Coral Gables, Florida

Coral Gables, Florida, population 50,999 (2018), abuts Miami and was developed as one of the first planned communities in the 1920s. The Mediterranean Revival Style was mandated in the original city plan and the city has an active historic preservation program. Proposals for designating a potential landmark may be submitted to the Historical Resources Department by the Board of Architects, a property owner or any citizen. Almost 1,000 properties are designated as local landmarks. The city maintains a TDR mechanism at Article 3, Division 10 of its zoning code to encourage the preservation of historic properties and conveyance of open space to the city for public use.

The transferable floor area available to either a historic landmark or an open space sending site is the difference between existing floor area and the maximum floor area allowed by zoning including applicable bonuses.

For landmarks, the Historic Preservation Officer can approve the transfer of this unused development potential by issuing certificates of TDRs if the proposal meets seven criteria including:

  • The sending site is a local historic landmark or a contributing property in a local historic district;
  • The sending site is located in the CBD or a second area;
  • The owners have provided a maintenance/preservation plan approved by the Historic Preservation Board;
  • And the sending site is not subject to code violations, liens, fines or overdue assessments and fees.

For open space sending sites, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board reviews proposals to determine if the site is identified as a future city park, whether the owner is proposing to transfer ownership to the city, and the relative public benefits and potential impacts of the transfer.

Receiving sites are properties in the Commercial Zone in the CBD or in the North Ponce de Leon Boulevard Mixed Use District. TDR allows up to a 25 percent increase of baseline FAR with added bonuses for the use of approved Mediterranean architectural styles.

The proposal is subject to public hearings and approval is contingent on whether the transfer is consistent with the goals and policies of the Comprehensive Plan. Restrictive covenants are recorded on both the sending and receiving sites that include any conditions of approval imposed on approval of the transfer. Per Section 3-1114, once TDRs have been transferred from a historic landmark, it cannot be demolished.