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Zoning Code Update 2018

   

          

BACKGROUND

At the request of the City Commission, the Zoning Code is currently being updated to be reorganized and streamlined.

The City of Coral Gables is recognized nationally for the high quality of its original plan implemented by George Merrick in the 1920’s and its thoughtful application of high standards for zoning and architectural design for the past century. Through the years, the Zoning Code has served as the main document that has preserved the original aesthetic vision of the city, as development has evolved with South Florida’s growth. The Zoning Code has been amended multiple times, and was last reviewed comprehensively a decade ago. There is a current need to clarify regulations that implement the goals of the Comprehensive Plan, in ways consistent with the high expectations of the community. On January 23, 2018, the City Commission approved Procurement Division’s recommendation to award the planning services for the Zoning Code Update to DPZ CoDesign, a nationally recognized planning and urban design firm with over 36 years of experience in sustainable planning.

  

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

In addition to the multiple advertised public meetings with the Planning & Zoning Board, Workshops, Sunshine Meetings, and the City Commission, the public participated in a VIRTUAL COMMUNITY MEETING on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 5pm via Zoom to see the 3-year progress of updating the city's Zoning Code. Neighbors reviewed the work completed, asked questions, and gave feedback. A presentation with diagrams and illustrations described the proposed updates - including Miracle Mile, mixed-use development, multi-family residential, and parking. The conversation is ongoing - please continue to email any comments or suggestions related to the Zoning Code Update to planning@coralgables.com. 

  

PROJECT OVERVIEW

1: Table of Contents Reorganization (No substantive changes) - adopted

  • City Commission, Second Reading - November 10, 2020, 9am
  • Commission Workshop - October 19, 2020
  • City Commission, First Reading - September 15, 2020
  • Planning & Zoning Board, Update Report - September 9, 2020, 4pm
  • Planning & Zoning Board, Reorganization - July 29, 2020, 4pm
  • City Commission, First Reading - March 26, 2019    

2: Updated Zoning Code - in adoption process (Draft Ordinance, Proposed Updates)

  • City Commission, Second Reading - February 9, 2021
  • Community Meeting - January 14, 2021 - Presentation
  • Commission Workshop - November 30, 2020 - Presentation
  • City Commission - November 10, 2020
  • City Commission, First Reading - October 27, 2020
  • Commission Workshop - October 19, 2020
  • City Commission - September 15, 2020
  • Planning & Zoning Board, Update Report - September 9, 2020, 4pm
  • Planning & Zoning Board, Updated Zoning Code - August 20, 2020, 4pm
  • Planning & Zoning Board, Updated Zoning Code - July 29, 2020, 4pm
  • Commission Workshop, Open Space / Downtown - June 24, 2019, 3pm, 427 Biltmore Way
  • Commission Workshop, Multi-Family 2 / North Ponce - September 4, 2019, 3pm, 427 Biltmore Way
  • Commission Workshop, Updated Zoning Code - March 5, 2020, 3pm, 427 Biltmore Way

3. Miracle Mile - in adoption process (Draft Ordinance)

  • City Commission, Second Reading - February 9, 2021
  • Community Meeting - January 14, 2021 - Presentation
  • Commission Workshop - November 30, 2020 - Presentation
  • City Commission, First Reading - October 27, 2020

  

CITY COMMISSION  

Adoption of the updated Zoning Code will occur in multiple Ordinances:

1: Table of Contents Reorganization (No substance changes) - adopted

  • November 10, 2020 - Second Reading
  • October 19, 2020, Commission Workshop
  • September 15, 2020, First Reading
  • March 26, 2019

2: Updated Zoning Code - in adoption process

  • February 9, 2021 - Second Reading
  • November 30, 2020 - Commission Workshop: Presentation
  • November 10, 2020
  • October 27, 2020 - First Reading
  • October 19, 2020 - Commission Workshop
  • September 15, 2020
  • March 5, 2020, 3pm427 Biltmore Way, Updated Zoning Code Commission Workshop: Presentation, Draft Updated Zoning Code, Attendance, Audio
  • September 4, 2019, 3pm, 427 Biltmore Way, Multi-Family 2 / North Ponce Commission Workshop: Presentation, Attendance, Summary
  • June 24, 2019, Open Space / Downtown Commission Workshop: Presentation, Analysis DiagramsAttendance, SummaryAudio

