City Manager Seeks Commission Approval To Allow Architects From Outside Coral Gables To Decide City’s Future On Board Of Architects

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
[email protected]

The look and overall design of buildings and homes in the City of Coral Gables has long been an item of importance on the minds of residents.

From the modern design of the controversial Mobility Hub to the gargantuan scale of the Plaza, residents have long been fighting the power of developers and staff’s total disregard for the Zoning Code when supporting these projects.

The Board of Architects, a citizen board which must approve all new projects in the City Beautiful, has been one of two last bastions of control for residents.

Now, the City Manager is seeking to break that up.

Citing a lack of interest and the inability to find enough Coral Gables residents who are architects or architects whose offices are in the City, the manager wants for the Commission to allow him the ability to appoint architects with no ties to the City of Coral Gables to the Board.

The requirement of appointees being residents or whose practice located in the City was a way the Commission could ensure approval of projects was based on the desires of residents. This change, if unchecked, will inevitably bring a new look to the City of Coral Gables.

The Board of Architects is considered one of the hardest working boards in the City. In fact, they meet on a weekly basis, and their meetings often go on for more than 3 hours.

Every home, every color change that is not on the approved list, every window replacement, must come before the Board of Architects. Most of these approvals do not require a City Commission vote. So placing these decisions on parties that are not invested in this community could have ramifications that will take the future look of the City in a different direction.

Conversations with several local architects have led to the same conclusion, most have never been asked and their interest has never been gauged. So why the need to allow outside influences a seat at the table?

The Commission will take this matter up at the May 10th City Commission meeting.


17 thoughts on “City Manager Seeks Commission Approval To Allow Architects From Outside Coral Gables To Decide City’s Future On Board Of Architects

  1. Kirk was also too busy running for the Commission to ensure that the zoning was changed to ensure his properties got top$$$. Menéndez a big phony

  2. No vacancies on the board. No real complaints. Who does trias and Iglesias want on the board? Kirk was all over finding talent from other cities. Maybe we need to apply the same logic to his position. We can do better.

  3. Niccolo Machiavelli must be turning in his grave. He has been outdone by our two-bit town civil servants. A true theater of the absurd.

  4. Ariel,
    Can you comment on the future of the flower arrangements that beautify Segovia Street in the two rotundas that apparently the City is waiting for them to being scrap metal before removing them?

  5. There they go again!! trying to pull another fast one ….shame on us if we let them get away with it!

  6. I came to Coral Gables in 1980. I did so because of the way this city managed itself, and the appearance of residences in this city, the prohibitions that have kept this community looking like it does, property values, the promise of maintaining property values, amongst many other reasons. To have outside architects that do not live here make decisions on or about the design of homes, commercial buildings, parking lots, parks or other matters is not in keeping with the best interests of this community and is not what the founder of this community had in mind. Even though the founder is no longer alive, I do not believe it is what a majority of members of this community think is in the best interest Coral Gables.

    This is not about changing times, and it is not about modernization, it is about keeping the faith with the principles of the founder of the community. That is why I moved here, and I am sure many think alike. If certain elements of the community don’t like what goes on in this community, they should not have moved here. To the best of my knowledge the rules of this community are and have always been very clear and transparent. Not to have informed oneself, or to have come here with the intent of changing the rules is not an excuse to upend what this community is all about.

    This community just went through what I would consider a somewhat contentious election (I am being diplomatic). The outcome is settled, but I do not recollect any elected official making a proposal of this kind prior to the vote. Had that been the case, all of us can rest assured that to have done so before the vote would have guaranteed that the candidate doing so would not have been elected. That said, let’s stop with trying to change the rules in underhanded ways. If anyone wants to make this change put it up for a vote at the next election and get on with your responsibilities in the meantime. That is the real way to determine what this community wants and not via a City Commission Meeting where attendance is never representative of the entire community.

  7. The timid mayor and the timid commissioners don’t have the guts to fire Peter Iglesias for his
    greed and stupidity. Look at his legacy: the mobility hub. $52 million and going up.

    It’s up to the residents to fire him.

    Start a recall petition to get rid of the timid mayor and the timed commissioners,

    A new government will clean house.

  8. There is nothing wrong with a Board of Architects. What’s wrong is the current members on the Board. They are greedy and play in the Little League. Look at the monster buildings they have approved all over the City. Get qualified architects. End of story.

  9. I am a Coral Gables Resident (for the last 23 years) and registered Architect / Principal with a firm in Coral Gables for over 10 years (GAA Architects).
    Volunteering for the Board of Architects requires a lot of time away from one’s firm. Nevertheless, I sent my resume to Peter Iglesias over 4 months ago but never heard back. A Gables’ Architect usually is aware of Gables’s zoning laws more so than an Architect who does not practice in this City.

  10. I am a city resident who previously worked for another municipal government, but never for Coral Gables. I highly oppose the city manager selecting members of the Board of Architects and/or the Board consisting of architects with no connection to the city. Since the city manager manages staff who approve or deny architects’ projects within the city, architects he appoints to the Board will feel pressure to make decisions popular with him. Our family moved to Coral Gables in great part because of our dissatisfaction with the building and zoning policies of a nearby municipality. We do not want architects from neighboring overly or poorly developed areas making decisions concerning our City (struggling to stay) Beautiful.

  11. Peter Principle Iglesias has already packed managerial ranks with City of Miami rejects. An indigenous Board of Architects stands in the way of his malevolent designs.

  12. You must be a resident or have a firm in the Gables to be on the board. Must have skin in the game.

  13. Please get rid of this horrible City manager already. This should be City architects from Coral Gables only. Your future leading us depends on getting rid if this autocratic manager who does not listen to us. Sure he wants outsiders so he can manipulate them and do what he wants. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

  14. The current operations of the Board of Architects for the City of Coral Gables must remain unchanged. Do not give-in to the City Manager who clearly only has his own interests at heart. Please do not approve that self-serving resolution / proposal from the City Manager.

  15. 1. Reduce the number of board members.
    2. Include structural and civil engineers as well as architects.
    3. Include either Gables residents or board members whose office is located in the Gables.

  16. This should be a Gables Board, for Gables residents, with Gables architects

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *