Reality Check: Coral Gables

I’ve never really agreed with all the rules and regulations Coral Gables imposes in its residents.  But this latest one is insane.

A proposed ban on leaf blowers because they make too much noise and pollute. Not to mention how they spread mold spores and pesticides. But under this proposition, there’s a beacon of light for the homeowners:  they can use electric leaf blowers.  Apparently, by some miracle of physics, electric leaf blowers don’t spread mold spores and pesticides.

I can somewhat understand having approved colors for home exteriors. There are over 200 approved colors to choose from.  I can understand trash cans being put out the night before pickup.  But I don’t understand having to hide your pickup truck like it’s some eyesore. It seems like Coral Gables wants to be like Ralph Lauren Country- “The City Beautiful.” Well, here’s what Ralph Lauren Country looks like. Oh no, a pickup truck!

You want to stop pollution in Coral Gables?  Make every home’s car fleet have an average of 30 mpg or more.  Coral Gables, what’s next?  Washing roofs with toothbrushes? Or mowing lawns with scissors?

What do you think?


20 Responses to “Reality Check: Coral Gables”

  1. CreakyGeek Says:

    Ah, south Florida, gotta love it. I lived in the Keys for 12 years and remember similar impositions by the city fathers on things like paint colors on individually owned homes (not condos) in the “historical” parts of town. Friends of mine had an old concrete front porch that had, at one time, been painted red. Before they were permitted to repaint it the same color, they had to produce a color photograph showing that it had once been red. The remnants on red paint on the concrete weren’t sufficient. Lucky for them, they were able find a photo.

  2. Jody Says:

    Just happened across this post and I have to say an electric leaf blower doesn’t emit the noxious fumes that a gas blower does. It’s also quieter. Like comparing a Harley to an Aprilia Scooter.

    Lawn workers use gas blowers round the clock in my neighborhood and they are loud and obnoxious. I also work from home and it’s hard to write with those suckers going full throttle. As for blowers in general, blowing debris into the street doesn’t remove the debris it just makes someone’s already-too-pristine-yard look photo shoot ready. One gust of wind and all the crap they blew just blows around and into the air.

    We have an electric blower at our house and it’s used on rare occasion to remove leaves from the roof. Rather, we tend to use this ancient device called a rake. I guess I am old school.

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Hi Jody-

      Yes a gas leaf blower is real loud. I can appreciate both the old school and the need to get the work done quickly.

      As far as I know the yard workers are supposed to take away the cuttings, clippings and stuff like that. Or if not, they are to be placed in containers for take away (in South Miami there are designated piles for yard waste). And I have paid yard workers to take away big stuff like tree work.

      Did you know that under the new proposed leaf blower ban City workers and contractors are permitted to use gas leaf blowers and and other power equipment? If cutting down on pollution was so important to them, don’t you think they would comply with their own orders? Isn’t there a better way to cut down on pollution emission? Can all City vehicles all be hybrids? I drive one.

      Have a great weekend and thank you so much for commenting. I hope you stop back sometime. What is it that you write?


  3. vivinfrance Says:

    Mike, you and your fellow commenters are talking about a world I have not seen. What is the point of a leaf-blower? I know diddly-squat about the machines, but logic tells me that blowing will simply transfer the leaves to someone else’s patch. Hereabouts in rural France, beautifully furnished with trees, we either wait for the next gale, or rake and sweep the leaves and compost them to return their goodness to the soil in God’s good time. This, of course,is according to temperament and physical energy. There have to be rules, or we’d live in anarchy, but let’s have sensible ones, enforced with a light hand!

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Good morning Vivinfrance from Miami, FL USA-

      A leaf blower is a very helpful machine especially here in South Florida where the vegetation grows like weeds and the weeds grow out of control. In this city which I write about here, I don’t think that many people compost. Workers haul the vegetation away.

      For this city, a light hand would be nice. Thank you for visiting and I hope to see you back.


      • blackwatertown Says:

        I must admit, I find the leaf blowing a bit weird too. Another piece of expensive kit to store and maintain and power.
        Are you allowed to hang out your washing? I hear that in many parts of the United States people tend to tumble dry rather than just do it the normal way. (Ha ha – normal for me that is.)

  4. swampthing Says:

    moral gables, home of the swampy inteligentuals. we all know leaf blowers blow

  5. jeffzelaya Says:

    When does it stop! My parents are going thru a similar issue with their homeowners association. Recently, they were told that the American Flag they were displaying in their flag post was too large. WTH!!? Some rules just don’t make sense.

  6. Beer Drinker Rob Says:

    Hey Mike.

    First. I love the picture. Tell me that is your perfectly-manicured hand with the kitchen scissors posing.

    Coral Gables. Yeah, sounds like some of the rules contradict the others. But my neighborhood in Miramar recently hired a new management company. This new company is enforcing long-forgotten rules about commercial vehicles and parking rules and dirt on the side walk. And they do it mob style towing cars in the middle of the night.

    Mark. My. Words. There will be a revolution in Vizcaya in the next 12 months. Will you bail me out?

    PS. I hate the noisy leaf blowers at my office every other week for 4 hours straight!

    Rock On!

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Hey Rob-

      Thanks about the picture. I’d like to thank my hand model, Joseph Naranjo, (joesawesome on Twitter).

      Fact: These things are loud. No disputing that. This rule isn’t a long forgotten one though. It’s one that’s already received a 4-1 vote by the powers that be.

      Yes, I will bail you out. Give me a little notice. I’ll make a Total Wine run and after I post bond we can have a cold one. Cheers!


  7. Lorena Says:

    Aren’t people at work during the day when the lawn guy comes? Does everyone in Coral Gables stay home or work from home for that matter? This is ridiculous.

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Hola Lorena-

      I don’t know what the habits of the residents are. Personally, I like doing my own lawn. Keeps me a manly man. Kinda. Yes one gets an A+ for ridiculous.


  8. vicequeenmaria Says:

    I gotta tell you though, working from home in South Miami, I can’t stand the leaf blowing noise that goes on around here some mornings. Are those electric leaf blowers actually quieter?

    It’s funny you should post this, because I have met or still know people in Coral Gables who have a bit of OCD. I guess that’s what makes it the City Beautiful.

    I bet Palm Beach Gardens probably has an even stricter code. Every blade of grass is manicured there. And Fisher Island, forget it! They probably pay the flamingos to pose.

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Hi Maria-

      Well the electric one’s can’t be any louder. Yes, they are loud.

      It’s almost not the point though. When City workers or outside contractors do work, guess what they’ll be using: gas leaf blowers. I like The Gables. But I’m glad I don’t live there. To paraphrase Groucho Marx: “Any club that will have me as a member, I don’t want to join.”


  9. rob toast Says:

    haha my previous employer was a condo/hoa attorney. all day i had to deal with condo commandos and psychotic board members arguing over ridiculous crap like this. i feel you.

  10. Tilly Bud Says:

    I think neatness is nice but uniformity is overrated.

    It reminds me of our first flat, just after we married. We had no money and were grateful to be given some old curtains for our lounge windows. I was highly insulted when we received a letter from the landlord asking us to remove them because they ‘lowered the tone of the building.’ I replied I would be happy to remove them, if the landlord paid for replacement curtains.

    We had those old curtains up for three years.

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