City Commission Recap (9/13/2022)

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
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Below is a copy of the Commission Digest for this Commission meeting with the brief explanations of discussion taken and/or final votes cast by the Commission on September 13th.

Discussion/explanation can be found in blue. If opening on a smartphone, turn your phone horizontally to avoid having to scroll right to see how all members of the Commission voted on each item.

Non-credited quotes in this article are excerpts from the memos presented to the Commission explaining the items.

Watch Meeting

To watch the recording of the meeting you can visit the City’s YouTube Channel by clicking here.

Menendez Out

Commissioner Kirk R. Menendez was not present for the meeting. He explained he was unable to attend due to his need to remain out of town to help his son with College. The Commission voted to allow him to participate in the meeting virtually due to “extenuating circumstances.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSecondedNot Present

Mayor’s Comments

Burger Bob’s Update: The City Manager presented preliminary renderings on the location previously known as Burger Bob’s. The Commission asked for a meeting to be scheduled to receive resident input. Permitting will be done in October.

Consent Agenda

E-1: A Resolution of the City Commission confirming the appointment of Manuel Lopez (Appointed by City Manager Iglesias) to serve as a member of the Coral Gables Community Rating System – Program for Public Information Committee, for the remainder a two (2) year term which began on October 15, 2021 and continues through May 31, 2023.

E-2: A Resolution of the City Commission appointing Julio Grabiel (Nominated by Commissioner Menendez) to serve as a member of the Planning and Zoning Board, for remainder of a two (2) year term which began on June 1, 2021 and continues through May 31, 2023.

This was a vote on Items E-1 and E-2.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
SecondedMotionedNot Present

Ordinances On First Reading

F-1: An Ordinance of the City Commission providing for text amendments to the City of Coral Gables Official Zoning Code, by amending Article 14, “Process”, Section 14-200 “Procedures”, Section 14-202.6, “Building Site Determination” by eliminating size restrictions on residences in a separated building site based on what was permitted as a single building site; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date.

“No changes have been made since First Reading. As requested by the City Commission, a Zoning Code text amendment is proposed that eliminates the current size restrictions on residences in a separated building site based on what was permitted as a single building site. The proposed amendment is the result of recent comments by the City Commission regarding a proposed building site separation, also referred to as a lot split. The building site separation criteria and requirements were re-written and adopted in 2016 via Ordinance No. 2016-26. At this time, the Commission requested to codify the language that was typically included as conditions of approval with previous applications for building site separation. This included the common condition of approval to limit the total square footage of new residences in a separated building site based on the square footage that was permitted on the single building site. In Section 2-101(D)(6), the maximum building floor area of a single-family home depends on the size of the property. Therefore, smaller building sites allow a higher percentage of building floor area; and as such, newly separated lots would permit additional floor area than what would otherwise be allowed with the larger single building site. The proposed text amendment would allow a separated building site the maximum building floor area based on the new subdivided lots, by eliminating condition 1 of 4 that are the minimum required for an approval of a building site that currently reads: ‘The total square footage of the residences allowed on the separated building sites shall be equal to or less than the total square footage that could be constructed on the property if developed as a single building site.’”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

F-2: An Ordinance of the City Commission requesting Conditional Use Review for a previously approved but expired Building Site Determination pursuant to Zoning Code Section 14-206.6, “Building Site Determination” to separate into two (2) single-family building sites on the property zoned Single-Family Residential (SFR) District, legally described as Lots 13-18 Block 236, Coral Gables Riviera Section Part 11 (601 Sunset Drive), Coral Gables, Florida; one (1) building site consisting of Lots 13, 14 and 15 (east parcel), and the other (1) building site consisting of Lot 16, 17 and 18 (west parcel); including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, providing for a severability clause, and providing for an effective date. Lobbyist: N/A.

