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


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).

Green Buffer Hides Doctors Hospital from Neighbors

Green Buffer, Coral Gables Waterway

This photo shows that the Doctors Hospital buildings are completely out of view of the neighbors; and many neighbors have renovated their houses over the years to favor this natural untouched view of the canal.

It is projected that the hospital will eliminate appreciable green areas, thereby, increasing noise, light pollution, views of parked cars and traffic, buildings with lighting, street lighting, disturbing wildlife, decreasing property values….

Endangered Green Area: Overview

This is a satellite view of the Doctors Hospital (Baptist Health) parking lot leased from the City of Coral Gables showing the lot and the green barrier between the lot and the neighborhood streets (Granada, Carillo, Pisano).

The City of Coral Gables plans the sale of the parking lot and the green area to Baptist Health for an estimated $3.0 million.

The green buffer hides views of the Doctors Hospital building, traffic and parked cars from the area residents and supplies numerous environmental benefits.

It is worrying that Doctors Hospital will re-landscape the area with the subsequent loss of the environment and local property values.

The City of Coral Gables should require that no buildings or other construction (walls) be allowed on the property and that the green buffer be fully retained or significantly improved.

If the City of Coral Gables cannot ensure the permanency of the dense green buffer then the land sale may be questioned.

Doubts On The Budget For The City of Coral Gables

The follow summarizes my doubts about the budget and where we stand with city taxing and financing.  My largest concern is that this budget assumes that the economy will come roaring back along with tax revenues.  This is completely wrong–we are headed into multiple years of slow growth, unemployment and underemployment and a shortage of State and Federal funding to mitigate local problems.
The city is basically holding taxes steady this year, when they should be reduced.
  • tax rates–still too high and they should be cut to help local taxpayers.  Taxpayers are not getting any real relief with the current proposal for a minuscule tax rate cut.
  • staffing–staffing reductions havestagnated and certain staffing is being increased to manage the so-called renaissance plan.
  • unfunded pension liabilities–these liabilities are still quite high (about $200 million) and management has elected to pay in the minimum legally required contribution.  When will the city pay them off.  Is the city praying for a sustained stock market recovery.
  • The debt surge seems wrong in the face of the other problems of the city.  These monies are needed to pay unfunded health benefits and pensions.
  • When will the unresolved Biltmore lease dispute get resolved.  We are out of pocket substantial funds that are being paid for by taxpayers–that in part explains the trivial tax cut planned for this year.
  • The Miracle Mile is stagnant if not in plain decline relative to other shopping centers.
  • The city has the practice of promoting over spending on unproductive public works, museums, i.e., the renaissance investment plan and debt surge.
  • The real estate market will be stagnant for years to come.  Right?
  • Incomes and employment will stagnate in South Florida for years ahead.

It’s Budget Time for Coral Gables

The Miami Herald reviews the budget proposal.

Are here is the new budget:

Here is the page with the previous budget documents and annual reports of the city:

Coral Gables Property Values–Another Demonstration of “Transparency”

Wondering what he is waiting for–instructions from the “boss.”

Or could it be that he is waiting to see what’s happening with the mysterious Biltmore negotiations?

Or could it be the roll-back millage rate for Coral Gables?


Others are taking a wait-and-see approach. Coral Gables Finance Director Don Nelson said he is waiting for more information to get a clearer picture of budget forces before he could comment. The city’s tax base stayed flat at $11.8 billion in the past 12 months.

via South Florida cities find silver lining in real esate news – Miami-Dade –