Doing landscaping work in Coral Gables? It could cost you five dollars

Landscapers, tree trimmers and gardeners in Coral Gables will soon have to register their trucks and trailers with the City Beautiful.

The city commission gave initial approval Tuesday for the creation of a registration system for landscapers. Those companies will have to pay a $5 annual fee to get a city-issued decal for their vehicles. Decals are required for each vehicle the company uses.

The item was sponsored by Commissioner Vince Lago who described the program as another way to keep eyes on the street for crime and to provide an organized system in case a contractor or a resident has an issue.

“Who is in the community while we’re all at work? People who are doing landscape work,” Lago said.

The first fine for violators, after warnings, is $50 and the max amount is $100 after two violations in a one-year span. The initial warning gives the contractor a 15-day window to get the decal.

“This is not about making money, it’s more about keeping real tabs on the companies working in the city,” Lago said.

Exemptions include: Anyone under the age of 19 who is performing part-time work and not using a commercial vehicle; FPL workers; city vendors; work by school or university crews; work by other governmental agencies, churches or hospitals; and any yard work or tree trimming done before an approaching storm.

Mayor Jim Cason suggested that staff find a way to bring the process to the landscapers in the field. The ordinance will only apply in the city’s residential areas. City vendors will be required to have a decal but will not have to pay a fee.