Controversial Ponce Park Residences Heads To Commission For First Reading

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
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W. Allen Morris’ controversial Ponce Park Residences is heading to the City Commission for its first reading.

The project, which was pushed back by the City Attorney who demanded that the City Planning and Zoning Board give it a fourth hearing, will be heard at a time certain of 5:00PM at the City Commission meeting scheduled for Monday, July 25th. The meeting, originally scheduled for the second Tuesday of the month was rescheduled for Monday the 25th to accommodate the Commission’s summer schedules.

As you may remember, Ponce Park Residences was originally proposed as a 179-foot 17-story tower with 161 residential units and over 18,000 square feet of commercial, at the corner of University Drive and Ponce de Leon Boulevard. The developer was requesting the vacation and relocation of University Drive and the City’s vacation of an alley.

Although there have been changes to the project, the project remains well outside what is currently allowed by the Zoning code and still counts on taxpayer owned TDRs in order to build the tower.

Residents in the surrounding neighborhood have voiced their strong opposition to the project at every meeting.

The Commission will consider the approval of the comprehensive plan, the vacation of the alley and the Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs) from the City to the developer.

Watch Meeting

To watch or participate in the meeting live, via Zoom, on Monday, July 25th at 5:00PM, click here. The meeting will also be available live on the City’s YouTube Channel. You can watch it by clicking here.

Background

For background on the trajectory followed by this project, here are previous articles Gables Insider has written about this project:

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29 thoughts on “Controversial Ponce Park Residences Heads To Commission For First Reading

  1. Venice — the Commission deferred the item, but 4 commissions expressed disapproval of the project as currently presented

  2. Why is there no reportage at this site as to what the Commission did on this item Monday?

  3. Here is how to connect via Zoom. You then submit a request to the Clerk to speak(as I recall). I would think that with the failure of 4 bites at the apple to get the P&Z board’s approval (those with the most granular level of understanding and detail), the Commission just needs to formally reject the project in deferance to is P&Z board and residents. Let’s see what happens!!

  4. Ariel
    Why don’t you talk about tbd big building they will build on the corner between Mendoza and Menores Ave? It’s strange I don’t see you speaking about that, are you in collusion with those developers?

  5. Who is in town for the hearing? This is summer vacation time when residents are away. Is the plan to get it approved when no one is watching? And on a Monday not their regular meeting day. Pretty sneaky!

  6. The answer is simple. Follow the code and the law. There is certainly no hardship here to merit such a breech of the code.

  7. I’m so fed up with our elected officials not representing the people. If 7 stories can be seen from a single family home or yard, real solutions need to be found to prevent such an abuse to family quality of life. If a developer is attempting to manipulate the existing zoning for unsightly SEVENTEEN STORIES he needs to be stopped in his tracks.

    The city attorney is an unelected appointment but she would be an ideal fit for developers (not Coral Gables) and their devious plans to overturn and abuse zoning laws to the demise of the residents and family quality of life. The entire Commission has abusively waaay over-developed George Merrick’s vision fir. Ith Beautiful.

    The Commission has created high density, high pollution, congestion and deterioration of Coral Gables quality of life for residents and single family homeowners. There abusive overdevelopment has been the primary reason I will not look back on our former “City Beautiful” soon enough. Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay are looking much more appealing for families, a sense of being, green space, and for quality of life, than “City Concrete Canyons”.

  8. Please call and email your opposition to the Mayor and the commission. Let’s defeat Allen Morris’ efforts to “Brickellize” our beautiful residential neighborhood.

  9. Wes, as of right he can build 50 ft up. He knew that when he acquired the properties. Would the City agree to compromise with a resident to build a home larger than zoned for? Would they grant part of a street to have a better frontage? C’mon! Enough is enough!

  10. Please email your opposition to the zoning change to the Mayor, Commissioners, City Manager, and City Attorney. Show op on July 25th.
    Iglesias, Peter – City Manager [email protected]
    Vince Lago – City Mayor
    [email protected]
    Michael Mena – City Vice Mayor [email protected]
    Rhonda Anderson – Commissioner [email protected]
    Jorge Fors – Commissioner
    [email protected]
    Kirk Menendez – Commissioner [email protected]
    Miriam Ramos – City Attorney [email protected]m
    Billy Urquia- City Clerk: [email protected]

  11. City attorney Miriam Ramos does not represent the residents. She represents the over-developers.
    Remember the WAWA? She is a fake “City Attorney” and must go.

