Commission Meeting Recap (9/28/2021)

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
[email protected]


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 28th.

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

Comcast RISE: Presentation by Michelle Collins from Comcast about Comcast RISE, a minority-owned small business grant program, as well as support in the fields of consulting, media, creative production and technology. “Comcast RISE was created to invest in the success of these critical businesses by providing valuable and practical support. Businesses in select markets will have the ability to apply for $10,000 from October 1-14, 2021.” For more information or to apply, click here.

Coral Gables Country Club: In March the City notified the tenant that the lease would be terminated due to lack of payment. Issues with the tenant include property damage not reported to the insurance, un-permited work, and failure to return deposits to non-profits and schools. A settlement was reached, drafted by the tenant’s attorneys. Accusations of coercion are not true, as the tenant had legal representation. The Mayor assured residents that the future use would stay true to the neighborhood and any remodeling plans would not shut down the club for an extended period of time and will be phased. The Commission will not allow for a large restaurant or spilling of cars into the neighborhood. The City held an RFP process and only one proposal was received and the RFP was cancelled. The City is putting in a new roof and a new HVAC system. The City Manager is looking at possible plans to move forward, including the Community Recreation Department’s management of the Country Club. It will be a family run operation and will continue to serve the community. At the request of Commissioner Jorge L. Fors, Jr. the City will be sending out a special bulletin via email, outlining the facts on this issue. (Detailed article forthcoming).

Consent Agenda

Items E-1, E-2, E-3, E-5, E-7, E-8 and E-9: are appointments of residents to City Advisory Boards.

E-4: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing a modification to the contract for Plumbing Contract No. IFB 2019-044, with Plumbing Masters Systems, Inc. pursuant to Section 2-764(b), Approval of Change Orders and Contract Modifications, in an annual estimated amount of $150,000 for additional plumbing repair services to be performed. (Lobbyist: N/A)

“On December 27, 2019, the City entered into an agreement executed under the Procurement Officer’s authority, pursuant to Section 2-685 of the Procurement Code entitled “Contract Award”. The contract was executed for Plumbing Services with Plumbing Master Systems, Inc. which provides services that include troubleshooting and correcting problems in plumbing systems, pre-maintenance, maintenance repair, emergency repair, and other plumbing related work. Based on the number of added vacant leased spaces and City facilities it has become necessary to increase the spending authority on the contract to address on-going needs. The additional facilities and vacant leased spaces requiring plumbing services include Trolley Building, Fire Station No. 2, Lugo Pump Station, Rovino Pump Station, the forthcoming Parking Garage No. 7, vacant leased spaces located at 275 Miracle Mile, 290 Miracle Mile, and 2325 Galiano Street. This initial increase will cover $50,000 in expenses incurred during fiscal year 2020-2021 and $100,000 for the next fiscal year 2021-2022 and each year moving forward based on need and not to exceed the available budget.”

E-6: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting the recommendation of the Chief Procurement Officer to approve a contract extension to PSA 2020-017 for Voluntary Benefit Services provided by The Comprehensive Companies for the administration of voluntary supplemental employee insurance benefits pursuant to Section 2-764(b), approval of change orders and contract modifications of the Procurement Code. (Lobbyist: N/A)

“On July 1, 2020, the City entered into a Professional Services Agreement with The Comprehensive Companies for the administration of the citywide voluntary supplemental insurance employee benefits. The current contract is set to expire on December 31, 2021. The Human Resources Department would like to extend the existing agreement for an additional one (1) year period or until such time the best path forward has been finalized. The city is currently undergoing a transition to a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that will be utilized to facilitate all Human Resources tasks including the enrollment and management of employee benefits. Currently the City utilizes a third-party software provider (BenTek) to facilitate the online enrollment process for City sponsored benefit plans. Recently the City has been offered the option to manage all employee benefits through the INFOR platform. This opportunity will present the city with the ability to achieve greater efficiencies by eliminating the need to collaborate with external third-party vendors/software. At this time, it is projected that some of the functionality of the new ERP system is expected to be online in late 2022. At that time, it is anticipated that the Human Resources department will have the infrastructure in place to go live with the new ERP benefits software. Given this change in strategic direction, it is in the City’s best interest to transition the in-place services to potential new vendors, concurrently with the ERP implementation. The Comprehensive Companies is the city’s current vendor that offers voluntary benefits such as short-term disability, long-term disability, critical illness, accident insurance, hospitalization insurance and other supplemental voluntary insurance benefits directly to city employees through individual payroll deductions. The city does not subsidize any portion of the cost for these benefits, nor for brokerage services. Based on the extension of the existing benefits, it is the expectation that HR will be able to facilitate an open enrollment period in mid-October.”

