I am not going to pretend to be fluent in zoning codes for the city of Coral Gables, especially not when it comes to commercial development. However, I will say that there are a number of large new buildings going up throughout the Gables – The Plaza Coral Gables is underway across from Ponce Circle Park, Gables Station is rapidly growing on US1 near LeJeune, Paseo de la Riviera, also on US1, has seen its hotel and restaurants open, and The Standard at Coral Gables appears to be capping off soon. These are all huge new mixed-use complexes in the heart of The City Beautiful, but it seems like this large building boom might taper off to some extent with proposed new restrictions to the zoning code.
There are 19 major and 47 minor changes that have been recommended to Coral Gables Zoning Code, many of which aim to increase the amount of open/green space that a commercial building must incorporate into its design. For instance, the proposal would like to increase “required open space in Multi-family 2 and Multi-family 3 from 25% to 30% by requiring 5% on upper floors facing the street.” The new restrictions would also increase setbacks to certain commercial structures, expand the landscaped open space requirement for multi-family structures, etc. The proposed zoning changes are not a light read! Apparently, they also do not address traffic, so the Transportation Advisory board has asked how changes will effect our traffic patterns and gridlocks – honestly, with the amount of driving that I do, that is my biggest concern with any code changes.
Do you think that Coral Gables has allowed too many large structures to be developed? I’d love to hear your opinion!