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On September 14, 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.
To watch the meeting live on Tuesday, September 14th at 9:00AM, click here.
Items E-1, E-2, E-4, E-7, and E-9: are appointments of residents to City Advisory Boards.
E-3: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the execution of a Joint Participation Agreement (JPA) between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the City of Coral Gables for disbursement of FDOT funds in the amount of $60,340.00 for 12 Months to the City, for the maintenance of turf and landscape areas within FDOT’s right-of-way on State Road (S.R.) 5/South Dixie Highway, S.R. 976/Bird Road, and S.R.959/Red Road (East Side only).
“The City has had a series of agreements with the Florida Department of Transportation dating back to 1983 compensating the City for landscape maintenance that the City performs on State Road (S.R.) 5/South Dixie Highway, S.R. 976/Bird Road, and 959/Red Road within the City. This resolution will authorize a renewal of agreement for a period of (1) one year with the option for a second one (1) year renewal at the discretion of the City Manager, in which the City will be paid $60,342 for mowing, trimming and cleanup activities. Compensation is based on the average maintenance cost experience of the FDOT for similar work within its road system.”
E-5: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Procurement Officer to enter into a contract with Clearview Al for the Police Department, as a “Sole Source Procurement,” pursuant to Section 2-689 of the City’s Procurement Code.
“The Police Department has determined a need for access to a search engine of publicly available facial images as a research tool for use in criminal investigations. Through research conducted to find a solution, the Police Department recommends Clearview AI to provide this function. The engagement for the services will be for a three (3) year period.”
E-6: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Procurement Officer to purchase equipment for the Police Department from Special Ops Tactical, as a “Sole Source Procurement,” pursuant to Section 2-689 of the City’s Procurement Code.
“The Police Department has identified a need to replace the entry rifles used by its SWAT unit. Funds for this purpose were allocated to the Department’s budget and have been re-appropriated to Fiscal Year 2021 for this use. Through testing and research conducted, a final determination and selection of the most appropriate equipment for the program was made. Upon an evaluation of equipment from multiple vendors, the Police Department selected equipment from Special Ops Tactical. Special Ops Tactical is the patent holder and sole provider of the selected
equipment in the amount of $31,405.00. Under Section 2-689 of the Procurement Code, entitled “Sole Source Procurement,” an award may be made without competitive bids when there is only one source available to fulfill the needs of the City.”
E-8: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Procurement Officer to purchase consulting and roof installation inepctions services for City facilities, from Turnkey Roof Consulting, Inc., as a “Special procurement/bid waiver,” pursuant to Section 2-691 of the City’s Procurement Code.
“Due to on-going roof replacement projects, Public Works has a need to engage Turkey Roof Consulting, Inc. to perform roof installation inspection services at City Hall, Pump Station City 4, Miracle Theater, Coral Gables Museum and Water Memorial Youth Center. The inspection services are needed to ensure the integrity of the projects and are performed by certified Roofing Specialist. The services will include submittal reviews for compliance, pre-construction meetings, in-progress meeting and roof inspections and a final report.”
Ordinances On Second Reading
F-1: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Chapter 2 “Administration”, Article VII “Finance”, Section 2-349 “Fees for Copies of Ordinances and other Records” providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, providing for an effective date.
“Section 2-349 of the City Code sets forth a definition of extraordinary expenditure of times and extensive research fees for responding to public record requests. Currently the Code provides that 20 minutes or more is an extraordinary expenditure of time and associated fees are triggered. This proposed ordinance increases that time to 30 minutes of staff work. This item was passed on first reading during the August 24, 2021 City Commission meeting and there have been no changes since first reading.”
F-2: 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, and Comprehensive Plan amendment procedures (ss. 163.3187, Florida Statutes), changing the land use designation for property legally described as Lots 6 and 19, and the west 25 feet of lots 7 and 18, Block 219, Riviera Section #14, Coral Gables, Florida, from Religious/Institutional to Public Buildings and Grounds; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. ( Legal Description on file). (RELATED TO ITEM F-7).
“The City is planning to build the new Fire House 4 on Sunset Drive with other civic uses, between Nervia and Trionfo Streets. The Fire House will improve total response time for Fire Rescue services to existing areas of central Coral Gables. To accommodate the location of the new fire house, the City is proposing to change the Future Land Use Map from its current ‘Religious/Institutional’ land use to ‘Public Buildings and Grounds’ land use in anticipation of the new Fire House 4 on Sunset Drive. The Zoning will not be changed and will remain as Special Use District. On February 11, 2020, the City Commission adopted an ordinance to approve the Purchase and Sale Agreement with Riviera Presbyterian Church for the purchase of a portion of the surface parking lot on Sunset Drive for the purpose of establishing a fire house and park using State of Florida grant funds for a portion of the purchase.”