Vote for Items: E-1 through E-9:

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 Coral Gables Parking Advisory Board requesting that city staff be directed to evaluate parking conditions around the Coral Gables Courthouse and review options for developing additional public parking including the potential for an agreement between Miami-Dade County and the City of Coral Gables to provide additional public parking at the Courthouse.

“The city is experiencing development in the Craft Section around the Coral Gables Courthouse and the ongoing development is bringing additional traffic into this district. The city currently has no significant parking facilities between Almeria Avenue and Bird Road, other than on-street spaces within the ROW; and the Parking Advisory Board wishes to ensure that there is adequate public parking available to support the commercial areas of the Craft Section. The Parking Advisory Board asks the city to evaluate parking conditions in the Craft Section to determine current and project future public parking requirements, and requests for city staff to explore the possibility of developing public parking on the Coral Gables Courthouse site to meet existing or future parking demands within the Craft Section.”

In the category of development is causing parking problems, the City’s Parking Director states in this memo that the development in the Crafts Section is causing a shortage of parking and seeks to explore the option of developing parking in the area.

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

Parking Advisory Board Vice Chair Gordon Sokoloff spoke about the request from the Parking Advisory Board to purchase the lot from Miami-Dade County to ensure the City has first right of refusal in the future and to avoid the construction of a large building on that lot. The Mayor spoke about the possibility of exploring a joint venture to possibly build a parking garage, presenting an opportunity to be proactive to address this potential issue. The Commission asked the City Manager to engage in conversations to begin addressing the issue.

2-2: A Resolution of the School Community Relations Committee urging the City Commission to require a traffic study for Fire Station 4 that includes Sunset Elementary School, if one has not yet been performed.

“At the August 27, 2021 , pursuant to Resolution No. 2020-245, the School Community Relations Committee (“SCRC”) received information regarding the City’s application to change the land use of the City-owned property at 1325 Sunset Drive (also referred to as 5275 Sunset Drive), from Religious/ Institutional to Public Buildings and Lands for the purpose of constructing a Fire House and park (“Fire House 4 project”). The SCRC discussed the Fire House 4 project and its close proximity to Sunset Elementary School, with some board members expressing concern about the traffic congestion along Sunset Drive, particularly during school drop-off and pick-up times.”

The SCRC’s discussion revolved around the fact that the traffic study conducted on the impact of the new Fire Station 4, was conducted prior to COVID-19 and did not factor in drop-off and pick-up traffic around Sunset Elementary School. The changes to Miami-Dade County Public School protocols maintain parents in their vehicles and lined up on roadways, causing traffic in front of where the Fire Station is intended to be built, creating an accessibility problem for the potential Fire Station. The SCRC has requested that the Commission conduct a traffic study during these hours, so they can make a decision with all the facts at hand.

City Manager Peter Iglesias and Fire Chief Marcos de la Rosa assured the Commission that this issue has been looked into and was factored in when the property was purchased and plans were made. To address this concern, the Commission wants to work with Miami-Dade County Public Schools on the possibility of queuing of parent’s cars inside the school grounds. The Resolution was not acted upon by the Commission, but the Mayor will be meeting with Superintendent Alberto Carvalho in early October and will be discussing this issue with him.

Ordinances On Second Reading

F-1: 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 11:00AM).

“Coral Gables has a proud history of incorporating public art in the landscape of the City to create both function and beauty including numerous fountains and plazas which have been designated as local historic landmarks. The City is responsible for the maintenance of these art installations and believes it would beneficial to allow for the continued and expanded maintenance and repairs of the art in public spaces through the existing Art in Public Spaces fund.”

