Commission Meeting Recap (10/26/2021)

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 October 26th.

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.

Mayor’s Comments

Tallahassee Update: Mayor Vince Lago spoke about his trip with Commissioner Jorge L. Fors, Jr. to Tallahassee with the goal of bringing back the most money the City has ever secured from the Legislature. They met with leaders in Tallahassee. Both Lago and Fors shared that they had a very positive response in Tallahassee and will continue to work on advancing the City’s Legislative Agenda. The City normally secures $400,000 to $500,000. The Commission has set the goal of bringing in a lot more funding.

Red Ribbon Week: Promoting drug-free environments for children. The Manager agreed to light City Hall red in honor of Red Ribbon Week, which is this week.

Transportation Planning Organization (TPO): The Mayor updated on the most recent TPO meeting and his advocating on behalf of the City for opportunities to address the congestion crossing LeJeune Road due to the proposed and continued construction on the US1 corridor.

City Manager Receives Award: Coral Gables City Manager Peter Iglesias was awarded the top engineer award in 2020 by the Association of Cuban-American Engineers. The City was also awarded a civil engineering award for the Streetscape Project.

Adventure Day for All: Mayor recognized staff, in particular the Community Recreation Department for their great work organizing the successful event.

Code Enforcement: The Mayor recognized Code Enforcement for their work in being proactive in addressing issues.

Solanch Lopez Receives Award: Solanch Lopez, Assistant to City Manager, 2021 Ford Mujeres Award. The award is given to exceptional latinas who contribute to the community by Ford Motor Company.

Consent Agenda

E-2: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the acceptance of a grant award from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in the amount of $22,600.00 to purchase Automatic Passenger Counting (APC) systems for the city’s Trolleys; and authorizing the City Manager to execute an agreement with FDOT to accept the funds.

“The City was awarded a grant for the purpose of funding the purchase of an Automatic Passenger Counting system for seventeen (17) Coral Gables Trolleys. The funding amount of $22,600.00 require 50% matching funds from the City for the project costs. The Trolley/Transportation Division Equipment Additions budget line item will match the City’s portion.”

E-3: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the acceptance of a grant award from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in the amount of $34,000.00 to purchase and install Trolley Stop Signs and Posts; and authorizing the City Manager to execute an agreement with FDOT to accept the funds.

“The City was awarded a grant for the purpose of funding for the purchase and installation of Trolley Stops Signs and Posts. The funding amount of $34,000.00 require 50% matching funds from the City for the project costs. The Trolley/Transportation Division Equipment Repair/Replacement budget line item will match the City’s portion.”

E-4: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the acceptance of a grant award from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in the amount of $130,450.00 to extend Trolley Service to Saturdays; and authorizing the City Manager to execute an agreement with FDOT to accept the funds.

“The City was awarded a grant for the purpose of extending Trolley Service to Saturdays. The funding amount of $130,450.00 require 50% matching funds from the City for the project costs. The Trolley/Transportation Division State Grants budget line item will match the City’s portion.”

E-5: A Resolution of the City Commission recognizing a grant award from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in the amount of $170,299 to extend Trolley Service Evening Operations; and authorizing the City Manager to execute an agreement with FDOT to accept the funds.

“The City was awarded a grant for the purpose of extending Trolley Service Evening Operations. The funding amount of $170,299 require 50% matching funds from the City for the project costs. The Trolley/Transportation Division State Grants budget line item will match the City’s portion.”

E-6: A Resolution of the City Commission approving a Licensing Agreement with LPS of America, Inc., dba Reef Parking and the City of Coral Gables for the non-exclusive use of fifty (50) parking spaces at 255 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables, FL Parking Garage with additional authorization to cordon off additional spaces should the City need to activate the Police and Fire Headquarters (PFHQ) Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