“At First Reading, the City Commission requested a text amendment to the Zoning Code to eliminate size restrictions on residences in a separated building site – such as 601 Sunset Drive – based on what was permitted as a single building site. Therefore, a separate text amendment is being considered by the City Commission for adoption to allow additional square footage for the proposed residences at 601 Sunset Drive. As such, the first condition of approval has been removed from the draft ordinance. No other changes have been made since First Reading. On March 12, 2019, by Ordinance No. 2019-16 the City Commission approved a Conditional Use Building Site Determination for the subject property which expired on September 12, 2020. The current Applicant, Andres Mejia is proposing a different design than what was previously approved. The subject site consists of six (6) individually platted lots (lots 13 thru 18) with a street frontage of approximately 200 feet along Sunset Drive, totaling approximately 31,00 square feet (0.71 acres). The request is to separate the existing 0.71 acre (31,000 square feet) building site located at 601 Sunset Drive into two building sites; one (1) building site consisting of Lots 13, 14 and 15 (east parcel), and the other (1) building site consisting of Lot 16, 17 and 18 (west parcel). The Planning and Zoning Board’s recommendation for approval includes Staff’s recommended conditions which have been provided in the draft Ordinance and are as follows: 1. The new single-family residences constructed on the separated buildings sites shall meet all applicable requirements of the Zoning Code, and no variances shall be required or requested. 2. The plans depicting the site plans and elevations of the residences on the separated building sites and submitted as part of the conditional use application shall be made part of the approval with any instructions or exceptions provided by the City Commission. Any changes to the plans are subject to Section 14-203.10 of the Zoning Code. 3. A bond shall be required, as determined by the building official, to ensure the timely removal of any non-conformities as a result of the building site separation approval. 4. Within 30 days of approval of the Conditional Use Review for a Building Site Determination, the property owner, its successors or assigns shall submit a restrictive covenant for City Attorney review and approval that includes all conditions of approval as approved by the City Commission. Failure to submit the covenant within the specified time frame shall render the approval void unless said time frame for submittal of the covenant is extended by the City Attorney after good cause as to why the time frame should be extended.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

F-3: An Ordinance of the City Commission providing for text amendments to the City of Coral Gables Official Zoning Code, Article 3, “Uses”, Section 3-317, “Permanently installed stand-by generators” removing the distance requirement of ten (10) feet from any opening in a building or structure; requiring that the distance from any opening be determined by manufacturer’s specification; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date.

“No changes have been made since First Reading. A Zoning Code text amendment is proposed to remove the distance requirement of 10 feet for the installation of a permanent generator from any opening in a building or structure. The current regulations related to generators, including the 10-foot distance requirement, was amended into the Zoning Code in 2006. There has been an increase of property owners applying permits for the installation of stand-by generators as a means of resiliency against power outage during emergency events. In the last 15+ years, many of the Building Code requirements and manufacturer’s specifications have changed. The proposed amendment removes the specificity of 10 feet, and instead, requires the distancing to be per manufacturer’s guidelines and specifications which shall be concurrently reviewed by electrical, structural, and mechanical permits.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
SecondedMotioned

F-4: An Ordinance of the City Commission providing for a text amendment to the City of Coral Gables Official Zoning Code by amending Appendix A, “Site Specific Zoning Regulations,” Section A-94, “Snapper Creek Lakes” to exempt platted lots within Snapper Creek Lakes from the Building Site Determination process, providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date.

“No changes have been made since First Reading. The Applicant seeks to amend the Zoning Code to exclude the Snapper Creek Lakes Subdivision from the Building Site Determination process of Section 14-202.6 of the Zoning Code. The Applicant recently purchased the vacant property at 10600 Lakeside Drive, Block 1, Lot 8 in the Snapper Creek Lakes Subdivision. When applying for a building site determination – as required to develop all vacant property within the City, it was denied because the property did not meet the criteria, as it was used as an accessory tennis court to a demolished house on the adjacent parcel. The adjacent parcel was recently purchased by another owner. The proposed Zoning Code text amendment would effectively exempt the entire Snapper Creek neighborhood from the requirement to apply for a building site determination. The purpose is to fulfil(l) the original intent of the 1996 annexation of Snapper Creek and retain the ‘site specific’ regulations that the platted lots are already considered building sites. This text amendment clarifies that the owners of lots platted in 1996 or earlier to be developed as intended after being annexed into Coral Gables.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
SecondedMotioned

F-5: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the City of Coral Gables Code by creating Chapter 2 “Administration”, Article III “Boards and Committees”, Division 9, “Coral Gables Golf and Country Club Advisory Board,” providing for repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez).