The Cultural Development Board Vice Chair Geannina Burgos spoke about the Committee’s request for funds to be appropriated for the maintenance as well as a process on how funds are accessed. She also expressed the Committee’s interest in a clear definition of “extraordinary maintenance” and “historic public art.” Assistant City Attorney Gus Ceballos explained that “historic public art” is not currently defined in the Code. Commissioner Anderson explained she wanted to ensure future art projects include maintenance plans with the artists. Mayor Lago also explained we need to hold developers responsible when it comes to art. The Board will prepare a memo outlining the changes that need to be made to the ordinance. The Commission is deferring the item to October 26th.

F-2: An Ordinance of the City Commission authorizing entering into a Purchase and Sale Agreement (the “PSA”), as amended, for the sale of the City-owned surface parking lot (#31) at 350 Greco Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134 (Folio No. 03-4120-017-2240) to JRFQ Holdings, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company; providing for a severability clause and providing for an effective date. (Lobbyist: Anthony De Yurre) (Lobbyist: Jennifer E. Fine).

See 6-page memo regarding this item.

Although the City is exploring other properties to potentially purchase, the sale benefiting former Vice Mayor Frank C. Quesada and his business partner moves forward to a final vote. This will be the first step to rescue the City’s finances. A breakdown of the financial aid package can be found on Item I-2. (More on the City’s finances coming soon). The City claims to need the funding from this sale to complete Parking Garage 7, even though funding for this project was secured through the Bonds taken for the Public Safety Building/Garage 7 Construction, as well as increase four years ago in parking fees.

The Commission must approve this item unanimously (4-0) as Vice Mayor Mena has recused himself and it requires a 4/5 vote.

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

The parking lot will include 8 electric vehicle charging stations. Parking rates shall not exceed the City’s maximum rates. Public spaces will be in the lowest level.

Ordinances On First Reading

F-3: An Ordinance of the City Commission amending the City of Coral Gables Code by amending Chapter 2 “Administration”, Article IX “Sponsorship Program”, Section 2-1123 “Administration” providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez) (RELATED TO ITEM F-10).

“Article IX “Sponsorship Program” of the City Code of Coral Gables, Florida sets forth in detail a sponsorship program which provides opportunities for the City to work with outside third parties to enter into sponsorship agreements with the City. The City has previously utilized the sponsorship program in accordance with the ordinance adopted in The City Commission would like to emphasize the sponsorship program opportunities for third parties to sponsor community recreation events, such as the Fourth of July programing, Tree Lighting, Literacy Festival, Pumpkin Patch, and Movies Under the Gables Moonlight. The City Commission wishes to amend the existing Code provisions to specify that when a sponsorship program relates to sponsorship of an event organized by the City’s Community Recreation Department, the Community Recreation Department will be responsible for administering that sponsorship program in conjunction with the Economic Development Department. There is an associated resolution on the September 28, 2021 Commission agenda which will be considered for adoption at a later date.”

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

Commissioner Menendez spoke to the possibility of holding bigger and better events with community partners sponsoring them. Community Recreation Director Fred Couceyro explained that this would give the City more opportunities to bring in different components to future events. The Mayor explained he wanted to be sure it was not an extensive branding issue, but to ensure it is done tastefully.

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 “FEMA Community Rating System Program Activity 330 Program for Public Information Committee” providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, codification, and providing for an effective date.

“The City participates in FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS) Program, which offers flood insurance policy premium discounts in communities like the City of Coral Gables that have developed and implemented extra measures beyond minimum floodplain management requirements to provide its residences protection from floods. The City Commission wishes to establish a “FEMA Community Rating System Program Activity 330 Program for Public Information Committee” (The PPI Committee) in accordance with FEMA’s CRS Program Activity 330 Outreach Projects and policies and applicable laws and regulations. The City Commission believes that the addition of a PPI Committee will provide valuable flood outreach materials to property owners within the City and to help lower the cost of flood insurance for policy holders as part of the City’s participation in FEMA’s CRS program.”

