Coral Gables

After lengthy meeting, Coral Gables defers Paseo vote

After months of discussion and a more than five-hour meeting, the Coral Gables City Commission deferred giving final approval to the Paseo de la Riviera project.

The commission will consider the item at 8 a.m. Friday morning at a special meeting. Height ultimately remained the main issue for commissioners who still want the project to be scaled down. The proposed mixed-use project sits on about 2.7 acres of land and would include an apartment building and hotel, along with commercial and open spaces. The developer, NP International, proposed a reduction to 122 feet for the proposed apartment building but, after resident input, proposed an additional drop to 112 feet.

The hotel building’s height would also be reduced from 142 feet to 135 feet under the proposal presented by the developer Tuesday night.

Commissioner Patricia Keon said she needed more time to hear from staff members and did not want to be rushed into a vote — the proposals came near the end of the meeting after a lengthy recess.

“I, as a commissioner, will not be held hostage by what your business plan is,” Keon said.

The developer is asking the commission for four separate approvals for the project, at 1350 S. Dixie Hwy., including a land-use change from low-rise to high-rise development, a zoning-code amendment, a planned area development review for the site and a mixed-use site plan.

Dozens of supporters and opponents of the plan spoke during the meeting, but there will be no public hearing at Friday’s special meeting.

At the Oct. 22 meeting, when the commission gave initial approval to the project, they also asked that language be included to require parking for Paseo employees within the project and that tenants of the residential building cannot sublease their parking spots or they will face penalties.