THE FUTURE OF MIRACLE MILE ZONING: Statement for Coral Gables Commission Workshop, February 24, 2021

I lend my voice to this who favor keeping Miracle Mile at its present scale and to absolutely restrict building scale and height.  I favor three stories, not seven stories.

The overgrowth and overdevelopment of many business areas of Coral Gables is still going on and moving ahead, especially along Hwy 1 and Ponce.  

The current scale of Miracle Mile conveys a friendly, traditional, lasting historical image of the city.  We are very late in considering the conservation of Miracle Mile.

Preservation is so important that we should favor strong measures of inflexible height limitations and the provision of incentives, subsidies and other conditions to protect the Miracle Mile environment.   Money from the overbuilt areas of the city should go to protecting Miracle Mile.  Residents helped pay for the Miracle Mile streetscape, which has not been that successful.

A new way of thinking about development is needed.  Many candidates for the Commission Groups 1, 2 and 3 refer to SMART DEVELOPMENT— a vague term at least.  SMART DEVELOPMENT, in practice, has  meant overbuilding, overdevelopment, traffic congestion and pollution.  That’s what we have now. 

I wish the term “smart development” meant limited, controlled development which maintains the traditional culture of Coral Gables and not producing a mountains of overbuilt areas.   We know that money and land interests push the end of Miracle Mile, but this should be resisted before it is too late.

I am not that optimistic.  But I applaud commissioners and candidates who envision a SLOWER, SCALED DOWN DEVELOPMENT— not a city of McMansions and giant apartment buildings, parking building  and malls.

Stephen E. McGaughey

About Stephen E. McGaughey
Resident of the City of Coral Gables

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