“The City of Coral Gables’ (the “Licensee”) PFHQ’s parking needs and those of the surrounding area will be addressed with the construction of the City’s Minorca Parking Garage which is anticipated to be completed by January 2023. At the present time, the PFHQ has limited parking available for City employees and visitors, which has caused increased demand for street parking in the surrounding neighborhood. Any required activation of the PFHQ’s EOC will also require additional parking for City personnel and vehicles, which is currently also unavailable at the PFHQ. In order to address the PFHQ’s current parking needs and minimize any additional parking impacts to the surrounding neighborhood and its businesses, City staff is requesting approval of a Licensing Agreement with LPS of America, Inc., dba Reef Parking (the “Licensor”) at the 255 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables, FL Parking Garage. The agreement has the following terms: Term: Fifteen (15) months (October 2021-January 2023). Parking spaces: 50. Parking Rate: $85.00 per space- ($4,250.00 per month). Registration Access Card Cost: One-time $15.00 per space ($750.00). Additional Terms:
Licensee shall have the right to add additional parking spaces to this Agreement on a month-to-month basis with (10) days written notice and the fee for additional parking spaces shall be based on then current market rates. Licensee may cordon off additional spaces at the parking garage should the Licensee need to activate the PFHQ’s EOC. Either the Licensor or the Licensee, in its sole discretion, may terminate this Agreement at any time by providing at least sixty (60) days’ prior written notice to the other party.”

E-7: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Fire Department to extend the contract with InPhynet South Broward, LLC for Medical Director Services until a new RFP can be issued and a new contract can be executed.

“The current contract RFP 2015.07.20 was executed in 2015 with Inphynet South Broward, LLC for Medical Director services that have been carried out through Frederick Keroff, M.D. The purpose of the contract is to provide supervision and accepting responsibility for the medical performance of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT)’s and Paramedics functioning in the Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service Department under applicable provisions of the Florida Statutes, including training, oversight, and quality assurance review services. These services have allowed the City to appropriately respond to situations like the COVID-19 pandemic and to remain consistent with the medical guidance and advice being received in order to address our City’s needs. This extension will allow the time needed for an RFP process to be completed, and a new contract to be executed. Pursuant to Section 2-764 of the Procurement Code entitled “’Approval of Change orders and Contract Modifications.’”

Contract is for $66,000.

E-11: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana to sell alcoholic beverages from 12:00 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, March 5, 2022, and from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 6, 2022 on Miracle Mile from Douglas to Lejeune as part of the Carnaval on the Mile, subject to Florida Department of Professional Regulation Requirements.

“This resolution is for Kiwanis Club of Little Havana to celebrate CARNAVAL ON THE MILE in Coral Gables. This request is to serve alcoholic beverages during the celebration and is in compliance with the laws of the State of Florida. CARNAVAL ON THE MILE will take place from 10:00 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, March 5, 2022, and from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 6, 2022 at Miracle Mile- Douglas Road/ LeJeune Avenue. The event is family oriented with music and an art festival. This request has been reviewed by the City’s Special Events Committee.”

Items E-1, E-8, E-9, E-10 and E-12: are appointments of residents to City Advisory Boards.

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

Additional appointments made from the dais:

Steven Barassa to the Board of Adjustment and Margaret Groves to Senior Citizens Advisory Board by Vice Mayor Michael Mena.

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

Jose M. Agaza was nomianted to Emergency Management Board by Commissioner Rhonda Anderson.

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

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 School Community Relations Committee urging the City Commission to require a traffic study for Gables Village that includes Somerset Academy, if one has not yet been performed.

“On September 24, 2021 pursuant to Resolution No. 2020-245, the School Community Relations Committee (“SCRC”) received information regarding the application from Gables Village requesting a Planned Area Development (“PAD”) designation and site plan approval, subdivision review for a tentative plat and variance, and Mediterranean Bonus levels 1 and 2. The SCRC discussed the Gables Village project and its close proximity to Somerset Academy, with some board members expressing concern about traffic congestion, particularly during school drop-off and pick-up times.”

Ramon Trias, Director of Planning and Zoning, addressed the Commission and explained that this project would actually reduce the number of vehicles in the parking lot and change the configuration of the parking lot to a controlled entrance and exit. In his opinion study would not be necessary. The Commission agreed.

2-2: A Resolution of the School Community Relations Committee urging the City Commission to request that the Miami-Dade County School Board include the entire City in a single school district.

“The Miami-Dade County School Board (“School Board”) is legally required to review, formulate and approve a redistricting plan and adopt a resolution setting forth the boundaries for that plan prior to the end of 2021. The School Community Relations Committee believes it would be advantageous for the City to be located entirely in one school district, so that all public schools and residents receive equal representation.”