“Via Resolution No. 2022-121, the City Commission directed staff to draft an ordinance establishing the Coral Gables Golf and Country Club (“Country Club”) Advisory Board. The Country Club is a historic landmark that has recently been reacquired by the City from a private lessee. The City Commission believes the Country Club and the Granada Golf Course warrant the creation of a dedicated advisory board, whose purpose will be to furnish and relay citizen input, formulate recommendations, serve as a forum for dialogue regarding the Country Club and help maintain harmony between the surrounding neighborhood and the Country Club. There have been no changes between first and second reading.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
SecondedMotioned

F-6: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Chapter 62 “Streets, Sidewalks and Other Public Places, Article IV “Maintenance of Sidewalks and Swale Areas,” Section 62-153 “Removal of Obstructions” and Section 62-156 “Buttons and Other Encroachments Prohibited” of the City Code to clarify provisions regarding obstructions and/or encroachments on streets, sidewalks, or swale areas; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date.

“Section 62-153 of the City Code sets forth the procedure for removal of obstructions upon any street, sidewalk, or swale area within the City and provides that violations are punishable as provided in Section 1-7of the City Code. The proposed ordinance amends Section 62-153 to make it abundantly clear that placing, maintaining, or allowing an obstruction upon any street, sidewalk, or swale area within the City is prohibited and a code enforcement violation and clarifies that “obstruction” does not include any tree, shrub, swale treatment, or encroachment approved in writing by the city commission or city manager. Additionally, the proposed ordinance amends Sections 62-153 and Section 62-156 to specify the procedures for imposing a special assessment lien for removal of obstructions or encroachments by the City. The proposed ordinance was approved on first reading at the August 24, 2022 City Commission meeting. The only change between first and second reading is the addition of “or as otherwise permitted by the City Code” to the exceptions to ‘obstructions.’”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
SecondedMotioned

F-7: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Chapter 46 of the “Code of the City of Coral Gables,” entitled “Pensions,” amending Section 46-25, “Definitions” to update the definition of Administrative Manager to provide automated benefit processing for participants; amending Section 46-254 “Disability Retirement” allowing the board to reconsider a disability retirement after the disabled participant reaches his /her normal retirement; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date.

“The City’s Retirement System provides benefits to City employees upon the occurrence of retirement, death or disability of the employees. The Retirement System is administered in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 46 “Pension” of the Code of the City of Coral Gables The Retirement Board is automating its pension administration by among other things, providing automated benefit processing and an on-line portal for participants to access their retirement information. This Ordinance updates the definition of administrative manager to allow for this. Currently, the Retirement Board can annually reconsider the disability of a participant receiving a disability retirement until such time as the participant reaches his/her normal retirement. To ensure that the disabled participant remains entitled to a disability retirement, the Retirement Board believes it is in the Retirement System’s best interest to continue to annually reconsider the disability of a disabled participant after the disabled participant reaches his/her normal retirement date. This Ordinance implement this change. The proposed ordinance was approved on first reading on August 24, 2022. There have been no changes since first reading.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
SecondedMotioned

Ordinances On First Reading

F-8: An Ordinance of the City Commission creating Chapter 14 “Businesses”, Article VII “Mobile Food trucks”, providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

“Section 509.102, Florida Statutes preempts the regulation of mobile food dispensing vehicles (synonymous with, and hereinafter referred to as “mobile food trucks”) involving licenses, registrations, permits, and fees to the state. The law further states that a municipality, county, or other local governmental entity may not prohibit mobile food trucks from operating within the entirety of the entity’s jurisdiction. The City currently allows mobile food trucks to conduct business within the City in connection with special events. The City Commission wishes to amend the City Code to further allow mobile food trucks to operate within the City under certain circumstances and within specific zoning districts in accordance with section 509.102, Florida Statutes.”

