In what must have been one of the latest meetings in Coral Gables Commission history, the City Commission met on July 13th as their sole July meeting, which was the first to begin at 4:00PM.
The meeting, which followed a 2 hour Budget meeting, which began at 1:00PM, did not end until just before 1:30 in the morning on July 14th.
Here are some of the major issues addressed.
Bike Lanes on South Alhambra
The Commission voted in favor of opening a dialogue with neighbors regarding bike lakes on South Alhambra Circle.
Vice Mayor Michael Mena has been pushing for amplified music on private property in the Central Business District when live music is being played. The proposal was to allow for a maximum of 85 (decibels) dBs at 100 feet away from the live music. There was a presentation by an acoustics expert demonstrating the effects of sound at different dB levels. He explained that the human ear can suffer damage if listening at 75 dBs for eight hours and 85 dBs for four hours. Commissioner Rhonda Anderson sought to reduce the maximum allowed to 75 dBs at 10 feet. She also explained the issue was not so much the pitch of music but the use of subwoofers after a certain time. The expert explained many locations he is aware have agreements to stop use of subwoofers at 10:00PM. Mayor Vince Lago, seeking to reach a compromise, proposed agreeing to 80 dBs to which Anderson agreed. However, Mena barked back that he would not agree to any changes to the way he proposed the ordinance. In the end, the ordinance passed as proposed by a 4-1 vote, with Anderson voting against.
Changes to lobbying in the City are coming, in an attempt to increase transparency. Mayor Lago proposed two measures. One which further defined lobbyists and one that limits lobbying by those who work for or act as political consultants to members of the Commission. The measures will come up for a second reading.
The Commission has officially enacted a civility code for members of the City Commission and City staff for dealing with employees. This was a measure championed by Lago who has sought to make employees more accountable and responsive to residents.
As previously reported by Gables Insider, the process of 40-year inspections by the City has been questionable. The Commission heard a presentation by Development Services Director Suramy Cabrera which addressed some of the concerns and brought to light that changes in the process will be coming at the county level to ensure another collapse like the one at Surfside do not happen again. Director Cabrera urged any resident with individual concerns about issues at a building within the City reach out to her directly at 305-342-2062.
350 Greco Avenue
The proposed buyers of the surface parking lot at 350 Greco Avenue have agreed to extend their offer through September 30th, giving the City time to follow the proper protocols to list the lot and see if there are any other potential buyers.
The Commission agreed to change the meeting time of the Commission meeting for August and will look to make changes to what items would go on the 4:00PM meeting agenda to avoid another long meeting such as this one. Instead of a 4:00PM meeting in August, the Commission will meet at 9:00AM on August 24th, the only meeting in August.