Ordinances On First Reading
F-3: 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” and providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date. (TIME CERTAIN 5:00PM).
After two months of discussion by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Mediterranean Bonuses, the Commission will be considering the recommendations by the panel.
“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 2nd, 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.'”
F-4: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the City of Coral Gables Code by creating Chapter 2 “Administration”, Article III “Boards and Committees”, Division 7 “Landmarks Advisory Board” providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)
“The City of Coral Gables is home to various entrances, landmarks and historic features; and, presently the City has boards and committees in place which assist City staff in the oversight and maintenance of City infrastructure. There may be a gap in City board and committee oversight as it relates to the City-owned and/or maintained entrances, plazas, fountains, historically significant poles and lights, historic markers, statues, and other historically significant landmarks or item. As such, the City Commission believes that the addition of a Landmarks Advisory Board would provide resident oversight of the extensive landmarks throughout the City and allow a structure for residents and board members to review the condition of entryways and landmarks and bring maintenance issues to the City’s attention in a timely manner to avoid deterioration. The board would consist of seven members, residents of the City, with a demonstrated passion for preservation of Coral Gables landmarks, and the City’s public works department would serve as administrative support staff for the board.”
F-5: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Section 2-83(B) of the City Code, titled, “Citizen Input Addressing the City Commission” to establish an affirmative duty on the City Clerk to inform the Chair of the City Commission when the allotted time has expired, and establishing a 3 minute time limit for extensions of time; and amending Section 2-79(E)(2) of the City Code, titled, “Order of Business” to establish an affirmative duty on the City Clerk to inform the Chair of the City Commission when the allotted time has expired, to establish a 3 minute time limit for extensions of time, and to clarify that once the Public Comment Section is closed, it shall not be reopened; providing for severability clause; repealer provision, codification; and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored By Commissioner Menendez)
Since the onset of this new Commission, many residents have praised it for the openness to public comment and the ability for residents to freely express their issues and concerns at Commission meetings. However, now Commissioner Kirk R. Menendez would like to change that. Menendez seeks to bring back the limits on resident input that former Mayor Raul Valdes-Fauli used to enforce. As many of you would remember, residents were often interrupted and stopped mid-sentence by Valdes-Fauli without allowing them to complete their thoughts.
In what is his third act as Commissioner, Menendez is seeking to limit resident input and enforce a three minute limit, to bring “greater order to the process surrounding public comments.”
The measure also requires that once public comments are closed, no further comments are allowed. For those who have watched the last two Commission meetings, residents have often struggled with the City’s technology and been unable to be seen or heard until after the public comment period has been closed. In those cases, the Commission has allowed the comments. Under the changes proposed by Menendez, the comments would no longer be heard, as the code would prohibit it.
“The City Commission is committed to allowing for robust citizen input and recently added the “Open Public Comment” section to the City Code, in order to provide for a public comment period at the beginning of each Commission meeting. The establishment of the “Open Public Comment” section provides those wishing to address the Commission with a specific time during which they may do so without having to wait until the item is called. While hearing from the public is both valuable and necessary, it is also essential for the City Commission to be able to conduct its business in an efficient manner. This ordinance establishes clearer rules and brings greater order to the process surrounding public comments and provides the chairperson with greater tools to ensure efficient City Commission meetings.”
F-6: An Ordinance of the City Commission approving Site Plan Amendment pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process” Section 14-203, “Conditional Uses,” for a previously approved Country Club by Ordinance No. 2016-34, located within a Special Use (S) District, for the property commonly referred to as the “Riviera Country Club” and legally described as portions of Tracts 1 and 5, Riviera Country Club, a portion of Miami-Biltmore Golf Course of Riviera Section Part 4 and Lots 10-14, Block 112, Country Club Section Part 5 (1155 Blue Road), Coral Gables, Florida; all other conditions of approval contained in Ordinance 2016-34 shall remain in effect; providing for an effective date. (Legal description on file at the City)
“On June 14, 2016, the City Commission adopted Ordinance No. 2016-34 granting Conditional Use approval with Site Plan for a new club house and fitness building located at the Riviera Country Club, 1155 Blue Road. Also approved was a parking lot with 325 parking spaces and a ten (10) foot wide multi-use path in front of the property along the north side of Blue Road. Included in the condition of approval, Section 2.1(d) of Ordinance No. 2016-34, states that ‘Any changes to the plans and drawings referenced above unless specified herein shall require Planning and Zoning Board and City Commission review and final approval in ordinance form.’ Currently, an application has been submitted by Mark Snure on behalf of Riviera Country Club, requesting Site Plan Amendment to the previously approved Country Club. The request is to change the paving material at the main entrance on Blue Road, from concrete pavers to asphalt; change the crosswalks from concrete pavers to thermo-plastic paint; change concrete pavers on the east and west parking lot entrances with Coral Gables beige concrete; eliminate two (2) on-site parking spaces to allow for new FPL switch cabinets; and to change street tree species from ironwood to live oak. On March 9, 2021, the City Commission deferred the item. On March 23, 2021 the City Commission heard the item again but voted to continue the item. Mayor Lago requested to meet with the Country Club representatives, and to look for more options. The Applicant has not provided any changes to the proposal since the last meeting.”
