CRAFTS SECTION BLOCK 36– KEEP IT RESIDENTIAL 1. REQUEST the Commission MAINTAIN its initial recommendation to keep BLOCK 36 as RESIDENTIAL for the entire block and not split. 2. THE CRAFTS SECTION IS PART OF MERRICK’S PLANNED COMMUNITY. ANY CHANGE WILL ERODE THE “FOUNDATIONAL QUALITIES” AND HISTORICAL  INTEGRITY OF THE AREA.   3.  MERRICK PLANNED THE SAN SEBASTIAN APARTMENT HOTEL AT THE EXISTING HEIGHT OF 4-STORIES TO SET THE BOUNDARY FOR THE CRAFTS SECTION.   4. CORAL GABLES NEIGHBORS ASSOCIATION has recently submitted a memo in opposition to the proposal to upzone Block 36 of the Crafts Section. It states, “The area proposed for upzoning is comprised mostly of houses and a few 2-story residential buildings and has been zoned residential since at least 1963.  As such, this has been an in-town residential neighborhood for over 50 years and offers valuable housing diversity to Coral Gables’ real estate market.  Upzoning will not solve the problems that some residents are concerned about as this is by definition an “in-town” neighborhood; upzoning would only perpetuate and shift the problems to the residential neighborhoods that abut.’


A Florida Landlord got a Big PPP Loan–Tenants Get Rats, Mold and Evictions…

Since Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a state moratorium on evictions and foreclosures April 2, the number of filings in Tampa Bay area courts have been down compared to last year, a signal that many landlords could be waiting for the freeze to expire. Not Tzadik Management. It has filed more than 70 evictions in Hillsborough County alone since that moratorium took effect. Nearly all cited nonpayment of rent.

A Florida landlord got a big PPP loan. Tenants get rats, mold and evictions.

Our Brutal Capitalism

  • No universal healthcare–growing millions of people with no access to healthcare and worse during the pandemic and the high unemployment of those depending on employer-based healthcare.
  • Concentrated wealth and income in the upper 10 to 1 percent of people.
  • Concentration of political power in corporations and high wealth groups.
  • Broken presidential voting favoring small, rural, poor states with undemocratic local voting and the electoral college.
  • Low minimum wages and declining value of median incomes.
  • Racially segregated education, healthcare, employment, housing and public services like clean water, internet access, clean air, equity justice.
  • Socialism (meaning government benefits and subsidies) for big corporations and the wealthy, and the free market competition and harsh capitalism for the workers, poor and underprivileged.
  • Unchecked monopoly power of large, powerful corporations.
  • Exploitation of undocumented immigrants in low-wage dangerous work.
  • “Great wealth flows from great power; great power depends on great wealth. Wealth and power have become one and the same.” (p. 10. Robert B. Reich. The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It. 2020)
  • Economic growth now mostly favors the rich.
  • Weakening social safety net of social security, medicare, medicaid, unemployment insurance, SNAP (food stamp) benefits…

Be Careful Coral Gables, The Future is Very Uncertain–No Time for More Debt

Le’t hope that the commission and city manager of Coral Gables think hard again about the city’s economy and the need for more debt at a very uncertain time.  Paciencia!

Even the optimists are nervous about the next few months. It’s possible that some of the gloomy data reflect excessive caution ahead of several key events: The end of the Federal Reserve’s asset purchases, the resolution of the U.S. debt-ceiling soap opera, the resolution of Europe’s fiscal disaster, and the ability of the developing world to achieve its soft landing.

If all of those go well or even just OK, the future might look a little brighter at the end of the summer. And if they don’t? We may look back on this spring with fond memories.

via Will the economic slump last? MarketWatch First Take – MarketWatch.

See a History of House Values: Prices are Falling Again

See this very interesting graph showing the change in the housing price index in the US.  You will note that it is still heading down and this should be reflected by further declines in property values and problems for local government that depend on property taxes.

Note: This chart has been liberally copied without identifying either the source or author. If you see this elsewhere on the intertubes, you should recognize that it was created by Steve Barry, and is originally published here at TBP.(

URGENT: Weakening Citizens’ Challenge to Local Development Decisions

I bring this matter to your attention, and especially to those who are concerned about ensuring organized community development and protection of the environment.

Please Call the Members of the Senate Environment and Preservation Committee and Oppose SB 1122
April 1, 2011

Senate Bill 1122–Your calls are needed to oppose the damaging Senate Bill 1122. While this bill establishes Alternative State Review as the amendment process and keeps language more favorable for citizen challenges to inappropriate local development decisions it still has a number of damaging provisions. It eliminates Rule 9J-5, thus eliminating years of favorable legal rulings regarding citizens’ rights to challenge local development decisions, urban service boundaries and other critical issues. It removes local government authority to require supermajority votes on development decisions, and has numerous other provisions of concern. Click herefor technical comments on the bill. Please call the members of the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee and tell them to oppose this damaging bill which undermines Florida’s growth management process.

Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee

To find out more about what’s happening this session, please visit 1000 Friends


Hard to find worse housing news for South Florida and Coral Gables

I wonder what will happen to Coral Gables’ property values this year.  Won’t there be enormous pressures on the city of Coral Gables to raise tax rates yet again.

Dear candidates for commissioner and mayor: This is your real life challenge,  not Miracle Mile, parks, trolleys or public security.

Zillow found that 46.3 percent of all South Florida homes sold in January sold for a loss, down from 49.2 percent during the previous January.

South Florida home values have fallen 54.8 percent since their peak in June 2006. Nationwide, home values have fallen 28.2 percent since the peak.

Nearly 43 percent of all single-family homes in South Florida with a mortgage were underwater in the fourth quarter. Nationwide, 27 percent of homeowners owed more than what their home is worth.

via Zillow: S. Fla. home values down in January | South Florida Business Journal.