Updated August 31, 2022
The Coral Gables City Commission met on August 24, 2022 regarding resuming the annexation process of Little Gables. During the public comment, the majority of the residents spoke in favor of annexation explaining the long-standing need for faster response times for emergency services.
The President of the Miami-Dade Firefighters’ Union attended in opposition to our annexation since the county would, of course, lose tax revenue for county fire rescue. However, to our benefit, our tax dollars would be directed to the City of Coral Gables drastically reducing response times for us since their public safety building is now only four blocks away from our southeastern border.
The City moved to hire an attorney to meet with the county after the November elections to see if there is support for annexing Little Gables. If a positive response is garnered, the City will set up a “sunshine meeting” inviting residents from both Coral Gables and Little Gables to discuss annexation. If the majority of the City Commission votes in favor of annexation, the City will then resume its application to the county for a boundary change. We will keep you posted as the process moves along.
G-12: A Resolution of the City Commission directing the City Manager and City Attorney to reinitiate the annexation process for Little Gables. (Sponsored by Mayor Lago).
“Little Gables is an enclave bounded by the City of Coral Gables to the East, West and South. In July 2017, pursuant to Chapter 20, Article I of the Miami-Dade County Code, the City conducted a petition process to ascertain support amongst registered voters in Little Gables for the annexation of Little Gables into Coral Gables. In response to the petition, 23.9% of registered voters in Little Gables supported annexation, surpassing the 20% required to initiate annexation contained in the County Code. Shortly thereafter, the City Commission adopted Resolution No. 2017-344, directing the City Manager and City Attorney to prepare and submit an application for the annexation of Little Gables to Miami Dade County in accordance with the County Code. The City’s annexation application received a positive recommendation from the County’s Planning Advisory Board; and from then Mayor Carlos Gimenez. On July 17, 2019, a public hearing was held on the annexation application before the Health Care and County Operations Committee (HCOC), where the HCOC laid the City’s application on the table. Without the approval of the HCOC, the annexation application could not proceed any further in the process and was effectively denied without the full Board of County Commissioners ever hearing the matter and without giving residents in the area the opportunity to vote in a referendum. There are changes to the annexation process currently under consideration by the Board of County Commissioners (“BCC”) that are relevant to this resolution. On July 19, 2022, the BCC passed an ordinance on first reading that would amend the annexation process as follows: it would require notice be sent to both property owners and registered voters for all phases of annexation requiring mailed notice; require a survey be conducted at the City’s expense once the annexation application is referred to the Planning and Zoning Board; establish a benchmark of 60% of the total properties in the annexed area respond to the survey indicating they are in favor of the proposed boundary change; if the 60% threshold is not met, then a two-thirds vote of the county commissioners in office shall be required to both advance the proposed annexation and to effectuate the annexation. Given the documented support for the City’s annexation effort, and the long-term benefits that will accrue to both the City and Little Gables, the City Commission wishes to re-initiate the annexation process for Little Gables. To fund that effort, the City Commission allocates one hundred seventy thousand dollars ($170,000.00) for consulting fees from the general fund and approves of the City covering the hard costs related to the annexation process e.g. mailings, petition process, survey, printing etc.”
A separate article will be written on the lengthy discussion regarding this item.
There will be a runoff for County Commission District 6 this November 8, 2022. Jorge Fors is against annexation of Little Gables.
Updated August 13, 2022
The City of Coral Gables have changed the date of their City Commission Meeting this month to Wednesday, August 24, 2022 when they are planning to discuss and vote on annexation of Little Gables. Again, we urge you to attend. We will advise you of the time as soon as we have that information.
Updated July 22, 2022
The City of Coral Gables will be discussing and voting on annexing Little Gables at the City Commission Meeting on Tuesday, August 23, 2022. We urge you to attend.
As you may recall, on July 17, 2019, the Health Care and County Operations Committee of the Board of County Commissioners denied Coral Gables’ boundary change applications for both High Pines/Ponce Davis and Little Gables. However, the City will only be addressing the annexation of Little Gables at this meeting.
