Coral Gables explores more development along U.S. 1
Looks like developers saw the Coral Gables Commission pass the controversial Paseo de la Riviera development and started salivating at the mouth.
Because now, Coral Gables city officials are working with an architectural firm to develop a South Dixie Corridor Master Plan for existing and potential future redevelopment opportunities along 2.5 miles of U.S. 1 that goes through the City Beautiful. Key word: Potential. The idea, the city says, is to creat a new “Coral Gables Corridor” with a “unique experience” for drivers, transit users, pedestrians and cyclists — all along one of the most traversed and congested thoroughfares in Miami-Dade.
And the Riviera Neighborhood Association — whose members have sued to stop the Paseo project — is back up in arms. Because they know that the idea really is to build more projects like the hotel and apartment complex planned for the Holiday Inn property that was passed by the commission in 2015.
Read related story: Coral Gables Paseo project up for final approval
Most members will be at tonight’s meeting, even though the community was split in half for two meetings, “whether by accident or design,” according to an email from the RNA. “Whether by accident or design, the meeting invitations split the Riviera Neighborhood into two separate meetings,” said the email sent Sunday, with copious use of exclamation marks. “We stand together to have our united voice heard and tomorrow night, our voice will be heard!”
The group wants the city to stick to its current zoning codes and land use designations, without any of the overlays like “multi-use” or “transit oriented development,” which they correctly identify as code words for upzoning.
“The developers love the ‘overlays’ because they allow them to build whatever they want and give cover to our commissioners who love the developers!”
The Riviera Neighborhood Association wasn’t able to stop the Paseo project (rendering to the right) from getting approved 4-1, with Commissioner Jeannett Slesnick being the only no in December of 2015. But their lawsuit certainly has kept developers from breaking ground. Paseo attorneys tried to have the court dismiss the case, which says that the changes made are inconsistent with the city’s master plan, but the circuit court judge denied their motion. Now, they are appealing that decision.
And, apparently, the city is changing that master plan.
Tonight’s meeting at 6 p.m. is the first of three community meetings the city planned for residents and “stake holders” to chime in on this new Master Plan. It’s at the Holiday Inn where the Paseo project is supposed to be, 1350 South Dixie Hwyd. Expect some developers and lobbyists to be there. They’ll be the quiet ones.
Ladra guesses the city is looking at the south side of U.S. 1 because the north side is where the county is planning to develop the Underline, a linear park and bikepath from Dadeland Station to Brickell.
Wednesday, the meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Shannon Rolle Center, 3750 S. Dixie Highway and Thursday it’s back at the Holiday Inn.
For questions, contact the City of Coral Gables Economic Development Department at 305-460-5311 or visit: www.coralgables.com/US1MasterPlan.