Staff was asked to explore options on noise like music on ice cream trucks and restricting the hours. They were also asked about sales at parks and where they can park safely, as well as the permit requests required for use of food vendors at parks.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

F-9: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Chapter 34 “Nuisances”, Article XI “Nuisance Abatement” Sections 34-305 “Definitions” and 34-307 “Procedures” of the Code of Ordinances, by adding storage of hazardous materials to the definition of “Public Nuisance” and creating an expedited nuisance abatement process, providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date.

“The City’s nuisance abatement procedures protect the general public from properties that repeatedly violate the law or otherwise adversely affect the health and welfare of the community or the free use and enjoyment of another’s property. It is well known that public nuisances can exist anywhere in the city, on properties of every character and use, including residential, commercial, home office etc. Some public nuisances can pose an immediate harm to persons or property and warrant an expedited resolution. This ordinance expands the definition of “public nuisance” to include properties that on more than one occasion or for more than 24 hours, in a manner that is detrimental or dangerous to persons or property within the city, stores or disposes of any corrosive, combustible, hazardous, or flammable materials or liquids. This ordinance also creates an expedited nuisance abatement process for nuisances that pose an immediate threat of harm to persons or property. The expedited process includes notice and a hearing.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
SecondedMotioned

F-10: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Article VII, under Chapter 14 of the City of Coral Gables Code to add additional requirements to Hotels /Motels, providing for repealer provision, severability clause, codification, enforceability, providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

“It being well established that hotels/motels that allow for the hourly rental of rooms, are frequented by individuals engaged in prostitution and/or human trafficking, as well as other illegal activity. Human trafficking has become an epidemic of significant consequences to our community such that the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office established a Human Trafficking Unit in 2012 to more effectively combat the issue. Victims of human sex trafficking are often exposed to serious health risks, including sexually transmitted diseases, drug and alcohol addiction, broken bones and burns, memory loss, miscarriages or forced abortions, as well as PTSD, anxiety, fear and psychological trauma. Individuals engaged in prostitution are exposed to similar physical and psychological effects. Acknowledging the importance of this issue, in 2016, the City Commission created Article VII, Rental Periods for Hotels/Motels, of the City Code, to prohibit hourly rentals. Also acknowledging the gravity of the issue, in 2022, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 898, now codified in section 509.098, F.S. which prohibits a hotel/motel operator from offering an hourly rate for an accommodation. To further protect potential victims and strengthen the impact of these laws, this Ordinance adds sections 14-142 and 14-143 to Article VII, to require certain attestations and signage.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
SecondedMotioned

City Commission Items

G-1: A Resolution of the City Commission designating Mayor Lago as the City Commission ’s representative for the purpose of meeting with county officials regarding the annexation of Little Gables. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

“On August 24, 2022, the City Commission passed a resolution authorizing the City Manager and City Attorney to reinitiate the annexation process for Little Gables by taking certain steps. One such step is to conduct meetings with members of the Board of County Commissioners to ascertain political support for the annexation. Some of these meetings can occur immediately and some will have to take place after the November 2022 election when all (“Board of County Commissioners”) BCC seats are filled. The City Commission recognizes that having a member of the City Commission present at such meetings could help advance the City’s interests as it relates to the annexation. Additionally, due to the Sunshine Law, it is preferable to appoint only one elected official as the designee for purposes of these meetings. To that end, this resolution designates Mayor Lago as the Commission’s representative for the purpose of meeting with County officials regarding the annexation of Little Gables.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

G-2: Presentation concerning the “The Garden of our Lord” located at 110 Phoenetia Avenue. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez).

G-3: Discussion regarding modern residential design approvals in Coral Gables. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

The Mayor voiced his concern over administrative approvals that took place, which show now adherence to Coral Gables architecture. (see image below). Staff blamed the former City Architect having approved the projects administratively during COVID-19. And vowed not to allow it to happen again.

