In 2022, the City Commission improved the quality of life for Coral Gables residents in a fiscally responsible manner and expanded transparency and the availability of information regarding proposed developments. Some of the notable achievements are listed below:
City taxes and fees
- Continued to maintain city’s AAA bond rating while maintaining the second lowest property tax mileage rate in Miami-Dade County for a full-service city and maintaining garbage fees at 2021 rates even though the county’s tipping fees for garbage and trash have increased.
- Secured $2.525 million in funding from the Florida legislature -- the largest awarded in the city’s 97-year history.
police and fire staff and facilities improvements
- Fully funded the construction of Fire Station 4 on Sunset Drive.
- Increased police and fire staffing by adding six police officers and adding five firefighters, to be hired in 2023.
PARKS AND GREEN SPACES
- Promoted the addition of pocket parks with green space and trees in the Central Business District. See item 22-4435.
- Opened two new pocket parks (Maggiore Park and Lamar Louise Curry Park) and renovated Pierce Park.
- Prohibited smoking in all city parks. See item 22-4903.
Off-leash dog parks
- Added two off-leash dog parks in the North Gables.
- First park is expected to open before New Year’s Day at 1505 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
- Second park is to open adjacent to Salvador Park’s existing park facility in late 2023. See item 22-4845.
- Established funding plan for Phillips Park renovations that will expand playground areas, add indoor facilities, add pickleball courts, and restore tennis and basketball courts, and the soccer field. See item 22-4516.
TRAFFIC CALMING, SIDEWALKS, AND SEWER and DRAINAGE MAINTENANCE
- Replaced 2½ miles of sidewalks and pedestrian ramps, resurfacing approximately 4 miles of streets.
- Installed 15 traffic-calming devices.
- Replaced 4,600 feet of 20-inch sanitary sewer force main pipes.
TREES AND SWALES PLANTINGS
- Increased and maintained tree canopy by installing 60 new trees.
- Refined the list of approved plants for the residential swale package program by adding beautiful, resilient, native and non-native plants to the list. See item 22-4168.
INCREASED NOTICE TO RESIDENTS BUSINESSES
- Added notice requirements to all residents and occupants, including businesses, within 1,000 feet of proposed development projects and zoning modifications. Previously, only property owners were notified. See item 22-4878.
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS RESIDENT COMMENTS
- Added “Development Projects” button to the city website for easier viewing access of development projects submitted for city review.
- Added a written comment option for residents wishing to submit comments to the Development Review Committee (the first stage of city review of commercial projects).
RESTRICTED MEDITERRANEAN BONUS
- Restored the Mediterranean Bonus Program to its original purpose by removing the ability of non-Mediterranean architectural styles from receiving development bonuses. See item 21-3294.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE INFRASTRUCTURE
- Increased electric vehicle charging requirements for new commercial development projects resulting in the City of Coral Gables having the most advanced EV ordinance in the state. See item 22-4013.
- Required city staff to cease using all gas-powered leaf blowers by 2024. See item 22-4084.
- Prohibited any blowing of dirt and leaves onto city streets and neighboring properties. See item 22-3902.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION and DESIGNATION
- Established a fund exclusively for the restoration of the city’s historic buildings and authorized the sale of certain development rights (TDRs) to fund the restoration of city-owned historic structures such as the Coral Gables Museum and the Alhambra Water Tower. See item 22-4548.
- Provided for posting of notice of historic designation or non-designation of properties and rules to appeal such designations.
- Established the Landmarks Advisory Board to enhance maintenance of historic city landmarks and entrances. See item 21-2790.
- Provided for posting of notice of historic designation or non-designation of properties and rules to appeal such designations. See item 22-4879
CORAL GABLES COUNTRY CLUB
- Commenced restoration of the iconic historic property, re-opening the gym with state-of-the-art equipment and refurbishing the café.
- In 2023, the fully restored pool, ballrooms, and meeting rooms will reopen.
- Established a Coral Gables Golf & Country Club Advisory Board for member residents to address future operations and services. See item 22-4242.
BURGER BOBS/GRANADA SNACK SHOP
- Obtained community input on design ideas and comments for facility updates, to be completed in 2023.
- Enhanced cleanliness and maintenance of storefronts, businesses, landscape and sidewalks in the Central Business District. See items 22-4080 and 22-3877.
- Expanded roles for Neighborhood Safety Aides to increase property values and reduce non-resident, illegal dumping. See item 22-4081.
- Approved the installation of non-copper metal roofs on non-historic homes in non-historic districts. See item 22-4482.
HURRICANE PROTECTION PROGRAM
- Established “Signature Hurricane Protection Program” to provide a 25% discount and waiver of all permitting fees for impact windows and doors for residents that meet certain income eligibility requirements. See item 22-4241.
- Required posting of hot line number to deter prostitution in short term hotels and motels. See item 22-4600.
- Expanded hours of trolley operations from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and added Saturday service.
- Added QR code to trolley signs providing access to real-time trolley scheduling for customers.
- Established a Peafowl Mitigation Policy to allow for the humane removal of peafowl. See item 22-4904.
- Established an American flag retirement program. See item 22-4750.