STOP THE SALE–KEEP THE LEASE

Neighbors and residents along Granada Blvd across the canal from Baptist Health/Doctors Hospital will lose important environmental benefits, privacy, and property values from the sale of the city parking lot 24 leased to Baptist Health for valet parking.  The lot will undergo size and capacity transformation, removal of vegetation, construction of walls and a long-term plantings plan for 15 to 25 growth. There will be a huge increase in light and noise pollution in the neighborhood.

The valet parking sale will likely lead sooner or later to the construction of a parking garage or the introduction of mechanized car lifts on the lot (per the public request of Baptist representatives favoring the lift solution).  The city can control future land use only if the parking lot continues strictly as a lease.

Contrary to the current culture of consultation in the City of Coral Gables, the affected neighbors were not consulted about the sale during a process that began in 2016 until a first small meeting on June 29, 2021,in which the agreement for landscaping and parking was presented as a fully agreed upon re-landscaping and parking expansion between the City and Baptist Hospital.  

The sale and landscaping plan was presented to the neighbors as a fait accompli and will involve denuding existing land adjacent to the canal to be replanted for slow growth and low maintenance that will take 15 to 25 years!  There are big questions about the current appraisal and negotiation of the sale of $3.0 million.   Baptist Health has financed both the appraisals and the landscaping plan agreement.

The landscaping plan will expose neighbors to the full view of the hospital building, its strong 24 hour night lighting and increased valet traffic on University Drive for the expanded and reshaped valet parking lot.

In short, the city gains $3.0 million from the sale, Baptist Health gains long-term control over the parking lot and the neighbors lose a dense green barrier, lose hospital light mitigation, lose quiet traffic and suffer decreased property values.

This land sale to Baptist Health/Doctors Hospital adds to trends for single property owners and impacts on local neighborhoods of unrestrained traffic congestion, noise, strong light contamination, loss of local green areas and associated environmental benefits and wildlife, along with the possible loss in property values, and forced spending by homeowners to mitigate the damage. 

Therefore the City and Doctors Hospital/Baptist Health appear willing to sacrifice individual owner resident environmentq  for the parking lot development.

City Parking No Notification of Residents–Coral Gables

Parking in Coral Gables has long been a concern for many. The lack of parking in downtown leads many residents to avoid the area and frequent stores and restaurants outside of Coral Gables. However, the City’s parking woes are not limited to downtown. Most concerning to residents, the City is working actively to take spaces away from residential neighborhoods to accommodate the needs of developers and businesses. Additionally concerning for neighboring residents is that the City is making changes without notifying residents or resident input. The issue was brought up at the last Parking Advisory Board and most recently at the City Commission meeting on July 13th.

These days when the City is seeking to increase transparency, the process seems like a no-brainer. To date, no such process has been created. Residents in the area have expressed their hope that the Parking Advisory Board will take a harder look at these processes and ordinances and how they are executed by staff. Continuing with the goal of transparency, staff should work in concert with City Boards made up of citizen-volunteers so that there is complete transparency and consideration for all residents. 

Street Parking: City Taking From Residents, To Help Developers And Friends, Without Notification Or Input From Residents – Gables Insider

DOCTORS HOSPITAL VALET PARKING

New valet parking at Doctors Hospital to be sold by the City will remove a dense green protective environmental barrier between the hospital and the neighbors, all to reorganize and build more parking spaces and more “efficient” parking.

The sale and the reorganized parking space will lead to the destruction in the views and quiet space of neighbors along the canal and the big loss in environmental and community benefits (by noise, lighting, traffic, unsightly view of hospital buildings, loss in property values, loss of wildlife habitat).

PROTECTING NEIGHBORS: VALET PARKING SOLD TO DOCTORS HOSPITAL

NEIGHBORHOOD BENEFITS OF A DENSE GREEN BARRIER

A dense green buffer (shown here in part on the Coral Gables Canal near the University of Miami, abutting the Doctors Hospital parking leased from the City of Coral Gables) provides significant community, environmental and ambient benefits to residents and homeowners in the City of Coral Gables. 

The many community benefits of the green area:

  • Provide wildlife habitat (birds, fish, reptiles, manatees…) diversity
  • Traffic calming and noise mitigation
  • Impeding views of car traffic, valet parking, buses and ambulances
  • Impeding view of Doctors Hospital buildings
  • Mitigate Doctors Hospital lighting
  • Wind and temperature mitigation in storms and hurricanes
  • CO2 capture
  • Favor canal users’ recreational boating and fishing
  • Bolster local property values

Wide View of Green Barrier Doctors Hospital

Doctors Hospital Green Barrier

The green barrier is very dense and cuts off the view of Doctors Hospital to the neighbors. It also reduces noise and adds to the local wildlife that are typical in this area.

Since Doctors Hospital has implemented some aggressive pruning of the barrier there has been an important increase in light contamination to the neighbors.

Systemic Racism as Public Policy and Education

Lessons that deal with critical race theory and the “1619 Project” are not welcome in Florida’s public schools following a State Board of Education vote on Thursday.

At the request of Gov. Ron DeSantis, the board unanimously adopted a rule that, in the words of member Tom Grady, emphasizes historical facts over “fiction, projects or theory masquerading as fact.”

Grady offered an amendment that spelled out critical race theory and the “1619 Project” as examples of two well-known educational approaches that would not be acceptable in classrooms.

Florida rules for teaching history ban critical race theory | Miami Herald