The Commission discussed the issue and there were points in favor of supporting the resolution, as well as those to keep the maps as proposed. The Mayor asked the City Manager to invite School Board Member Martha Perez to the next SCRC meeting, which he will be present at, to discuss the concerns of the community with her lack of responsiveness to residents, in an attempt to alleviate resident concerns. The Commission will take up the issue again at the next scheduled meeting, if they deem it necessary.

Ordinances On Second Reading

F-1: 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 Maintenance Advisory Board” providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson) (Sponsored Mayor Lago).

“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 and other historically significant landmarks or item. As such, the City Commission believes that the addition of a Landmarks Maintenance 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 meet quarterly and hold an annual joint meeting with the historic preservation board. 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 historical resources department would serve as primary administrative support staff for the board. This item was approved on first reading by the City Commission on September 14, 2021.”

The Mayor and Vice Mayor voiced concerns over the changes since first reading, where the scope of the Committee was reduced and the name was changed. The Mayor, as a co-sponsor, was not informed of the changes made by staff. In particular, the removal of acquisition of new landmarks and construction of new landmarks as was previously discussed. The item will be brought back at the November 9th Commission meeting.

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 providing for text amendments to the City of Coral Gables Official Zoning Code, Article 9, “Art In Public Spaces”, Section 9-106 to redefine “Extraordinary Maintenance”. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson) (Sponsored by Mayor Lago). (TIME CERTAIN 10:30AM).

“Coral Gables has a proud history of incorporating public art in the landscape of the City to create both function and beauty.The City established an Ordinance in 2007 that took into consideration the maintenance of this City’s Art in Public Places. The City has been administering the Art in Public Places program and finds that certain amendments to the Zoning Code would be beneficial to allow for the continued maintenance and repairs of the Art in Public Places through the existing Art in Public Places fund. This item was presented to the Commission on first reading on July 13, 2021. At the request of the Commission, it was then taken to the Cultural and Arts Advisory Panel and the Cultural Development Board for review and comments. The attached draft incorporates the recommended changes from both boards.”

This item would allow for regular maintenance of art in public spaces, by allowing for the funding to be used for this purpose.

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

Ordinances On First Reading

F-3: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending Chapter 34 “Nuisances,” Article VI. “Noise,” Section 34-170, “Exemptions,” of the City of Coral Gables Code to address the operation and testing of emergency backup generators, providing for a severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

“The City Code contains a general prohibition on “unreasonably loud, excessive, unnecessary or unusual noise,” and Section 34-169 of the City Code sets forth a series of prohibited acts that are declared to be loud, excessive, unnecessary, or unusual noise. Section 34-170 of the City Code sets forth a series of exemptions to the City’s prohibitions regarding noise. Included in those exceptions is “reasonable noise generated in the performance of reasonable actions taken in response to an emergency or danger, including, but not limited to, the operation of emergency backup energy generators. In CAO 2019-028, the City Attorney opined that the routine testing of emergency backup generators falls within the exception set forth in Section 34-170(3). Since that time, staff has researched Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards relating to noise in the workplace and determined that a “reasonable” sound level for purposes of the exemption, as it applies to the operation and testing of generators, is either 70 or 80 dBA at the nearest property line, depending on type of property. In addition, section 34-170(3) is unclear as to where the dBA level should be measured from. This ordinance codifies CAO 2019-028, to specify that the exemption applies to the routine testing of emergency backup generators, establishes appropriate sound levels, and clarifies that the sound level shall be measured from the nearest property line. In addition, the ordinance acknowledge the need to grandfather noise levels produced by emergency backup generators that have received a Certificate of Occupancy, Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, or in the case of single-family homes, have received a permit from the City and closed said permit.”

This item came to the Commission due to a resident complaint. The item will come back in second reading with specific parameters. This would apply to projects that are grandfathered and done with 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 Article 1, “General Provisions” Section 1-109, “Construction Rules” to clarify that where the provisions of this Zoning Code vary from the applicable requirements of any law, statute, rule, regulation, ordinance, or code, the most restrictive provisions which shall be deemed to be the higher standard of zoning shall govern, including provisions of zoning within the Miami-Dade County Rapid Transit Zone; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Vice Mayor Mena) (Sponsored by Commissioner Fors).

