As the Development Services Director, responsible for Planning and Zoning for the city of Coral Gables, I would like to correct the misleading letter by former mayor Don Slesnick published Aug. 25 in Neighbors.
Mr. Slesnick incorrectly states that City Hall recently “issued” statements “that the zoning code needs to be amended to allow for night clubs and late night bars.” That is simply not true. Those misrepresentations, along with the statement that the city would allow “flashing neon signs and 5 a.m. closing times,” are akin to someone setting a fire and, then, pulling the alarm to save the day.
Over the past few years, the City Commission has significantly reformed the overly-generous unsustainable pension plans and labor agreements, cut property tax rates and is operating more efficiently and effectively, thereby allowing for investment in infrastructure and neighborhood enhancements.
Today, the city is undertaking its biggest upgrades since its founding. Fifty-five lane miles of streets have been resurfaced, eliminating a ten-year backlog; historic entranceways and fountains are being restored, and major thoroughfares and neighborhoods are being enlivened with lush landscaping and street trees. In short, the critical infrastructure needs that were grossly neglected for more than a decade are finally being addressed.
Coral Gables is a sophisticated world-class city always striving to preserve its heritage and enhance its beauty, creating a place of lasting value.
We’re Coral Gables. We are not Miami Beach, the Design District or Coconut Grove. We have our own identity. To suggest that City Hall would sell out our identity is an affront to those who are currently working to make Coral Gables the best it can be.
Jane Tompkins, Development Services Director, City of Coral Gables
Downtown Gables doesn’t need night clubs
As a resident of downtown Coral Gables, I am concerned about City Hall’s efforts to amend the zoning code to allow night clubs and late-night bars in the City Beautiful.
Over eight years ago, I chose to live in downtown Coral Gables because of its immense charm: beautiful neighborhoods, safe streets and a vibrant commercial center of restaurants, theater, cinema, art galleries, bookstores and specialty shops. On any day or evening, the residents and visitors to our downtown area will find a lively and thriving village scene.
Allowing the opening of night clubs and late-closing bars downtown, however, would certainly not add to the charm of our city. Instead, these establishments would probably bring late-night noise to the street as well as traffic congestion and parking problems, and would ultimately create more work for our police force. Needless to say, late-night clubs and bars will not enhance the wonderful quality of life that we already enjoy in Coral Gables.
Susi Davis, Coral Gables
West Kendall doesn’t want to be a city
After reading about the arrests of the mayors of Sweetwater, Miami Lakes and now Homestead, the battle over who is the real mayor of North Miami, the police chief suing South Miami, the city of Miami under SEC investigation, and the higher tax rates for residents in several cities, I am very happy in our unincorporated area. Or I was happy until Miami-Dade County commissioners Juan C. Zapata and Dennis Moss went ahead and created municipal advisory committees to study the issue of incorporating West Kendall/South Kendall without getting petitions from residents as required by the county charter. They waived that requirement in an effort to push this unwanted issue, even though the majority of residents over the past eight years have said “no” to this insane effort.