3. Miracle Mile - in adoption process

  • February 9, 2021 - Second Reading
  • November 30, 2020, Commission Workshop: Presentation
  • October 27, 2020 - First Reading

PLANNING & ZONING BOARD (PZB)

Following initial meetings with the Working Group and Staff Committee, DPZ began to update the Zoning Code by addressing the structure of the Zoning Code, followed by a review of the content. The consultants are proposing to first re-organize the Code - redistributing certain Divisions and Sections, and revising the Table of Contents, in which certain topics that are extensive, or others that are highly specialized. Information from each meeting with the Planning & Zoning Board regarding the Zoning Update can be found below:

  

WORKING GROUP

A Working Group was created with individuals from the Coral Gables community that are familiar with the current achievements and inconsistencies in the existing Zoning Code. Feedback was received from the below Working Group members:

  • Taciana Amador, Business Improvement District (BID)
  • Robert Behar, Architect
  • Marshall Bellin, Architect
  • Judy Carty, Architect
  • Mari Gallet, Communications
  • Mario Garcia-Serra, Attorney
  • Jorge Navarro, Attorney
  • Laura Russo, Attorney
  • Venny Torre, Builder
  • Barbara Tria, Realtor

The background and professions of the Working Group vary in order to receive input from various topics. Information from each meeting can be found below:

  

STAFF COMMITTEE

A committee of City Staff was formed to work with the consultants, DPZ, to provide input and review preliminary proposed changes. A Director or representative from City departments was included in the Staff Committee to give feedback from various disciplines. Information from each meeting can be found below:

 

BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BID) 

On May 11, 2018, the consultants, DPZ, met with representatives from the downtown Business Improvement District (BID) to discuss current issues and goals related to Miracle Mile and Downtown Coral Gables. Following this meeting, the Giralda Plaza Overlay District was adopted on June 12, 2018, as a text amendment to the Zoning Code to maintain the human scale character of Restaurant Row and limit building height, bulk, mass, and intensity of large scale developments.

  

ASSESSMENT AND ANALYSIS

Meetings with the Working Group and Staff Committee have provided input for and reviewed preliminary results of DPZ’s assessment and analysis. It was generally agreed that the Zoning Code Update would focus primarily on those parts of the Code related to open space, mixed-use projects, and various densities of residential, commercial and industrial uses - outside of single-family residential zoning, which already has recent text amendments following a process guided by an advisory panel and adopted on April 10, 2018. The result of the Working Group and Staff Committee meetings can be summarized as follows:

  • clarify the organization of the Code
  • make the Code easier to use
  • address particular Site Specifics
  • update MF2, MFSA and Mixed-Use District categories
  • clarify height and FAR regulations
  • consider parking reductions
  • clarify open space requirements
  • consider relief for small site development (below 20,000SF).

The groups and DPZ agrees to focus first on the structure of the Zoning Code: a revised Table of Contents and corresponding numbering adjustments to the text. The reorganization of the Zoning Code revises and renumbers Article and Section numbers, but provides no substantive changes. The intent of the reorganization is to be submitted to the Gridics to be published in gridics.com.

The second step in the update will focus on one aspect of change at a time. Topics of focus will generally include: Open Space, Multi-Family 2, Site Specifics, Mixed-Use, and miscellaneous issues. These topics are currently being drafted to include the groups' recommendations and will be brought to the Planning and Zoning Board and City Commission as an updated Zoning Code for review and consideration.

 

GIVE YOUR INPUT 

The City is interested in your opinions and values your input in the process to update the Zoning Code. If you have any comments or suggestions, please submit them to planning@coralgables.com.

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