OPINION: Jose Valdes-Fauli: Don’t Change The Zoning Code

Coral Gables is famous for its tree-lined streets, historic ambiance, and quaint downtown reminisce of a bygone era. Our shopping, dining, and entertainment district’s walkability also adds to our community’s unique charms. I am proud to live, work and play in Coral Gables. 

 I am also concerned about Miracle Mile. Many businesses have closed due to the pandemic, changing retail landscape, and evolving business milieu.  The “mile” is not unique. If you drive around downtown Miami, Coconut Grove, South Miami, or Miami Beach, you will see the changing façade of American business too. We are not alone.  

 I am not a supporter of changing the code to allow more density and larger buildings. I don’t believe that this will solve the problems of missing retail on the ground floor. I think it might make it worse. The city can not solve these problems by changing the code.  I feel that the City should not solve a problem that is not theirs to solve.  I believe that market forces should determine the outcome, and the concepts of supply and demand should prevail. The value of all these properties may be affected by the high vacancies, and the market will present new opportunities. The problem is one for the landlords to work out without interference from the City. 

 I am concerned about these businesses, but I am also troubled about the city’s finances. More than 40% of the city’s income is derived from the commercial district’s property taxes, and the city’s finances may be negatively impacted. We need to address this potential shortfall. 

 We have too many vacancies and closed stores, and a reexamination of this area is natural at this time. While I remain concerned about the mile’s future, I am hopeful for the Giralda entertainment district, the Merrick Park area, the future opportunities surfacing on Ponce de Leon, and our city in general. 

 I offer my perspective in the spirit of which I will campaign and hopefully govern. I share my thoughts, and I want to hear yours. My goal is to share your vision, and this is only possible with dialogue amongst people who care about our community. 

Jose Valdes-Fauli 
Candidate, Coral Gables Commission Group II – 305-588-1229

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17 thoughts on “OPINION: Jose Valdes-Fauli: Don’t Change The Zoning Code

  1. Miracle Miles has nothing to offer except a few restaurants and empty store fronts, its a dead district. The theory of “supply and demand” will not apply to Miracle Mile under the current circumstances, the City needs to “create” demand and to create this demand it needs to attract better quality of stores and restaurants. And the only way this is going to happen is by rezoning miracle mile. Unfortunately in life we have to compete, and currently we are competing against Coconut Grove, South Miami, the Design District, Lincoln Road,etc all of which have move forward by changing the code and remodeling their downtowns, and all of these districts have a lot more to offer than our Miracle Mile. These districts are vibrant full of people and full of different types of stores. Lincoln Road managed to change the code and still keep some of its past charm. We need to move forward into the future and vote for changing the code of Miracle mile.

  2. I am confused. If the current zoning does not allow for high density then how come we continue to see construction of buildings that add an incredible amount of density and cars on our streets? Obviously, past politicians circumvent zoning laws somehow and have allowed high density already. Have you seen the very narrow sidewalks built at the new buildings along LeJeune and 37th Avenue. Watch out because you step one inch wrong and you can get hit by a car. Where is the walkability and friendly streets anymore? Current and past politicians always say they are against high density development and then all at the sudden big buildings without enough infrastructure and 0 additional green keep showing up. They build huge circles on main intersections (ie Segovia and Coral Way) with expensive art work that is replaced very often because nothing works and create even worst bottlenecks. This overflow pf traffic then looks for side residential streets to get away from it. And now we have speeding traffic on adjacent residential areas which we didn’t use to have before. What we need is honest politicians that don’t side with the developers and quickly give in probably because the politicians benefit somehow and at the expense of the city. I am for development that is smart, sustainable and makes sense for the entire community and generations to come. The current zoning might be limited on density but even as it is it is not working because politicians keep approving narrow minded projects for developers that want to profit and become landlords where the tenants are the small businesses that invest huge amounts of money on improvements and keep paying high rents till they can’t do it anymore and then leave while the landlords just wait for the next moron to come and bite on the story about the friendly city. What a joke ! The problem is not the zoning, the problem is the coral gables swamp of politicians we have had. The politicians that have been around had their chance and did little or nothing so I am going to search for new blood, honest and experienced candidates on the items I care about and will gladly support them.

  3. José is his own person with a superb business background and a lifetime devoted to helping his community. He deserves to be heard for his own views and not conflated with his brother. Maintaining the scale and character of Coral Gables is important to all of us, so let’s hear him out!

  4. I am not a supporter of changing the code,
    as would like to maintain the beauty,
    European look and, discipline!
    Would like to take this opportunity to congratulate,
    Mayor Valdes-Fauli; for his very satisfactory
    work, and dedication to our City.

  5. Mr. Valdés-Fauli and his brother are birds of the same feather. Do not express buyer’s remorse later if he gets elected.

  6. Never another Valdes-Fauli. The one in the Mayor’s office has just ruined any form of respect we have had for City Hall. Not taking another chance. Stating what the residents ask for on ONE issue does not make him suitable for office.

  7. In choosing our elected officials, it is best to look at one’s record, rather than anonymous comments devoid of substance. José’s record includes a long history in banking and public service. His lifelong commitment to our community is a matter of public record and includes serving on the board of many agencies in the charitable health, arts, and education sectors — not to mention personal philanthropy.

  8. Both apples have not fallen two far from the tree. Both rude & arrogant. So don’t buy the non conforming pitch from the new and improved FAULI

  9. I agree with Mr. Valdes-Fauli, we must allow the market forces to determine the outcome of Miracle Mile. Jose is the financial expert and business savvy person we need as a voice on the Commission.

  10. I believe in what Jose Valdes Fauli says regarding zoning. I will vote for him for this key issue and hope that the other candidates also give their position on zoning which up to now is not clear

  11. Anonymous? Stand by your words.

    José is the brother of the current mayor, but he is his own person. He clearly states his view, but he also supports a dialogue. I think they shows he is already different than his brother.

  12. I have lived in the Gables, on and off, since 1980 –in the meantime, I’ve lived in tons of big cities including Madrid, London, Mexico City, Buenos Aires and New York. The Miracle Mile described in the article by Jose VF is a figment of his imagination. It doesn’t exist in real life. In short, it is total bullshit. Miracle Mile –even before the pandemic– was a collection of totally irrelevant stores, a mish-mash of facades and an uninviting environment. On hot days, you can’t walk. On rainy days, you can’t walk. There are some interesting storefronts, but mainly lots of bars and restaurants, not stores. If the City is serious about building (not reviving, its checkered past deserves to be dead) an attractive Miracle Mile, it needs to impose some architectural unity, some forced amenities such as sidewalk roofs, more trees… in short, make it a boulevard, not some collection of rinky dinky little stores that, frankly, are not attractive.

  13. This is the Mayor’s brother. Say what you need to, to get elected. The Mayor has done a lot of damage to our City Beautiful.

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