“Section 6.02 of the Miami-Dade County Charter provides municipalities with the authority to exercise all powers relating to local affairs that are not inconsistent with the County Charter. Under this Charter provision, each municipality may provide for higher standards of zoning, service, and regulation than those provided by Miami-Dade County (“County”), so that municipalities can preserve their individual characters and standards for the benefit of
municipal residents. There are many examples of the City of Coral Gables (“City”) imposing higher standards of zoning, service, and regulation than the County in areas generally regulated by the County. This Zoning Code amendment clarifies a basic but important legal principal that the City has applied consistently for decades.”

The item would ensure the higher zoning standards are the prevailing ones, when it comes to development in the Rapid Transit Zones the County is interested in creating with higher density. Staff and Commissioner Fors explained that Miami-Dade County Commissioner Gilbert, who is proposing the changes, demonstrated he was pleased with the zoning as it exists in Coral Gables. The item will go to the Planning and Zoning Board before returning to the Commission.

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

F-5: An Ordinance of the City Commission authorizing terminating the existing Lease and entering into a new Lease with Coral Gables Congregational Church, Inc ., a Florida non-profit corporation, for the surface parking lot within the platted right-of-way bounded on the north by Malaga Avenue, on the south by Anastasia Avenue, on the east by De Soto Boulevard, and on the west by Columbus Boulevard, for a period of five (5) years and with two (2) additional, 5-year renewal options, at the City’s discretion. Lobbyist: N/A.

“Pursuant to Resolution No. 26231 (adopted on July 21, 1987), on February 2, 1989, the City of Coral Gables (the “Landlord”) and Coral Gables Congregational Church (the “Tenant”) entered into a Lease Agreement (the “Existing Lease”) for the surface parking lot within the platted right-of-way bounded on the north by Malaga Avenue, on the south by Anastasia Avenue, on the east by De Soto Boulevard, and on the west by Columbus Boulevard (the “Premises”). The Existing Lease term was for ten (10) years and provided for ten (10) additional 5-year renewal options. Pursuant to the Lease renewal options, Landlord and Tenant renewed the Lease on February 2, 1999 (1st option). Lease renewals also occurred pursuant to Resolution No. 2005-71, adopted April 26, 2005 (2nd Option), and to Resolution No. 09-0463, adopted July 7, 2009 (3rd Option). Landlord and Tenant also renewed the Lease on February 2, 2014 (4th Option) and February 2, 2019 (5th Option) pursuant to shared correspondence. In 2019, Tenant notified Landlord of its intent to reseal and restripe the surface parking lot at the Premises (the “Tenant’s Work”) and Landlord determined that in order to perform Tenant’s Work and abide by Miami-Dade County Ordinance No. 01-196, lighting would need to be installed (the “Landlord’s Work”) on the Premises. Landlord also determined that the existing Lease pertained to Premises that consist of platted rightof-way, and as such, lacked the necessary right of termination and appropriate use and occupancy provisions required by applicable law. As such, Landlord and Tenant are requesting authorization to terminate the Existing Lease and enter into a new Lease with the following terms and provisions: Term and Renewals: Initial five (5) year term with two (2) additional, 5-year renewal options, at the City’s discretion. Rent and Escalations: $1,200 increasing at 3% per year throughout initial term and renewals. Landlord’s Work: Landlord will install lighting on the Premises at its own cost and expense. (Initial FPL Installation Cost-$3,404.71; $354.65 monthly electricity and maintenance cost thereafter). Tenant’s Work: Tenant shall reseal and restripe the surface parking lot at the Premises and upon completion of Tenant’s Work (not to exceed $2,800.00), Landlord will deduct $200.00 from the monthly rent until the Tenant’s Work $2,800.00 is reimbursed in full. Right of Termination: Landlord shall have the right to terminate this Lease, for any necessary reason upon at least sixty (60) days written notice to Tenant, or sooner if the termination is deemed urgent by Landlord. Use and Occupancy: Tenant acknowledges that Tenant’s use and occupancy of the Premises for a public purpose are a material inducement for Landlord to lease the Premises to Tenant. The Tenant will use and occupy the Premises for the no other use or purpose that the public use as a surface parking lot for Tenant’s visitors and/or employees.”

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

F-6: 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;” to limit the Mediterranean Bonus program to Coral Gables Mediterranean Architectural Style and expand the Board of Architects review process to include an optional conceptual review; providing for severability clause, repealer provision, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson) (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez). (RELATED TO ITEM F-7).

