Letter sent to commission members:
Coral Gables Neighbors Association Gables Good Government Committee Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables Ponce Neighbors Association
February 6, 2021
Dear Mayor Valdes-Fauli, Vice Mayor Lago, and Commissioners Fors, Keon and Mena:
On behalf of the members of the undersigned civic organizations, we wish to voice our opposition to the proposals, which the Commission is currently considering, for amending the City’s Zoning Code.
We petition you to delay voting on adopting any Zoning Code or Land Use amendments until after the upcoming April election or, more appropriately, until after a post-pandemic normalcy returns, which would give the community a meaningful opportunity to fully participate in and contribute to the deliberative process.
The Reason Why:
The process used to formulate the proposed amendments to the Zoning Code was flawed because it did not formally provide for adequate or meaningful input from residents during the formulation process.
After three years of working without an effectively structured methodology for resident inclusion in the deliberative process, the proposal was presented as a fait accompli to the surprise of your constituents, many of whom are members of the undersigned Coral Gables civic organizations.
Thus far, so-called community meetings have not allowed for adequate input or effective interaction between the Commission and its constituents due, in part, to the very nature of ZOOM gatherings.
What is further disconcerting is that City staff, the outside consultants and members of the Commission have failed to provide adequate responses to written requests for information and/or clarification from residents and from the undersigned civic organizations.
There should be no vote to adopt the pending proposal until the City’s residents have had an opportunity to hear an open debate on this issue between the candidates for Mayor and Commission members during the upcoming election. Once the new Commission is seated, it will hopefully do what should have been done previously – provide a welcoming environment for citizens to participate in the deliberative process — effectively and fully.
Coral Gables Neighbors Association
Sue Kawalerski, President
Gables Good Government Committee
Thomas Snook, President
Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables
Karelia Martinez Carbonell, President
Ponce Neighbors Association
Gordon Sokoloff, President