G-4: Discussion regarding Alhambra Circle sidewalks (between San Rafael and the bridge near Taragona Drive). (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

Click here to see staff’s presentation.

Staff informed the Commission that the sidewalks will cost about $60,000. The Manager estimated the cost would be about double with all elements included. The Commission suggested a possible cap on approved funding, the Manager said he needed flexibility on the amount.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
SecondedMotioned

G-5: Presentation on International Coastal Cleanup. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

G-6: Update regarding Douglas Station Metrorail Trolley and Bus Shelter Installations. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

Commissioner Anderson explained that she spoke with Miami-Dade County Commissioner Raquel Regalado who stated that by December a shelter area should be installed.

G-7: Discussion and update regarding opening of Villa Valencia small dog park, Catalonia/Anderson pocket park and projected opening dates for Salvadore and Ponce/Mendoza dog parks. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

Commissioner Anderson explained that the Villa Valencia Dog Park has opened. The City Attorney stated that the Ponce Park will be installed at no cost to the City, with a target completion date of December of this year and should remain open for about a year. On Salvadore Park, the City Manager stated that it is looking like breaking ground in December. He said obtaining materials is an issue so he cannot give a timeline for completion. On Catalonia, the Commission discussed the concern about dogs not being kept on their leashes and with the proximity of Villa Valencia, the Commission decided to defer the Catalonia discussion to the next City Commission meeting.

G-8: Discussion regarding Carbon Border Adjustment. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

Commissioner Anderson would like for the Commission to pass a resolution urging the Federal government to create a Carbon Border Adjustment. This would be a border issue on imports to the United States and enforcing guidelines on imported goods. Anderson will work on a memo to further explain the item for the Commission to have a discussion at the next Commission meeting.

G-9: Update regarding Cheryl E. Johnson Way signage on Grand Avenue. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

G-10: Discussion regarding systems to request: (a) installation of no parking signs on residential swales, and (b) installation of disabled parking signs in the North Gables Residential Infill District within a reasonable distance of the residence of an individual with disabilities. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

Click here to see staff’s presentation.

Parking Director Kevin Kinney was unable to answer the Commission’s questions about sign replacement of signs that have faded. The Clerk was asked to place them on the next agenda.

G-11: Discussion regarding Coral Gables Museum and the Merrick Exhibit. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

Click here to read Gables Insider’s story, Community Concerned As Coral Gables Museum To Permanently Close Exhibit On Coral Gables History.

Wayne “Chip” Withers addressed the Commission on behalf of the Coral Gables Museum board. He explained that the plan is to modernize the museum and make it more interactive to people. He explained that the displays are deteriorating and need to be updated. He explained that new contributions have been made with new items related to the history of the City. The cabin will also not be removed, rather it will be moved and brought back.

The City Attorney explained that the operations agreement decided that the museum has exclusive control over the exhibits being displayed.

City Manager Items

I-1: A Resolution of the City Commission directing City Staff to begin the balloting process related to the approval of bicycle lanes along South Alhambra Circle from U .S. Highway 1 to Trionfo Street. Lobbyist: N/A.

“In Resolution 2021-188 the City Commission instructed City staff to take the next steps in moving forward with the South Alhambra Circle Bikeway Plan and directed staff to conduct a community meeting as suggested by the Transportation Advisory Board. City staff held a public meeting in June of 2022 regarding bicycle infrastructure along South Alhambra Circle and would like to begin to issue ballots to those approximately 182 properties fronting South Alhambra Circle from U.S.1 to Trionfo Street. The City Commission directs that the ballots should indicate the type of bicycle infrastructure being proposed, in this case, bicycle lanes, and that in order to proceed with the installation of bicycle lanes, the City shall have support from over fifty (50) percent of the returned ballots.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
AbsentMotionedSeconded

I-2: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the acceptance of the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) grant funds in the amount of $200,000 to the newly designed and built Blue Road Neighborhood Park which is located at 757 Blue Road, Coral Gables, Florida; and authorizing an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Annual Budget to recognize the $200,000 grant as revenue and to appropriate such funds to put toward the cost of the program.