We will keep you informed with further details as we learn them.
Updated July 17, 2019
Below is today’s annexation update from the Assistant City Attorney of Coral Gables which explains the results of today’s public hearing.
The City’s annexation applications were heard by the Healthcare and County Operations Committee today. The City was well represented by the City Manager, City Attorney, Craig Coller, and staff. The Committee had three options today, they could 1) defer the items 2) lay the items on the table (tantamount to a denial) or 3) direct the county attorney to prepare individual ordinances for consideration by the full Board of County Commissioners. Despite our preparation and efforts, both applications were denied by the committee, 4-0. The High Pines/Ponce Davis item was met with very strong opposition from High Pines residents, with only two individuals speaking out in favor of annexation. At one point Commissioner Suarez inquired about separating High Pines from Ponce Davis, but the county attorney advised the committee that the City would have to restart the process and submit a new application for Ponce Davis. The Little Gables item had a more favorable public hearing, with many residents speaking in favor of the annexation. However, the trailer park residents, most of whom were bussed-in wearing matching t-shirts, made a strong showing along with their attorney from Legal Services. In the end, the Committee was swayed to vote against the Little Gables application out of consideration for the trailer park residents and fear that they would be displaced. Regards, Naomi Levi Garcia, Esq. Assistant City Attorney Intergovernmental Affairs Manager City of Coral Gables 405 Biltmore Way Coral Gables, FL 305-460-5248
Updated June 13, 2019
Public Hearing postponed until Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at 9:30AM
Updated June 6, 2019
The Board of County Commission will be holding a public hearing of the Health Care and County Operations Committee on annexation by Coral Gables of Little Gables and High Pines/Ponce Davis. Please make every effort to attend. This will be our only public hearing with the county.
THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2019 AT 9:30 AM
COUNTY COMMISSION COMMITTEE PUBLIC HEARING
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS CHAMBERS OF
THE STEPHEN P. CLARK GOVERNMENT CENTER
111 NW 1st STREET, 2ND FLOOR
MIAMI, FL 33128
Updated March 22, 2019
Here is a link to the Annexation Schedule for the Little Gables Annexation Process:
The next step is a meeting of the Subcommittee of the County Commission expected to take place in April, 2019.
Updated February 27, 2018
On February 12, 2018, the City of Coral Gables filed its Little Gables Annexation Application with Miami-Dade County. That application is available online (in two parts):
Updated February 17, 2018
Last February, 2017, Commissioner Rebeca Sosa mailed one survey to each household in Little Gables to see if the neighborhood was still in favor of annexation to the City of Coral Gables.
The City of Coral Gables wanted the assurance of knowing that at least 66% were in favor in order for them to move forward. The number of respondents favoring annexation was 68%.
In early July 2017, the City mailed an annexation petition form to every registered voter in Little Gables asking them to complete and return it to the City if in favor of annexation. The petition mailing was followed by a Little Gables community meeting, sponsored by the City, at the War Memorial Youth Center on July 25, 2017. The City was required to gather and submit petitions from at least 20% of the registered voters to the county. The City was able to collect petitions from 25% of the registered voters.
The City of Coral Gables held a special commission meeting on November 1, 2017 at the Coral Gables Senior Activity Center, however, the item was continued to the City Commission’s November 14th meeting at City Hall where the resolution to annex Little Gables was adopted.
On February 12, 2018, the City of Coral Gables submitted their Little Gables Annexation Application to Miami-Dade County. It is expected to take 6-9 months to move through the county, at which time a special ballot will be mailed to all registered voters. A simple majority (50% plus 1) in favor will be needed for the measure to pass.
The City is requesting a 9-12 month period between final annexation approval and the actual implementation of City services.