F-7: A Resolution of the City Commission pursuant to Zoning Code Article 1, “General Provisions,” Section 1-104 “Jurisdiction and applicability,” granting Site Plan approval of a city-owned firehouse, known as Fire House No. 4, legally described as Lots 6 and 19, and the west 25 feet of lots 7 and 18, Block 219, Riviera Section #14, Coral Gables, Florida; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (RELATED TO ITEM F-2).
City Commission Items
G-1: A presentation about the impact of Girl Scouts in Coral Gables. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago) (TIME CERTAIN 10:00AM).
G-2: Discussion and review of City website. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors)
G-3: Discussion of feasibility of automated location-based electronic notice of certain matters. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors)
G-4: Discussion regarding the Passion/Passiflora Incarnation installation on Segovia. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors)
G-5: Staff up-date regarding obtaining a hold harmless agreement with the County for the control and eradication of strangler figs on Coral Way oak canopy. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)
G-6: Discussion regarding allocation of impact and fire fee funds receivable pursuant to development agreements. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors)
G-7: Discussion regarding the closure of the alleys located on Santander and Malaga, Malaga and Palermo and Palermo and Sevilla. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)
G-8: An update from city staff regarding the maintenance of the Downtown area. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago)
G-9: Discussion regarding the number of members of the Board of Architects and their ability to serve on other permanent City boards. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)
G-10: Preliminary presentation regarding regional dog park proposal with use limited to subscribing residents with access cards in zones within walking distance. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson)
G-11: Update regarding proposed Miami-Dade County ordinance expanding Rapid Transit Zone (RTZ) and meeting with its sponsor Miami-Dade County Commissioner Oliver G. Gilbert, III. (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors)
G-12: A Resolution of the City Commission directing that Regular City Commission Meetings begin at 9:00 A.M. and directing that certain City Commission agenda items be heard no earlier than 4:00 P.M.. (RELATED TO ITEM G-13).
“The City Commission has historically held its regularly set meetings at 9:00 A.M. The City Commission has found that certain items of great public interest should be heard later in the day to accommodate people who may find it difficult to attend meetings during the work day. As such, this draft resolution directs that regular meetings of the City Commission are to begin at 9:00 A.M., though from time to time the Mayor, as Chair of the Commission, may determine that certain presentation and protocol items, or individual appearances are to be heard prior to 9:00 A.M. In addition, the City Clerk and City Manager are directed to ensure that certain agenda items be heard no earlier that 4:00 P.M. at least once before final action of the Commission. Those items include: 1) Amendments to the City Comprehensive Plan or Land Use Map; 2) Mixed-Use projects requiring City Commission approval, Planned Area Development (PAD) applications, any project requiring Conditional Use Approval, and amendments to developments, site plans, or PADs previously approved by the City Commission that require Commission approval; and 3) Any other items as directed by a majority of the Commission.”
G-13: A Resolution of the City Commission directing that certain City Commission agenda items be heard no earlier than 5:00p.m. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson) (RELATED TO ITEM G-12).
“This resolution directs the City Manager and City Clerk to set particular items to be heard no earlier than 5:00 P.M., regardless of the start time of the regularly scheduled City Commission meeting. Those items include: 1) Planning and Zoning Items as listed below a. Ordinances amending the City’s Zoning Code; b. Amendments to the City’s Comprehensive Plan or Land Use Map; and c. Mixed-Use projects requiring City Commission approval, Planned Area Development (PAD) applications, any project requiring Conditional Use Approval, Amendments to developments, site plans, or PAD’s previously approved by the City Commission that require Commission approval. 2) Procurement Awards for contracted goods and services over $5 million.”
H-1: A Resolution of the City Commission approving artists for public art proposal submittals associated with the new public Parking Garage 7, Minorca Garage. (Unanimously recommended by the Cultural Development Board approval/denial vote: 5 to 0). (TIME CERTAIN 10:30AM).