“This agreement authorizes the acceptance, execution, and budget amendment of $200,000 as part of a matching grant from the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) for the City of Coral Gables. FRDAP is a competitive grant program that provides state funds for the acquisition or development of lands for public outdoor recreational use. All county governments and incorporated municipalities of the state of Florida and other legally constituted local governmental entities with the legal responsibility for the provision of outdoor recreational sites and facilities for the use and benefit of the public. The funds will be used for new observation deck/fishing pier, walking trail, play structure and surface, picnic facilities, benches, landscaping, lighting, fencing, waste receptables, drinking fountain and mister spray for the Blue Road Neighborhood Park.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

I-3: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the acceptance of the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) grant funds in the amount of $200,000 to the newly designed and built Toledo & Alava Neighborhood Park which is located at the corner of Alava Avenue and Toledo Street, Coral Gables, Florida; and authorizing an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Annual Budget to recognize the $200,000 grant as revenue and to appropriate such funds to put toward the cost of the program.

“This agreement authorizes the acceptance, execution, and budget amendment of $200,000 as part of a matching grant from the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) for the City of Coral Gables. FRDAP is a competitive grant program that provides state funds for the acquisition or development of lands for public outdoor recreational use. All county governments and incorporated municipalities of the state of Florida and other legally constituted local governmental entities with the legal responsibility for the provision of outdoor recreational sites and facilities for the use and benefit of the public. The funds will be used for new walking trail, play structure and surface, picnic facilities, benches, landscaping, lighting, fencing, waste receptacles, drinking fountain and mister spray for the Toledo & Alava Neighborhood Park.”

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

City Clerk Items

K-1: A Resolution of the City Commission sunsetting the City of Coral Gables City -Wide Anti-Crime Committee.

“The City of Coral Gables City-Wide Anti-Crime Committee was reinstated in 2014 after being dissolved in 2005. The Anti-Crime Committee has provided a great service to the City, however, the Committee is currently having issues meeting quorum requirements and conducting any business. The City wishes to thank the current and previous members of the Committee for their service and sunset the Committee as of the adoption of this resolution. City staff will look for opportunities for the City to work more closely with the Coral Gables Crime Watch Committee going forward.”

The Coral Gables Crime Watch has offered to accept Commission representatives to be at their meetings in lieu of the City having its own Anti-Crime Committee.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
MotionedSeconded

K-2: A Resolution of the City Commission with attachments, officially accepting the City Clerk’s Certification and Declaration of Results using a petition process to ascertain whether a majority of the property owners support the continued existence of the Coral Gables Business Improvement District.

City Clerk Billy Urquia explained that 91 votes were received. 11 votes were deemed invalid. Of the 178 properties, 87 did not return the petition. “This leaves the BID 9 votes shy.” The BIDs attorney spoke asking for a deferral to allow them to create a new voting process with the City Attorney’s office.

The BIDs Executive Director Aura Reinhardt, addressed the Commission and blamed the Commission for the result of the election. She asked that invalidated votes be counted, as the election process was legal. She then made a presentation on all the activities the BID is working on for the remainder of the year.

Estrella Sibila, who filed the suit on the process of the election, explained that the certification process is there to ensure the right votes are counted. She added that not enough votes in favor were submitted.

The City Attorney stated that she will seek counsel on whether a Wind-down period (allowed by law) to close out events planned throughout the Holidays.

The Commission voted to certify the election, sun-setting the BID effective October 10th.

Mayor
Vince Lago
Vice Mayor
Michael Mena
Commissioner
Jorge L. Fors, Jr.
Commissioner
Rhonda Anderson
Commissioner
Kirk R. Menendez
SecondedMotioned

Discussion Items

The Commission discussed waterway safety and ensuring boaters are safe on the waterway, as well as the conditions of the waterway in Gables Estates.

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3 thoughts on “City Commission Recap (9/13/2022)

  1. Much ado about nothing. The commissioners did not address the important issues facing the City.
    No need to re-state the issues, again and again. The commissioners are worthless and won’t be re-elected.

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