Maria C. Cruz
Longtime Coral Gables resident and activist. She has served as the Chair of the Anti-Crime Committee
For over 20 years we, elected officials, city administration and residents, have been part of a discussion about the need to replace our aging parking garages. Much discussion has been had, City Managers have come and gone, elected officials have also gone either by their own choice or by term limits. The possibility of a park, like New York’s Central Park came up, among other ideas. Eventually in 2019 Resolution 2019-96 was passed “allowing the City the opportunity to build a new parking structure…….and granting the staff until October 1, 2022 to break ground.” Why is this important? Because otherwise the project would revert to the developers as part of that same resolution.
The City Administration has had since March 26, 2019, to get this project on track. Yes, we were affected by the pandemic, but several times we heard from our City Manager say that the City never really closed, that everything kept going during that time. Why, are we now between a rock and a hard place? Why this project needs to be shoved down our throats without any community input?
More questions come to mind, doesn’t the City have to follow our codes and ordinances? Why do we need to ignore our code in order to build the proposed parking garage now called MOBILITY HUB? Did we not hear the staff say that the Craft zoning had to be adjusted not to overshadow the historical San Sebastian? Isn’t the Miracle Theater a historical building?
How will the City be able to deny private requests from developers asking for variances to build other structures on or near Miracle Mile that will be compatible to what it is being proposed now? Shouldn’t the City be the first one to follow ALL our codes and ordinances? Will the City be willing to fast track other projects as it’s happening with this one?
This is YOUR City, are you going to sit back and allow this mammoth futuristic “Mobility Hub” to be built in our City? Shouldn’t we have a say since we are going to pay for it at least $40 million dollars? Shouldn’t we have community meetings to express our opinions? Are the administration and Commission not interested on listening to what we have to say? Is this building going to be one person’s legacy at any cost?
We all need to let them know what our vision is for the City we love. Is it George Merrick’s or Walt Disney’s?
Please contact those that are involved, one way, or another with this abominable project, those who are pushing to make it happen, and those who have the power to vote for it or STOP it!
For these reasons, I have started a petition. Click here to read and sign the petition.
Here is how to get a hold of the decision makers at City Hall:
By email: City Manager Peter Iglesias, Mayor Vince Lago, Vice Mayor Michael Mena, Commissioner Jorge L. Fors, Jr., Commissioner Rhonda Anderson, Commissioner Kirk R. Menendez, City Attorney Miriam Ramos and City Clerk Billy Urquia (who should be copied on all emails as the custodian of records).
By phone: City Hall (305-446-6800), City Manager Peter Iglesias (305-460-5202), Mayor Vince Lago (305-460-5220) Vice Mayor and Commissioners (305-460-5304), City Clerk Billy Urquia (305-460-5210), and City Attorney Miriam Ramos (305-460-5338).