stream recycling facilities, and cause serious harm and death to wildlife. The City of Coral Gables (“City”) has, and continues to, support the reduction and elimination of polystyrene products for the benefit of the environment, as evidenced by Ordinance No. 2016-08, Resolution No. 2019-250, City of Coral Gables, FL v. Florida Retail Federation, Inc. et al., the City’s ongoing prohibition on the use of polystyrene products by special event permittees, and the City’s commitment not to use polystyrene products or allow its vendors to do so. Commissioner Nikki Fried recently announced the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (“Department”) has begun rulemaking to phase out the use of polystyrene products in Florida grocery stores, markets, convenience stores, and other regulated businesses. The Department’s draft rule, 5K-4.045, would begin a multi-year phase-out of polystyrene packaging beginning in 2022, with a maximum allowable amount of polystyrene to be sold or distributed decreasing each year. Based on the phase-out plan, full elimination of polystyrene products in regulated businesses would occur by 2028. The draft rule would also require regulated entities to file an annual report of the amount of polystyrene sold or distributed that year. The Department is currently undergoing the rulemaking process, to include workshops and public comment periods. The rule would be established and enforced through the Department’s statutory authority, Chapter 500.90, Florida Statutes.”
G-2: Discussion regarding low-density PAD bonus in Central Business District core, in properties of a certain size. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson) (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).
G-3: Discussion regarding Miami-Dade County authorizing conveyance to the City of Coral Gables pursuant to Section 125.38, Florida Statues for the purposes of improving and maintaining Solano Prado as a neighborhood park. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).
G-4: An update on the Downtown Coral Gables Community Clean-up event. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).
City Manager Items
I-1: Presentation of the Retail Strategy Market Update.
I-2: Presentation on FEMA preliminary flood risk map and flood insurance study adoption process.
I-3: A Resolution of the City Commission declaring Principles of Inclusion for all individuals with disabilities, and urging action by national, state and local governments, businesses and residential communities consistent with these principles.
“October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which heightens awareness while recognizing the contributions of Americans with disabilities to both our workforce and our society. The City of Coral Gables has proclaimed October as Americans with Disabilities Month in Coral Gables, in order to expand its commitment to raising awareness and acceptance of inclusion beyond the area of employment. The theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month for 2021 is ‘America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,’ which reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The City will be host its third “Adventure Day For All” event on October 23, 2021, in Salvadore Park. This family-friendly event is for all ages and will feature a resource fair, challenges, crafts, activities, and live entertainment with the theme of embracing people of all abilities. Adventure Day for All will coincide with the grand opening of the City’s first ever inclusive playground at Salvadore Park. The City has proclaimed that October is Americans with Disabilities Month in Coral Gables, and renews its commitment to inclusion for all individuals with disabilities in the workforce and in society.”
I-4: A Resolution of the City Commission approving the City’s 2022 Legislative Priorities in substantially the attached form.
“The City Commission annually adopts both policy and funding priorities to guide the City’s lobbying efforts during the State legislative session. These priorities are collectively referred to as the City’s ‘Legislative Agenda’. The Legislative Agenda is an evolving document and often requires updating as the legislative session progresses. The City Commission supports additions and modifications to the Legislative Agenda that are consistent with this Resolution and further the City’s best interests and the Commission’s priorities.”
I-5: A conceptual design presentation of the Mobility Hub Project located at 245 Andalusia Avenue by M.Arthur Gensler Inc. architects.