“Based on the City Commission discussions, the following text amendments are proposed: Mediterranean Bonus
• Mediterranean Style required for all Tables. • Optional Conceptual Design review. In addition to the proposed text amendments to the Zoning Code, Staff has included an amendment to the Development Services fee schedule to include a Board of Architects conceptual review fee for $250.00 for residential (SFR) projects, and $2,000.00 for commercial, mixed-use, and multi-family projects.”

Changes to the new ordinance are only: emphasis to Mediterranean Style and an optional Conceptual design review by the Board of Architects. The MF4 and MF3 changes were stricken. The Commission discussed whether this was the end of the work of the Blue Ribbon Committee. It was the consensus that these changes addressed most of the concerns about Mediterranean design. Text of the ordinance can be found by clicking here.

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

The Commission then voted to disband the Blue Ribbon Committee on Mediterranean Bonuses. A formal recognition for their work will come at a later date.

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

F-7: A Resolution of the City Commission amending Ordinance 2015-17, as amended, to add a Board of Architects fees for Conceptual Review; providing for severability and providing for an effective date. (RELATED TO ITEM F-6).

“Based on the City Commission and the Blue Ribbon Committee discussions, the following text amendments are proposed: Mediterranean Bonus • Mediterranean Style required for all Tables. • Optional Conceptual Design review.
Multi-Family 4 (MF4) District: • Remove Mediterranean Bonus height from MF4. Multi-Family 3 (MF3) District: • Apply 5-foot interior side setback for any development parcel.”

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

F-8: A Resolution of the City Commission approving receipt of Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs) pursuant to Zoning Code Section 14-204.6, “Review and approval of use of TDRs on receiver sites,” for the receipt and use of TDRs for the mixed use project referred to as “100 Miracle Mile,” on the property legally described as Lots 19-29, Block 3, Crafts Section (100 Miracle Mile, 115 Andalusia, and 2414 Galiano), Coral Gables, Florida; including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date; including required conditions; providing for an effective date. (11 12 2020 PZB recommended approved, Vote 5-0). Lobbyist: Jorge Navarro.

“On March 26, 2019, under Resolution 2019-86, the City Commission approved the mixed-use development known as “100 Miracle Mile,” a 14-story mixed-use project consisting a total of approximately 117,980 square feet of floor area, of which 23,596.8 square feet was included for the future use of Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs). The receipt of TDRs was included as a condition of approval to complete the TDR process within six months. The City Commission approved two sixmonth extensions: October 8, 2019 per Resolution No. 2019-300 and April 21, 2020 per Resolution No. 2020-87. Therefore, the Applicant is now requesting approval of TDRs to continue to the permitting process. The Applicant states that the requested TDRs will be applied to the new 14-story building facing Andalusia, and not be applied to the existing 3-story building facing Miracle Mile. This is consistent with the Commission’s vision and direction to prohibit TDRs to be received on Miracle Mile, as adopted in the Zoning Code in March 2021.”

Project was approved in 2019. The Developer’s representative explained the TDR changes are for Andalusia and not for Miracle Mile. The Miracle Mile part of the building will be three stories with a rooftop deck. The building behind it on Andalusia will be 14-stories. The Commission expressed their support for the need for more housing in downtown.

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

F-9: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing an extension through November 9, 2021 of a Zoning in Progress related to the incentives and/or bonuses provided in Section 5-200 of the Zoning Code “Mediterranean Standards,” for new commercial, mixed-use, and multi-family projects; and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson).

“On July 13, 2021, pursuant to Resolution No. 2021-194, the Commission adopted a Zoning in Progress Resolution through August 24, 2021, in accordance with Section 14-209 of the Zoning Code, for consideration of Zoning Code text amendments to Section 5-200 “Mediterranean Standards” for new commercial, mixed-use, and multi-family projects. The Commission also established a Blue Ribbon Committee which has met on several occasions to discuss possible amendments to Section 5-200. Because additional time was needed for preparation of Zoning Code text amendments and for their consideration by the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Commission, the Zoning in Progress was extended through September 28, 2021 pursuant to Resolution No. 2021-228 and through October 26, 2021 pursuant to Resolution No. 2021-283. While the proposed Zoning Code text amendments were considered on first reading by the City Commission on October 12, 2021, the vote was deferred to allow for additional time for review by the Planning and Zoning Board, further review by the Blue Ribbon Committee, and a Commission workshop. The City Commission will be considering on first reading on October 26, 2021 only certain text amendments to Section 5-200, but additional time is needed for consideration by the City Commission on second reading. The proposed resolution would extend the Zoning in Progress through November 9, 2021.”

