Hancock said the city should treat Miracle Mile like an eco-system. “Say it’s a garden and you are trying to maximize how the garden looks. You have to have proper nutrients and that’s what we need to do to Miracle Mile to see that it has what it needs to thrive. Nature is telling us it’s now growing too out of proportion with the amount of parking we have available. We need to make Miracle Mile work with the parking that is available and not try something unrealistic.”
Lago, who recently resigned from the Planning and Zoning Board to run for a commission seat, said parking on the mile was a focus of a 2006 study and a second study whose results will be released later this year. “We can’t make a decision about parking until it’s really analyzed.”
He complained about the conditions of the two garages. “The existing garages need to be reconfigured, it’s like playing ping-pong, bouncing off cars. Big cars don’t fit there. When that report comes back we’ll find out if we need to do both or one garage.’’
The subject was spawned by recent media coverage about a family of three who moved into a five-bedroom home at 601 Sunset Dr. illegally. On Tuesday, the City Commission approved on first reading a new city law that would prohibit squatting, deem it a public nuisance and would establish sanctions, including fines of $500 a day, against the owners and squatters.
The Sunset squatters occupied a home across the street from Ebbert’s house — she alerted the city about the problem. The squatters were maintaining the property and paying the electric bills.
“FPL doesn’t care who pays as long as it gets paid,” she said. “I’m glad we have an ordinance.”
Hancock quipped about the illegal tenants who kept the property up to code. “Coral Gables has the best squatters in the world. Nobody can touch our squatters.’’
Hancock said rising insurance rates are the bigger issue.
“The issue that concerns homeowners is windstorm insurance more than pensions,’’ he said. “Many feel pressured and are kicked out of State Farm. Citizens is raising its rates. If we don’t have homeowners insurance we can’t sell our houses. Can’t get insurance. That is the issue that is really on people’s minds more than the pensions. If that ain’t fixed, we aren’t going to be able to pay that pension thing.”
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