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 Future Land Use Map of the City of Coral Gables Comprehensive Plan pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process”, Section 14-213, “Comprehensive Plan Text and Map Amendments”, and Small-Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment procedures (ss. 163.3187, Florida Statutes), changing the land use designation for certain properties located at Lots 19A & 20 Block 56 of the Revised Plat of Coral Gables Riviera Section Part 4, Coral Gables Florida from Multi-Family Duplex Density to Hospital Use; and assigning a land use designation of same, Hospital Use for the abutting property legally described as that portion of the un-dug University Waterway in Block 56 of the Revised Plat of Coral Gables Riviera Section Part 4, Coral Gables, Florida; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE) (Lobbyist: Alessandria San Roman) (Lobbyist: Alexandra Villoch) (Lobbyist: Joseph G. Goldstein) (RELATED TO ITEMS F-6, F-7 and F-8).

“The City is proposing to replat the undug portion of the University Waterway and to assign a Future Land Use classification and a Zoning designation to the existing parking lot on University Drive. The intent is to formalize the existing conditions of the valet parking lot, and regulation of future uses. The parking lot (encompassing both the platted lots of 19A and 20, and the deeded waterway) is currently owned by the City of Coral Gables and is under lease with Doctors Hospital, who is proposing to reconfigure and expand the surface lot. The proposed replat will incorporate lots 19A and 20 with the currently undug portion of the waterway to create a single tract of land. The Future Land Use classification for the current lots 19A and 20 is proposed to be changed from Multi-Family Duplex Density to Hospital, and assign the Hospital classification to the newly platted undug portion of the waterway. The Zoning District designation for lots 19A and 20 is proposed to be changed from Multi-Family 1 Duplex (MF1) District to Special Use (S) District, and assign Special Use (S) District to the newly platted undug portion of the waterway. The purpose of the Special Use (S) District is to provide a zoning classification which would require uses that have the potential of adversely impacting adjacent uses to only be approved by the Commission through the Conditional Use public review process. As such, the current rezoning application also includes a request for Conditional Use for the accessory use of the parking to the Hospital. The Conditional Use review process allows the imposition of conditions to mitigate any identified concerns from the community. The requests do not propose any changes to the current use. The draft Ordinance regarding the change of land use is provided as Exhibit A. The draft Ordinance regarding the Zoning Map amendment is provided as Exhibit B. The draft Resolution regarding the tentative plat is provided as Exhibit C. The draft Resolution regarding the conditional use is provided as Exhibit D.”

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

The City is formalizing the zoning, as the property is currently zoned for duplex. The change will make the Hospital’s use of the parking lot fall within the code. Several neighbors spoke out against the change, seeking a covenant that would restrict the use to parking lot. A covenant would last up to 32 years for this lot. The Commission discussed the possibility of a reverted clause. The Commission committed to ensuring a covenant be included in the contract.

F-6: An Ordinance of the City Commission making zoning district boundary changes pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process”, Section 14-212, “Zoning Code Text and Map Amendments”, for certain properties located at Lots 19A & 20 Block 56 of the Revised Plat of Coral Gables Riviera Section Part 4, Coral Gables Florida from Multi-Family 1 Duplex (MF1) District to Special Use (S) District; and assigning a Zoning Designation of same, Special Use (S) District for the abutting property legally described as that portion of the un-dug University Waterway in Block 56 of the Revised Plat of Coral Gables Riviera Section Part 4, Coral Gables, Florida; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE) (Lobbyist: Alessandria San Roman) (Lobbyist: Alexandra Villoch) (Lobbyist: Joseph G. Goldstein) (RELATED TO ITEMS F-5, F-7 and F-8).

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

Resolutions

F-7: A Resolution of the City Commission approving the Tentative Plat entitled “Doctors Hospital Annex” pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, Section 14-210, “Platting/Subdivision,” being a re-plat of approximately 45,635 square feet on the property legally as Lots 19A & 20 and that portion of the un-dug University Waterway in Block 56 of the Revised Plat of Coral Gables Riviera Section Part 4, Coral Gables, Florida (5151 University Drive) providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE) (Lobbyist: Alessandria San Roman) (Lobbyist: Alexandra Villoch) (Lobbyist: Joseph G. Goldstein) (RELATED TO ITEMS F-5, F-6 and F-8).