Commissioner Anderson explained that the purpose was the ensure that developers understand they do not have any vested rights, as the changes that would take effect after second reading on November 9th. The Commission discussed that they did not feel this would be necessary as they believe this means that the City is not open for business.

City Commission Items

G-1: A Resolution of the City Commission approving the general form and language of a surface parking lot invoice for Professional Parking Management. (Lobbyist: N/A).

“The City of Coral Gables (“City”) has received numerous complaints alleging that certain private parking lot owners and operators have been placing parking tickets on the windshields of their customers who either did not pay a parking fee or whose time for parking elapsed which have a reasonable likelihood of confusion in their appearance
with a valid Miami- Dade County Uniform Parking Citation (hereinafter referred to as “Non-City Issued Tickets”). The City Commission of Coral Gables, in order to address the issues of Non-City Issued Tickets, adopted Ordinance No. 2019-37, amending Chapter 74 of the City Code prohibiting the issuance of Non-City Issues Tickets and creating a process to allow parking invoices to be issued by private operators of surface parking lots. Section 74-84(i)(a)(iv.) requires that the general form and language of the invoice must be presented to the City Commission for review and approval prior to issuance and for any changes to the form thereafter. Professional Parking Management, a local operator of a private surface parking lot within the City of Coral Gables, has prepared a new invoice form in an attempt to comply with the new requirements of Section 74-84 and is seeking approval of the invoice form by the City Commission prior to its implementation and issuance on any surface parking lot located within the City.”

The Commission had asked for representatives from the payment operator to be present at this Commission meeting. The Commission expressed that they needed to take an in-depth look at these changes and ensure it is done right. After a lengthy discussion with the representatives, who left many unanswered questions, the Commission deferred the item.

G-2: Discussion regarding the maintenance of bridges in the City of Coral Gables. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

The Mayor wants to ensure that bridges are properly maintained. He explained that his intent is not to spend large amounts of tax payer dollars, rather to ensure bridges look clean. The Commission also discussed completing the sidewalks that are incomplete around several bridges to ensure people are safe walking and running around bridges. The Mayor explained that issues with incomplete sidewalks are affecting disabled residents and seniors. The Mayor will be reaching out to Miami-Dade County Commissioner Raquel Regalado for assistance.

G-3: An update from staff regarding the use of Neighborhood Safety Aides to assist with the educational outreach relating to sanitation rules and regulations. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

Police Chief Ed Hudak read a list of code notifications the Neighborhood Safety Aides (NSAs) have made, but explained that they have not been handing out the information. The Mayor explained that he spoke to the NSA in his neighborhood, but was told they had not been instructed to do so.

The Mayor spoke about residents who cannot break the boxes and suggested staff pick up boxes if residents can’t break the box. Staff reminded the Mayor that starting December 1st, warnings will be issued and citations will follow. On December 1st, boxes will no longer be picked up from trash pits.

G-4: Discussion regarding alternative benefits for active board members, such as parking in lieu of exiting benefits. (Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson) (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez). (TIME CERTAIN 11:00AM).

City Manager Items

I-1: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Chief Procurement Officer to award RFQ 2020-008 for Landscaping Architectural Consulting Services and negotiate a Professional Services Agreement (“Agreement”) with Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc., Chen Moore and Associates, Inc., Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., Miller Legg and Savino & Miller Design Studio, PA., the five responsive-responsible proposers, pursuant to Florida Statute 287.055, known as the “Consultants Competitive Negotiation Act”. (Lobbyist: Leslie Pantin (Chen Moore and Associates, Inc.).

