Coral Gables

City approves new historic district

Jackie Salo

Staff Writer

Coral Gables has a new historic district along Coral Way,  following a unanimous decision by the city's Historic Preservation Board on Thursday.

The district will include 61 residences,  three plazas,  three vacant lots and a park between Alhambra Circle and Anderson Road. The district includes some of the first homes in Coral Gables,  built in the 1920s and '30s.

The city's Historic Resources Department,  which proposed the district,  hopes that the designation will  preserve the streetscape and planning ideals of city founder,  George Merrick.

With historic designation,  the properties will require an additional review process from city officials before undergoing substantial changes.

The nine-member Historic Preservation Board only received opposition from one resident before the decision.

"We noted that the email was from a resident not living in the historic district, " said Donna Spain,  the city's historic preservation officer and the board's adviser.

The district includes 17 homes that were already designated historic and subject to the review of the Historic Preservation Board.

"Many of the homeowners are already living in homes that are individually historically designated,  and for them,  the historic district will not make a difference, " Spain said.

There are 38 properties in the designation,  including plazas and vacant lots,  that are considered "non-contributing" because they do not add to the original integrity of the area.

With the new historic district,  these properties will require approval from the city's Historical Resources Department before a permit is issued for modifications. More significant changes will need to be signed off by the department and the preservation board.

Residents who have questions about the new historic district can call the Historical Resources Department at 305-460-5093.