  12. Is it possible to give Morris the Alley & University Drive so he has more square footage $$$$$ without giving him the height jump from 7 to 17 stories? This seems like a REASONABLE COMPROMISE. I wouldn’t mind living there in a 7 story building by Oppenheim.

  13. I do not live in the area but wonder why the City Attorney is adamant in bringing this up for a hearing for a fifth time. What’s in it. for her?

  14. Is anyone listening? Anyone reading comments, e mails, texts? How much longer are we, the people who chose to live here because we liked what we saw and how well it fit where we wanted to live, have to put up with those who are here but are not happy with what Coral Gables is all about? Why should we be told the changes we should undertake to please them? Or perhaps to make it possible for them to sell their properties to the developers and make big profits? There are plenty of places nearby, Brickell, Miami Beach, etc that will certainly fit their wishes! If they do not like it here, they should go there and enjoy their way of life. We like ours!

  15. Folks:

    Agree with many of you here. Hard to see a way the commission can vote for this in its current form without support from the P and Z board. Especially that it has been shot down four different times!

    I also encourage citizens to participate in the meeting and let your voices be heard.

    But please, can you all wait to see how the commission votes before we call for their heads to be chopped off in the town square.

    Love,
    Pete

  16. Listen to the residents! that’s the reason you ran for office, don’t follow the corruption that has permitted this go on… Do what is best for the people you represent. & that’s what your supposed to do. not hard but honest.

  17. Dear Sycophants, we are offended by your comment “right leaning”. This type of nasty political comment does not belong here. This has nothing to do with the right or left. This is the divisive comments that supports hate and keeps us from working together. Your comment should by removed from this feed as it is crude and political. This has to do with residents voices being shut out and developers being given free reign at our expense. This has to do with a City manager and attorney disrespecting us and supporting what they want or are being paid to want.

  18. The Zoning Board, after not approving the project in 3 meetings, denied the proposed Ponce (Tower) Residences on the fourth try. This should be sufficient for the City Commission to deny it without further discussion. If the commissioners decide to approve the project, then what is the purpose of having a Zoning Board? Might as well eliminate the Zoning Board and have the commissions do as they please! The vote here, based on the recommendations of the Zoning Board, should be a 5-0 against the project… no other way to see it!

  19. Talk, talk & more but no action. CG zoning code is a POS that belongs in full septic tank. A right leaning majority commission run by money hungry traitor small time lawyers & politicians has proven itself once again does not work. Send the 3 remaining white collar trailer trash crooks packing next election if they don’t resign immediately.

  20. The commission doesn’t care – they “owe” Morris because he isn’t getting garage #3 to develop. Follow the money. Who cares what these pesky homeowners want. They’re just nimbys.

  21. What is the point of creating construction zones if the developers can just “ask” to change them and build high towers that will disrupt traffic and privacy of the neighborhood as they like?
    @Cena Jackson, no, just because it’s pretty it doesn’t mean it belongs there. There are ways of developing an area without violating zoning and peace of the neighborhood. The neighbors of that building can kiss bye buy to their morning afternoon sun and their backyard privacy. All that for something that will just push the rental market even higher.

  22. Hey, Coral Gables Commission…….YOU WORK FOR US, not Allen Morris, and you do not make decisions for us, thinking you know better. The answer is NO NO NO. We have enough concrete, enough traffic and enough congestion. We also have had enough of a City Manager and Attorney who do not understand this either, and who needs to go. This is the last straw and any yes vote will be seal the deal that you will be gone the next election.
    PS: Cena Jackson, who do you work for or who paid you to write that post. No one wants all these high buildings and concrete. We are Coral Gables, the City beautiful that we are trying to maintain.

  23. Please tell residents how to sign up to speak at the Commission meeting. Do we have to sign up ahead of the meeting? Where?

  24. It appears, if we want to keep the architectural integrity of our City, we need to CONSTANTLY be on top of these developers, who continue to be allowed, by some of our City officials, to make drastic changes to the landscape of Coral Gables. CORAL GABLES IS NOT BRICKELL! These monsters do not belong here – period!

  25. Why wouldn’t Coral Gables want to have his beautiful Architectural marvel to attract like-minded creatives and vitality? The Gables needs growth and innovation while also preserving historical significance.

  26. Allen Morris’ lobbyists and his lawyer wont wear us down. They can go to the commissioners 100 times. The answer is no 100 times.

  27. This is a call to action to all neighbors to come and speak at this meeting at 5:00 PM next Monday as you have many times before. Make your voices heard and make sure your Commission knows where you stand on this project. You may want to speak for the 3 minutes allowed, but your simple presence may be just as important and just as powerful.

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