“The City’s Public Works Department requires the services of professional landscaping consulting firms, per the requirements of Florida Statutes 287.055 (CCNA), with the qualifications and ability to provide Landscaping Consulting Services, that may include: installation and maintenance of landscaping, perform analysis and evaluation of existing landscape, develop conceptual and schematic design solutions, and aid the department in preparing bid documents for irrigation systems, and drawing designs for: parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities. Due to some projects being eligible for Federal financial assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”), a contract, established in accordance with the Federal Procurement Standards outlined in Title 2 C.F.R. § 200.317 to 200.326, is
required. On June 25, 2021, the Procurement Division of Finance formally advertised, issued, and distributed Landscaping Architectural Consulting Services, Request for Qualifications (RFQ) 2021-008 with the intent to qualify a pool up to six (6) firms. Eighteen (18) prospective proposers downloaded the RFQ package from Public Purchase, the City’s web-based e-Procurement service. On July 23, 2021, five (5) firms submitted proposals in response to the RFQ: Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc., Chen Moore and Associates, Inc., Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc, Miller Legg and
Savino & Miller Design Studio, PA. On September 23, 2021, the Evaluation Committee convened to evaluate five (5) responsive proposals and recommended the City to award the RFQ to negotiate a Professional Services Agreement (“Agreement”) with the five (5) responsive-responsible proposers: Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc., Chen Moore and Associates, Inc., Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., Miller Legg and Savino & Miller Design Studio, PA. The Public Works Department and Chief Procurement Officer recommends accepting the Evaluation Committee’s recommendation.”

Five responsive proposers and all were recommended to move forward for consideration.

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

I-2: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Police Department to purchase training simulator equipment from Virtra Inc., as a “Special Procurements/Bid Waivers,” pursuant to Section 2-691 of the City’s Procurement Code.

“The Police Department has determined a need exists for firearm and driving simulator equipment to provide continuous and progressive training for police officers that ensure the safety of residents and employees. The Department’s Training Section conducted extensive market research of the available options in the industry for the desired equipment. From that research, it was determined that a review of firearm simulators and driving simulators from three separate companies would be conducted. A comparison of the features of each product was documented to assist with determining that the Virtra, Inc. simulators should be selected based on that fact that they include features that far exceeded other companies, as well as a broad training library that cannot be compared. The Virtra, Inc. firearm simulator system provides an intense, immersive training environment that is designed to teach, test, and sustain trainees and seasoned officers’ knowledge and skills. The Virtra, Inc. driving simulator system provides a multi-screen and realistic motion-based platform that not only teaches defensive, emergency, pursuit, and driving tactics in a risk-free environment, but translates training into realworld survival skills. Virtra, Inc. simulators are best suited to the Department’s training needs and the best option to expand and improve the training of police officers. The purchase of this specific equipment will drive the purchase of additional supplemental equipment and service needs as the training program expands and continues. The initial cost for this equipment is approximately $500,000.00. Under Section 2-691 of the Procurement Code, entitled “Special Procurements/Bid Waivers,” a special procurement may be initiated when an unusual or unique situation exists that makes the application of all requirements of competitive sealed bidding or competitive sealed proposal contrary to the public interest.”

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

City Attorney Items

J-1: Discussion regarding potential challenge to budget provision of House Bill 1.

