closure, park plan revisted at Gables meeting
Coral Gables commissioners said they are reluctant about going ahead
with the closure of Biltmore Way to accommodate a proposed city administrative
building and an expansion of Merrick Park.
the start of Tuesday's commission meeting Dorothy Thomson voiced her
concern about the closure.
Gables commission accepted on June 5 a construction bid of $698,415
toward traffic circulation improvements related to a new 60,000-square-foot
annex to city hall and an expansion of adjacent Merrick Park.
improvements include closing Biltmore Way to traffic and converting
Andalusia Avenue from one- to two-way.
Thomson said she was not comfortable with spending that much on a
what she called a "premature" project.
recalled a June 20 discussion by the Miami-Dade County Commission
on the street closure. Commissioners questioned the city's authority
to close public streets.
seems to me certain issues between the city and the county should
be resolved before proceeding," Ms. Thomson said. "I do
not think it's prudent to ignore the concerns of another governmental
body that may or may not take precedence over city commission action."
a May Gables commission meeting, however, Ms. Thomson voted against
deferring a public hearing on the issue. Then, several angry residents
turned out to speak against the closures.
Gables Mayor Raul Valdes-Fauli said the county did not inform him
or Gables commissioners about plans to discuss the street closure.
think what the county is doing is a red herring," Mr. Valdes-Fauli
said. "They didn't bother to speak to us."
William Kerdyk Jr. said the issue could be easily resolved by leaving
the decision to city residents. He moved for a referendum that would
allow a vote on the street closures. The motion was not seconded.
said residents should also be allowed to vote on whether the city
should build the administration annex, which he opposes.