The Doral City Council passed a series of ordinances on first or second hearing Wednesday night during its regular council meeting.
▪ On second reading, the council unanimously approved reconfiguring the Downtown Doral development. Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School was approved to be expanded. A 6-12 Center will be added, with the option for an amphitheater or performing arts space.
In addition, the developer, Codina Partners, will provide $1.5 million to construct a cultural arts pavilion adjacent to Downtown Doral Park as well as trolleys from downtown to the Medley Commuter Rail station.
Codina Partners also offered 1,000 feet of retail space for a storefront police station to be staffed by two bicycle patrol officers.
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▪ On second reading, the council voted 4-1 in favor of an ordinance that would require any major zoning changes to go through a two-phase workshop process. Councilman Pete Cabrera dissented.
The ordinance, proposed by a group of residents, is intended to encourage more dialogue and better inform residents how the changes would affect them.
For instance, if a developer wanted to change the density allowed in a project or change a project from a shopping center to a condo tower, those changes would go through two mandatory workshops in addition to the usual process.
The first workshop would be open to all residents, the developers and city planners but would exclude council members. Residents say it would allow for direct communication with developers. The second workshop would include City Council members, who would approve or deny those changes during a later zoning meeting.
▪ On second reading, council members unanimously passed an ordinance that will require Doral property owners to eliminate or treat standing water within 48 hours. Council members said doing so will prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
The decision was made after the Zika virus made its way into the United States.
“Mosquitoes are known to transmit diseases, which include the Zika virus, West Nile virus, dengue fever, encephalitis, malaria and others,” Doral spokeswoman Maggie Santos said.
The first notice will give residents two days to fix the problem. Second notice will be a $150 citation; third notice will be a $250 citation.
“The intent of this ordinance is not to penalize property owners, but to educate them on the importance of maintaining their properties to reduce mosquitoes breeding,” Santos said.
▪ On May 11, the council passed the controversial ‘Sanctuary Project,” located at Northwest 41st Street and 94th Avenue, on first reading.
Instead of building 12 homes, the development company, Shoma Homes, requested to build 248 units with 32,000 square feet of retail space on seven acres. Thirty percent of those 248 units will be workforce housing units. The council turned down the request. The vote was 3-2. Council members Sandra Ruiz and Pete Cabrera dissented.
City Hall was packed, with more than 100 residents waiting to share their concerns about the project. They were scheduled to speak at 6 p.m. Instead, the item was pushed to the back of the agenda, and residents didn’t get to speak until after 1 a.m.
Residents complained about future congestion and the increase in density. The property only has one way in and out, on a one-way street; getting out would require a series of extra turns. Residents stressed it would only worsen the already congested Doral roads.
The item will next be heard for second reading on June 29.
It’s unclear what they will be voting on since the item was turned down on first reading.