“The Preemption: The Combating Violence, Disorder, and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act, also known as HB 1, impacts a municipality’s ability to control its budgets—a core local power. HB 1 provides the Governor and his cabinet the power to line-edit municipal budgets with binding legal effect whenever a reduction to the law enforcement budget is challenged by the state attorney, member of the City Commission, or possibly a county sheriff. Any municipal budget that is challenged is then reviewed by the Administration Commission, a commission made up of the Governor and his cabinet members. The Administration Commission will then review, amend, or modify the law enforcement items of a municipality’s budget. HB 1 gives the Governor and his cabinet nearly broad discretion to preempt the municipal budget. Southern Poverty Law Center, Public Rights Project, Community Justice Project, and Jenner & Block (as pro bono counsel) are moving forward with a facial challenge to House Bill 1 on behalf of the following municipalities as plaintiffs: City of Gainesville, City of Miramar, City of Wilton Manors, Lake Worth Beach, City of North Miami Beach, City of Lauderhill, City of North Miami, and City of Tallahassee. The Lawsuit: The facial challenge is based on five claims: HB 1 violates separation of powers, nondelegation doctrine, single subject rule, is an unfunded mandate, and violates home rule. The separation of powers argument is based on the fact that HB 1 assigns two fundamentally legislative powers to the executive branch. First, it gives the Governor and his cabinet the ability through the municipal budget revision process to reduce appropriations of public funds, which is a power that belongs exclusively to the legislative branch. See, e.g., Florida House of Representatives v. Martinez, 555 So. 2d 839, 845 (Fla. 1990). Second, HB 1 gives the Governor and his cabinet the ability to revise municipal decisions with binding effect, even though the ability to limit municipal power is also an exclusively legislative authority. The non-delegation doctrine holds that any delegation of legislative functions must be accompanied by “some minimal standards and guidelines ascertainable by reference to the enactment establishing the program.” Askew v. Cross Key Waterways, 372 So. 2d 913, 925 (Fla. 2 1978). The nondelegation doctrine aims to prevent the executive “from acting through whim, showing favoritism, or exercising unbridled discretion.’” S. All. for Clean Energy v. Graham, 113 So. 3d 742, 748 (Fla. 2013). But HB 1 does not provide any such guidelines that instruct the executive how to review municipal reductions to the law enforcement budget, so the executive can act with unchecked discretion. The lack of standards allows the Administration Commission to make arbitrary decisions about municipal budgets with no meaningful oversight or guiding principles, in direct violation of the nondelegation doctrine. The single subject rule was violated because the Florida Constitution prohibits a law from addressing multiple unconnected issues and requires a bill’s title to express the subject of the legislation. Fla. Const. art. III, § 6. HB 1 combines two distinct and unrelated legal objectives into one law: Section 1 institutes a process for executive review of local budgeting decisions and the other provisions of the law impose criminal penalties on individuals for protest-related activities. The unfunded mandate challenge is based on the fact that the Florida Constitution generally prohibits the passage of any state legislation that requires municipalities to spend funds or to take actions that require the expenditure of funds unless the state provides or authorizes a revenue stream. Fla. Const. art. VII, § 18. HB 1 requires a municipality to expend funds in order to maintain the previous year’s law enforcement budget or else risk the state seizing budgetary control from the municipality and line-editing the budget without the municipality’s consent or collaboration. Yet, the state has provided no revenue to maintain such funding, nor has it authorized a new municipal funding stream. The final challenge is that HB 1 violates Home Rule because municipalities have the power to adopt a home rule charter which grants them broad powers to meet municipal needs. Fla. Const. art. VIII, § 2(b); Thomas v. State, 614 So. 2d 468, 472 (Fla. 1993). Among these powers include the ability to propose and pass budgets. See City of Boca Raton v. Gidman, 440 So. 2d 1277, 1281-82 (Fla. 1983); City of Gainesville v. Bd. of Control, 81 So. 2d 514, 518 (Fla. 1955). HB 1 impedes this function by creating a process through which the state can usurp control of the municipal budget and unilaterally revise the budget with binding effect on the municipality.”

The Commission decided not to take further action.

Discussion

Doc Dammers Day: Commissioners Anderson and Menendez discussed their participation in Doc Dammers Day and the resident participation in the City’s history.

A Night of Adventure: Commissioner Menendez stated that the first Night of Adventure had a great turnout. The next will take place on November 8th at 5:00PM at Gables Cinema. Tickets are still available.

Events This Weekend:

Halloween on the Mile: Sunday, October 31st from 3:00PM to 8:00PM.

Nightmare at 405 Haunted House: will also take place on Sunday, October 31st from 6:30 to 9:30PM at the War Memorial Youth Center. A walk-through haunted house.

Pumpkin Float at the Venetian Pool: on Sunday, October 31st from 6:00PM to 8:00PM. Carve a pumpkin and watch it float on Venetian Pool as well as a trick or treat zone for children.

North Gables Harvest Market: Starts this Saturday and run every Saturday through the 18th of December (except Thanksgiving weekend) from 9:00AM to 2:00PM on Minorca between Ponce de Leon and Galiano.

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7 thoughts on “Commission Meeting Recap (10/26/2021)

  1. Bet the elected officials are really happy that Ms. Mayra Joli was disqualified
    from running for the office of Mayor in the City of Miami. (10/15/21)
    Watch your next election, she might run for office again in Coral Gables since
    she stills owns a home there.
    What a circus that would be, eh?

  2. Can Gables Insider please look into what’s going on with City Permits? Taking such a very long time (a week+) for anyone there to just log them in, in order to pay the up-front fee to even begin the process!!?? Heard system was down a couple of days. Why is new technology such an issue in this department??? Are they not fully staffed? Does this Dept not pay OT to get work done on time? What’s the real problem?

  3. Thank you for the recap. Please note that the agenda was changed prior to Commission meeting and the MF4 part of F6 was separated and postponed to future meeting, so that item was not PASSED

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