Updated February 1, 2017
Commissioner Sosa held a town hall meeting on November 2, 2016 for Little Gables residents. Also in attendance were a number of Coral Gables staff including the City Attorney, City Manager and the City’s Director of Public Safety. This town hall was for us to have a dialogue about annexation to the City of Coral Gables and to find out what differences there would be in taxes and services. Since there were questions raised which needed further research on the part of the county and the City, Commissioner Sosa offered to put together a side-by-side comparison fact sheet which she would then mail to all households.
We have been told that the fact sheet is almost ready for mailing. Commissioner Sosa has stated that she will support whatever the neighborhood wants. She said she would want to once again send out a survey so that we can vote either yes or no on annexation. Be watching out for the fact sheet and straw ballot soon.
Updated July 26, 2016
The City of Coral Gables hired ILER Planning to do a feasibility report with respect to the potential annexation of Little Gables and High Pines. That report was presented to the City Commission on July 26, 2016.
Click on Item I-1 along the left side below the video screen and then fast-forward a bit to 1:15:47.
Click on the right side for Item I-1 and that will take you to links to the cover of the Report and the Report itself.
The City of Coral Gables will be working with Commissioner Sosa to put together informational materials so that we are well-informed as to what to expect should we decide to be annexed. We will then have neighborhood meetings with representatives from the City. Commissioner Sosa will once again send out a survey to make sure that a majority of the residents are still in favor of moving forward. (Commissioner Sosa did a survey in 2006 and the results were 63% in favor.)
More updates coming soon!
Updated December 26, 2015
The Coral Gables City Commission passed a resolution in October urging the City Manager to move forward with annexations of three neighborhoods that border the city: Little Gables, High Pines and Ponce-Davis (which is part of High Pines). Several years ago, the Miami-Dade County Commission required that the annexation of High Pines and Little Gables be handled as a package. If the Coral Gables commission agrees to the annexation after studying the matter, the County, as well as registered voters in the areas must approve the annexation, a process that will take 2-3 years.
–Excerpted from an article written by Catherine Lackner in the 12/18/15 edition of Miami Today.
Updated May 9, 2007*
On October 10, 2003, over 600 petitions signed by Little Gables residents were presented to the City of Coral Gables in an effort to be annexed to the City of Coral Gables which surrounds our community on three of our boundaries.
In mid-2005, Commissioner Sosa decided to conduct a survey of the residents to see if the community was still interested in annexation. LGNA was to be responsible for getting the facts out to the community about annexation in preparation for that survey.
On August 23, 2005, officials from the City of Coral Gables and Miami-Dade County met with residents of Little Gables to answer questions regarding the annexation process. Much of this information was contained in the October 2005 Little Gables Newsletter.
A Fact Sheet containing the information given at the August 23, 2005 meeting was mailed on Thursday, April 13, 2006 to the Little Gables property owners. Commissioner Sosa’s Survey was mailed to the Little Gables property owners on Monday, April 17, 2006 by the Incorporation and Annexation Services Unit of Miami-Dade County.
The results of the Survey were announced on May 23, 2006:
63% of Little Gables property owners who voted were in favor of annexation; 37% of those who voted were against.
On May 28, 2006, an article appeared in The Miami Herald Neighbors section regarding the Survey. Survey Says Article (Please note that we arranged to get “Little Gables” added to the banner on the first page of the Neighbors magazine!)
*UPDATE AS OF MAY 9, 2007:
The County placed a moratorium on all annexations and incorporations in October, 2005, in order to study the financial impact the loss of these areas would have to the County’s revenue. The moratorium has finally been lifted, and on March 29, 2007, Commissioner Seijas sponsored an Annexation and Incorporation workshop to discuss future annexations and incorporations. The discussion focused on policy recommendations for the Board of County Commissioners to consider, rather than specific geographical areas. The result of the workshop was an “expression of intent” to go forward with annexations and hold off on incorporations. Nothing is certain, but it appears that the County wants to move on enclaves, such as Little Gables, and Coral Gables wants to round off its borders by annexing Little Gables and High Pines. See article from the Coral Gables Gazette regarding mitigation fees. County weighs end of annexation mitigation fees.
Stay tuned for further developments in the annexation movement!