Fri July 19, 2013
How Coral Gables Has Been Doing Since It Lifted The Pickup Truck Ban
For residents of the city of Coral Gables, there are all kinds of strict rules and regulations, like the ones that we explored yesterday.
Not too long ago, you couldn’t even have a pickup truck within city limits -- at least not one that you kept parked in your driveway overnight.
The ban on pickup trucks in Coral Gables had been in place for more than 50 years. But then, a little over two years ago, Mayor Jim Cason took office. And getting the ban overturned became a top priority.
That caused a lot of anxiety for Coral Gables homeowners who supported the ban.
“People are saying if you have pickup trucks then next there will be purple homes. Not true,” said Cason.
The ban was put on the 2012 November ballot, and was overturned by more than half the vote.
“What we agreed on was was four wheels, not duleys, one pickup truck in front of your home, with no commercial markings, no jacked-up wheels and nothing in the bed,” said Cason.
Coral Gables resident Ronald Brouwer, who has three kids, finds his pickup truck to be very useful.
“Trucks have now become almost a necessity in order to carry our lives... I use it for gardening, to carry the kids, I use it for moving around, for throwing out stuff,” said Brouwer.
But plenty of people aren't as happy with the new ordinance. Former Gables Mayor Don Slesnick defended the ban during his ten years in office. He says the situation with the trucks is exactly what he didn’t want to see happen.
“If you drive through the neighborhoods throughout the city with pickup trucks you’ll find that in many cases, pickup trucks are not these fancy little Ford 150’s just off the showroom floor, they’re usually kind of beat-up and used up and so forth they give the neighborhood a different type of appearance than we have had without them,” said Slesnick.
Coral Gables Code Enforcement says there are about 550 pickup trucks parked on streets and in driveways throughout the city. Slesnick doesn’t like it, but he knows he has to live with it.
“The law has passed, that’s fine. We have pickup trucks, I am not on a campaign to change the law again. As mayor I defended the law, it was the law, it had been the law for a long time... I am sure Coral Gables will make it through the 21st Century with or without pick-up trucks,” said Slesnick.