Important Special Commission Meeting on Zoning Code Tomorrow At 9:00AM

Tomorrow, Tuesday (9/15) at 9:00AM, there will be a special commission meeting on updates to the zoning code.

There are two important zoning code items before the Commission, which will address controversial changes to the City’s zoning code.

Public Comment will be allowed at tomorrow’s meeting regarding the zoning code items via zoom.

Also being discussed will be the rules and procedures for upcoming commission meetings or ‘hybrid’ meetings.

Click the following link to attend https://zoom.us/j/3054466800

Click Here for the Agenda.

Share:

5 thoughts on “Important Special Commission Meeting on Zoning Code Tomorrow At 9:00AM

  1. Gables Good Government Committee, Inc.
    1454 Mendavia Avenue
    Coral Gables, Florida 33146
    (305) 773-1065
    [email protected]
    January 13, 2021

    Dear Mayor Valdes-Fauli, Vice Mayor Lago, Commissioner Keon, Mena and Fors:

    The Gables Good Government Committee opposes the present fait accompli version of the Zoning Code Renewal proposal pending before the Coral Gables City Commission.

    The Board Members and Advisory Council of the GGG believe that the historic “hometown” appeal of the downtown Coral Gables shopping district will be diminished by raising the height and increasing the mass of commercial buildings through the elimination of on-site parking requirements. Such a zoning change may be a boon for developers and national retail outlets (which is questionable in view of the competition from the Village of Merrick Park and the soon-to-be-opened Plaza project), but not for small local businesses and non-chain restaurants.

    The “Virtual Community Meeting” scheduled for January 14, 2021, is a misnomer. It is actually a “rear-view mirror meeting.” As Leon B. Kellner, the former United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, noted in the “Save Our City” comment in the current issue of Jeannett’s Journal:

    “The commission and City staff apparently designed the proposal to hide the significant changes from the residents (i.e.: voters). They almost succeeded until our watchdog civic associations like the Coral Gables Neighbors Association and the Gables Good Government Committee complained and shined the spotlight on this enormous economic bonanza for developers . . .

    The commission felt compelled by public sentiment to schedule another ZOOM hearing at 5:00 p.m., on January 14 . . . [However], despite public pleas for transparency, [the residents were told] the upcoming meeting will be limited to current proposed amendments, meaning alternatives proposed by residents will not be discussed.” Jeannett’s Journal, January/February 2021, pg. 4 (entire comment attached below).

    We see no need for a rush to judgment.

    It is our position that the Commission vote on adopting the Zoning Code Renewal should occur after the upcoming April election or, more appropriately, after post-pandemic normalcy returns and the residents will have had a chance to fully participate in, and contribute to, the deliberative process.

    Respectfully yours,
    /s/
    GGG Board of Directors

    Thomas Snook, President
    Susi Davis, Vice President
    Raul Mas, Vice President
    Ines Calderon, Treasurer
    Gay Bondurant, Recording Secretary
    Don Slesnick, Advisory Council Chair
    Debbie Swain, Immediate Past President
    Sally Baumgartner, Member
    Nicholas Cabrera, Member
    Robert Gill, Member
    Debra Register, Member

    GGG Advisory Council
    Evelyn Budde
    Richard M. Leslie
    Pat Morris

    Attachment:

    SAVE OUR CITY
    Citizen Comments by Leon Kellner

    You may be surprised to learn that on February 9 the City Commission is scheduled to vote on amendments to our nationally-acclaimed zoning code that would dramatically change the culture and “face” of Coral Gables. Our City’s “Fathers” and “Mother” are signaling that they intend to pass amendments that will permit the development of mid-rise buildings on Miracle Mile without any parking requirements or set-back restrictions. The proposed code has a so-called remote parking plan, even though nobody appreciates being forced to park remotely – as demonstrated by extensive use of valets on Miracle Mile. If the amendments are passed, the outcome will be a canyon of seven-story buildings on Miracle Mile. The commission will also vote to permit large-scale commercial development in the Crafts Section close to Miracle Mile. (Brickell, here we come.)

    The commission and City staff apparently designed the proposal to hide the significant changes from the residents (i.e.: voters). They almost succeeded until our watchdog civic associations like the Coral Gables Neighbors Association and the Gables Good Government Committee complained and shined the spotlight on this enormous economic bonanza for developers. In order to hide their impact, the amendments were characterized by terms such as “modernize,” “updating” and “streamlining” to give the impression that nothing drastic was being proposed.

    The civic groups’ outcry forced the commission to have a so-called “sunshine meeting” on November 30 in which 280 residents tried to effectively participate. The commission and City staff monopolized the two hours to ensure that many concerned citizens would leave the meeting before the floor was opened for public input. It worked.

    The commission felt compelled by public sentiment to schedule another ZOOM hearing at 5:00 p.m., on January 14. Meanwhile, the commission and City staff have continued to exercise tight control over the process, despite public pleas for transparency. Several times the civic associations requested an appointment with the city manager to discuss the meeting. He finally responded on January 5, telling residents the upcoming meeting will be limited to current proposed amendments, meaning alternatives proposed by residents will not be discussed. Commissioners, when asked, have been unable to explain the dramatic changes that the new code would bring to our fragile downtown district – even though, without questioning, they voted in favor on first reading.

    The commission is presiding over a rapid change to the face of Coral Gables with the introduction of large developments such as The Plaza, Gables Station and Paseo de la Riviera. Whether you agree or not, your voice should be heard on the future of the City Beautiful. After all, we live here, and the commissioners work for us, not the developers. I urge everyone to attend the January 14 meeting and make your voices heard. This may be our last chance to preserve the uniqueness of the “City Beautiful” that we love.

    Jeannett’s Journal, Coral Gables News, Culture and Business, January/February 2021, pg. 4 (emphasis in original).

  2. My wife and I are both long-term residents of The City of Coral Gables. we are both practicing attorneys.

    We are both totally OPPOSED to item No. 20-1650: (a) The title is illegal in that it insufficiently describes the content of the legislation, and is therefore misleading; and (2) substantively, we both OPPOSE and reject the proposed ordinance changes.

    See to it that our positions are known. Neither of is is/will be available to participate in any “ZOOM”-based presentation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.