“A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was announced nationally inviting artists to submit qualifications and interest in developing a public art design proposal for the new public Parking Garage 7. Artists were advised that artwork is sought that is light-based and functions as a beacon to identify the public safety building location, welcoming people to the site as a place of safety, help, and refuge. The Arts Advisory Panel met and reviewed seventy-nine (79) applications from artists who responded to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The Panel, along with department staff, Police Chief Hudak, Fire Chief de la Rosa, and parking director Kevin Kinney interviewed seven (7) artists and made a motion to invite four (4) artists to submit proposals: Grimanesa Amoros, Brookhart Jonquil, Monika Bravo, and Ivan Toth Depena. The Cultural Development Board met and reviewed the artist recommendations of the Arts Advisory Panel, reviewed the artist list of respondents to the Request for Qualification (RFQ) and viewed their submissions. After thorough discussion, the Board voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Arts Advisory Panel. Funds for the public art proposal process are being proposed through use of the art acquisition fund.”
City Manager Items
I-1: Ponce de Leon Phase III – Project Update. (TIME CERTAIN 11:00AM).
I-2: IT presentation on new City website (digital experience platform) and smart city dashboards.
I-3: Keep Coral Gables Beautiful Program Update. (SEE PRESENTATION).
I-4: Presentation of Downtown Coral Gables public art tour.
I-5: Discussion regarding the purchase and deployment of larger recycling bins with lids.
I-6: A Resolution authorizing encroachments into the public right-of-way consisting of two (2) entry monuments at the end of the Isla Dorada Bridge, landscaping and future sidewalks; subject to requirements of the Public Works Department. (TIME CERTAIN 11:30AM).
“The Weber Studio Architecture, on behalf of Tahiti Beach Homeowners Association, Applicant, has requested permission to encroach into the public right-of-way at the end of the Isla Dorada Bridge, Coral Gables, Florida. The proposed encroachments consist of the installation of two (2) two, 14’- 8” entry monuments with light fixtures, at each side, at the end of the bridge. Encroachments will also include landscaping and future 5’ sidewalks on each side of the monuments.”
I-7: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Chief Procurement Officer to extend the current Citywide Right-of-Way Improvements Contract with Metro Express, Inc., pursuant to Section 2-829 of the Procurement Code entitled “Approval of Change Orders and Contract Modifications”, and allow for a six (6) month extension until May 3, 2022, for the completion of on-going right-of way projects.
“On August 29, 2017, the City Commission approved the citywide right-of-way improvements contract with Metro Express Inc. as a result of the Invitation for Bid (IFB) process. Said contract provided for an initial two (2) year term with an option to renew for two (2) additional one (1) year terms with the last term expiring October 2, 2021. A six (6) month extension to Metro Express, Inc.’s existing contract will be necessary in order to complete various programmed right-of-way projects.”
I-8: A Resolution of the City Commission amending the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 amended annual budget to recognize as revenue proceeds from the expected sale of the Doctors’ Hospital and the Greco Street parking lots, and Coral Gables Mobility Impact Fees; and to appropriate such funds to put toward the Minorca Garage Construction Project, the Public Safety Building Construction Project, the future purchase of land, and the enhancement of parks; and providing an effective date.
“Sale of Doctors’ Hospital Lot: The sale of the Doctors Hospital parking lot is expected to bring in proceeds of $3,500,000 of which resolution 2020-199 dictates 50% ($1,750,000) be allocated to the construction of the Public Safety Building, 25% ($875,000) be allocated to the park land purchase, and 25% ($875,000) be allocated to the park enhancements. Staff will allocate the proceeds in compliance with the resolution requirements.
Sale of Greco Street Lot: The sale of the Greco Street parking lot is expected to bring in proceeds of $3,525,000 which staff recommends putting toward the Minorca Garage construction.
Coral Gables Mobility Impact Fees: Staff has identified impact fee collections for Mobility improvements that are available for appropriation in the amount of $50,687 and is recommending that these funds be applied to the Minorca Garage construction project. An amendment to the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 amended budget is required to recognize the aforementioned items as revenue and appropriate such funds to put toward the cost of the specified capital projects.”
I-9: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the ratification of an emergency authorization of critical structural and roofing repairs at 427 Biltmore Way, pursuant to Section 2-690 Emergency Procurement, in the amount of $378,908.
“On January 12, 2021, Resolution No. 2021-08 was approved for the award of the Renovation and Addition Project at 427 Biltmore Way -IFB 2021-035. The purpose of this IFB is to contract with a qualified and experienced bidder for the renovations and construction of a structural addition to the City owned facility located at 427 Biltmore Way. During the project, it was discovered that structural upgrades are needed to enhance the integrity of the building framework and roof structural system. Numerus structural conditions were discovered during the interior demolition process that required additional work outside the original scope. Since a portion of the roof structural system is being replaced as part of the structural repairs, and portions of the remaining roof are being disturbed to accommodate other new structural repairs, it makes sense to replace the balance of the roofing system. The result will be a secure and weathertight building envelope. In order to continue the construction activities of the project and minimize the time impact to the schedule, emergency approval for the additional work was granted in order to prevent a delay to the project schedule. The emergency work included structural repairs and upgrades, re-roofing of the entire building.”