Part of Items F-5 and F-6.

F-8: A Resolution of the City Commission approving Conditional Use review pursuant to Zoning Code Article 14, “Process” Section 14-203, “Conditional Uses” for a proposed Parking as an Accessory Use to a Hospital on the property legally described as Lots 19A & 20 and that portion of the un-dug University Waterway in Block 56 of the Revised Plat of Coral Gables Riviera Section Part 4, Coral Gables, Florida (5151 University Drive); including required conditions; providing for a repealer provision, severability clause, and providing for an effective date. (LEGAL DESCRIPTION ON FILE) (This Resolution is not for consideration at this time and will be included with the above ordinances on Second Reading if approved on First Reading.) (Lobbyist: Alessandria San Roman) (Lobbyist: Alexandra Villoch) (Lobbyist: Joseph G. Goldstein) (RELATED TO ITEMS F-5, F-6 and F-7).

Part of Items F-5 and F-6.

F-9: 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.”

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

Police Chief Ed Hudak explained that the tickets by these operators are being mailed to residents and they are usually arriving late. The Chief recommends they be placed on vehicles, as CGPD does. Assistant City Attorney Ceballos explained that the fee has been reduced to be the same as the City’s fee. He also explained that the current signage allows for the operator to charge Handicap stalls, which violates the City Code. The Mayor made it clear this was unacceptable and he would be willing to remove the ability to operate in the City if this continues. Vice Mayor Michael Mena asked if a gate system could be required from the owners. The Commission voted to designate the Vice Mayor to work with the City Attorney on finding a solution to this issue.

F-10: A Resolution of the City Commission directing the City Manager and City Staff to establish sponsorship packages for certain City events and further directing staff to secure sponsorship for those events. (Sponsored by Commissioner Menendez) (This Resolution is not for consideration at this time and will be included with the above ordinances on Second Reading if approved on First Reading.) (RELATED TO ITEM F-3).

“This item is not for consideration at this time. It is associated with an ordinance on first reading sponsored by Commissioner Menendez. This resolution directs that City staff establish sponsorship packages, in accordance with the City Code and all other applicable laws and regulations, for City events and programming including the Fourth of July programming, Tree Lighting, Literacy Festival, Pumpkin Patch, and Movies Under the Gables Moonlight and pursue other sponsorship opportunities as they become available.”

Related to Item F-3.

F-11: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing an extension through October 26, 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. It is contemplated that the proposed Zoning Code text amendments will be considered on first reading by the City Commission on October 12, 2021. Thus, additional time is needed for the Blue Ribbon Committee to conduct any additional review, for the Planning and Zoning Board to review, and for the City Commission to consider on first and second reading. The proposed resolution would extend the Zoning in Progress through October 26, 2021.”

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

The Commission voted to extend the Zoning in Progress, with the desire that this issue be finalized by the next City Commission meeting. They want the Mediterranean bonuses done the right way, but they do not have the appetite to continue to extend the Zoning in Progress.

City Commission Items

G-1: Discussion regarding low-density PAD bonus in Central Business District core, in properties of a certain size.
(Sponsored by Commissioner Anderson) (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

Commissioner Anderson proposed the idea of incentivizing a lower density by adding height. This would only be a change applied to the core of the Central Business District. The higher height, would only be 15 feet, but it would create the opportunity for a reduced traffic impact in the area. Mayor Lago explained that, as-of-right, developers can build a high number of units in their construction projects in this area. He stated it is a game of give and take, but this discussion would be about a true reduction of density with a height benefit for the developer. Developers would be giving up large part of their density and possibly increase green spaces. “It would be an opportunity to deliver something that is world class.” Anderson explained this would be a step-down approach and would not come out to the borders of LeJeune Road or Douglas Road, this would be specific and further into the Central Business District. Fors agreed exploring this option would be a good idea, if there is a reduction in density and strain on public services and traffic. The Mayor added this would not allow for an increased number of floors, just the possibility of larger units that have higher ceilings. Menendez also thought the potential of larger units would help bring larger families together within the City. Joe Jimenez of Codina Partners spoke about a project they wish to propose to the City, which would be built to these standards and offer larger units and reduce the density allowed. They would reduce their density by more than half of what is allowed. The Mayor asked to ensure the community is involved in the process and that there be full transparency in the process.

