On Thursday, October 19 at 8:30 a.m. the proposed project at the Garden of Our Lord located at 110 Phoenetia Avenue will be presented in front of the Board of Architects for the fifth time. The proposed design remains the same with a few inconsequential changes in architectural details.
My home is located on the block right east of the proposed project. In the past I have fought several projects to protect my investments; however, this is the worst project I have ever seen in my years living in Coral Gables. The developer for this project is extremely unreasonable and disrespectful of the city, its land, and the character of the neighborhood.
Among some of the reasons why this project should be rejected by the BOA are:
- The developer is proposing to apply the same MX2 Urban zoning code used in the commercial Ponce De Leon Blvd to the North Ponce Residential neighborhood with extreme reductions of setbacks up to zero, and increased density to 200 apartment rentals and commercial units, and 350 cars.
- This proposal is unfair, and unreasonable because the developer’s parcel is zoned Special Use (S) Institutional Religious and the North Ponce Residential neighborhood is currently zoned MF2, which has much larger setbacks requirements than the ones proposed.
- This neighborhood is under the protection of the zoning code –Section 2-404 North Ponce Neighborhood Conservation District Overlay (NPCO) passed by the commission to preserve and enhance the garden apartment character of the North Ponce residential neighborhood.
- The project’s design, volume, massing, scale, proportions and site plan are completely out of character and not compatible with any ofthe architecture of the abutting streets, including the Historic Woman’s Club.
- The developer is applying for a Planned Area Development (PAD) which gives the developer flexibility in exchange for green areas that will benefit the public. However, the project does not offer any functional, beautiful, and livable green areas that will benefit the public Additionally, the project does not attempt to integrate into the design any of the 100-year-old Oak trees found on the site.
- There is no infrastructure for the capacity and density proposed.
The proposed project at 110 Phoenetia Avenue is another example of how developers are entitled to ask for unreasonable changes of zoning that dismiss the intrinsic value of our land and our quality of life. Our elected officials must take a strong stand against irresponsible development.
Maria Cristina Longo
Coral Gables Resident
I encourage you to attend the meeting of the BOA at the following location and time:
Meeting Location: 427 Biltmore Way, First Floor Conference Room
Meeting date/time: 10/19/2023 at 8:30 AM
Agenda link is here.
UPDATE BOA MEETING TODAY 110 Phoenetia Avenue
The BOA received 39 letters ( a breaking record) and 12 people spoke today against the project.
Unfortunately, it passed at the BOA with a vote of 3 against the project and 4 for it.
The 3/4 is a closed call, which helps us. Some BOA members who approved the project today think that the vote should be a zoning vote at the Planning and Zoning board. I don’t agree with them, but this is how it went through today.
The next step, therefore, is to stop the project at Planning and Zoning.
Thank you for your amazing response.
If we get that many letters at planning and zoning and as many people to speak in front of the planning BOARD as we did today, we have a high chance to stop it there due to the amount of changes in the zoning that they are requesting.
M a r i c r i s L o n g o
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