The Commission instructed staff to explore options to incentivize reduction in density in new projects within the Central Business District.

G-2: Discussion regarding sidewalk/crosswalk maintenance on Miracle Mile. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).

The Mayor deferred the item to provide more time for the City Manager to present on this issue. The Manager is exploring options and will bring them back to the Commission.

Boards/Committees Items

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). (Lobbyist: N/A) (TIME CERTAIN 12:00PM).

“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.” CLICK HERE TO SEE ARTIST LIST.

The Mayor asked staff to come back to come back with something exceptional, as he will not approve anything that is a world class piece of art.

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

City Manager Items

I-1: A Resolution of the City Commission accepting Parks/Open Spaces Master Plan and the Youth Center Master Plan.

“The Community Recreation Department sought to develop a Community Recreation Master Plan to remain an accredited Parks and Recreation Agency and to ensure that the current legacy of the City’s parks, open spaces, and recreational facilities will be carefully maintained and enhanced for the benefit of future generations. On May 22, 2018, the City Commission adopted Resolution 2018-150, authorizing a contract with AECOM Technical Services, Inc., to provide a fifteen (15) year Parks and Recreation Master Plan with a separate Youth Center Master Plan component. The recommendations provided in the Community Recreation Master Plan and the War Memorial Youth Center Master Plan were developed with significant input from residents, stakeholders, focus groups and staff using multiple public engagement forums. And so, the two Master Plans, once adopted, will serve as the framework to guide future development, preservation, and capital investment in the City’s parks and recreation facilities.”

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

SEE PRESENTATION made to the Commission on the Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan and Youth Center Master Plan. In consideration are renovations or a rebuild of the War Memorial Youth Center. The Commission voiced its preference towards building a new structure, which would potentially have less maintenance costs and issues going forward.

The Commission instructed staff to work on funding options and the Commission will hold a sunshine meeting to present and discuss with the community.

I-2: A Resolution of the City Commission amending the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 amended annual budget to recognize as revenue proceeds from the sale of the Doctors’ Hospital and the Greco Street parking lots, the receipt of an Agave Developer Fee, 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.

Agave Developer Fee: Per the second amended Agave Development Agreement, the City will be receiving $2,700,000 for the City to dedicate toward public safety and/or public art improvements, with the stated City Commission preference being that the funds be utilized for public art to the greatest extent possible. Based on the City’s significant capital improvement funding needs, staff recommends allocating the full $2,7000,000 toward the cost of construction of the new Public Safety Building.

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.”

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

The Commission voiced its concerns about the Public Safety Building going over budget and COVID-19 requiring this action. The developer of the Agave project’s representative spoke out against the measure and asking for a deferment. The Commission passed the item unanimously, with concerns by all members.

I-3: A Resolution of the City Commission authorizing a modification to the contract for HVAC Services Contract No. IFB 2018-015, with Weathertrol Maintenance Corp. pursuant to Section 2-764(b), Approval of Change Orders and Contract Modifications, in the estimated amount of $401,000 for additional HVAC repair services to be performed.

“On December 7, 2018, the City awarded the contract for HVAC services which provides troubleshooting and correcting problems in HVAC systems, pre-maintenance, maintenance repair, emergency repair, and other HVAC related work. Based on the number of added vacant leased spaces and City facilities it has become necessary to increase the spending authority on the contract to address on-going needs. The additional facilities and vacant leased spaces requiring plumbing services include Trolley Building, Fire Station No. 2, Lugo Pump Station, Rovino Pump Station, the forthcoming Parking Garage No. 7, vacant leased spaces located at 275 Miracle Mile, 290 Miracle Mile, and 2325 Galiano Street. This initial increase will cover $112,000 incurred during fiscal year 2020-2021 and $289,000 for the next fiscal year 2021-2022 and each year moving forward based on need and not to exceed the available budget.”

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

The Mayor wants the City to explore the cost of upgrading to more efficient units vs continuing to maintain older units and the added energy costs they have. “Cheapest is not the best route sometimes,” said Lago.

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