Miami Lakes


Letter: Miami Lakes may create parking area for boats


How to sound off

To submit your letter, e-mail, or write Soapbox, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Miami, FL 33172. Fax: 305-376-5287. Letters must address a specific LOCAL issue, and must be signed with a name, city or neighborhood, as well as a telephone number for verification purposes. Letters more than 350 words will not be accepted, and writers are limited to one letter every four weeks. Letters will run as space allows, and may be edited for length, style and clarity. The deadline for letters is noon Wednesday.

Since inception, the town of Miami Lakes has debated whether to allow boats to be parked in front of homes. Upon incorporation in 2001, the town adopted Miami-Dade County’s Code which included restrictions in regards to personal watercraft and/or commercial vehicles parked in residential areas. Residents who owned boats and/or commercial vehicles prior to incorporation were able to do so, and were required to register their vehicles with the town. Later, homeowners who wanted to do the same after the grandfathering period had expired, were denied variances based on the hardship criterion, a stricter standard than Coral Gables’. In early 2012, the Town Council worked to eliminate this criterion, making it easier to obtain a variance. Since this change, we've seen a rise in variances issued to park boats on front yards.

I personally believe that boats and commercial vehicles have a negative effect on the market value of our homes. Not so much the appraisal value, but definitely market value since many prospective buyers seek homes in areas enforcing rules against boats and recreational vehicles. Statistically, the areas with such rules report higher property values.

To that end, the town of Miami Lakes is exploring the creation of a personal watercraft/personal commercial vehicle storage site where residents can lease space to park their boats or vehicles. It is important to preserve our beautiful town, but it is vital to give our residents an option. I believe that a storage option will help our code compliance officers preserve our code while giving our residents an option.

In keeping with the ongoing effort of transparency in government, before finalizing any agreement with a prospective site, as always, a site plan will be presented to the community for feedback.

Manny Cid, Vice-Mayor, Miami Lakes

Vote ‘no’ on incoproration

On Feb. 27 the Miami-Dade county commissioners met to discuss matters related to unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County becoming incorporated. In attendance at the meeting were both the proponents of incorporation and a vast majority of those that are against it. One reason given by the proponents of incorporation is that “it brings government closer to them.”

I don't know about you, but in my opinion, the farther government is from me, the better I feel. Creating another expensive layer of it by incorporating an area, to me, just doesn't make sense.

I own property in the unincorporated Biscayne Gardens area, where I receive great services. The solid waste drop-off stations are really handy for homeowners wanting to get rid of yard waste, old appliances, motor oil, old bikes, lawnmowers, or other bulk waste items. Miami-Dade's 311 Service comes in handy when it comes to getting rid of a junk car that was left by someone who moved, getting a foreclosed home’s lawn cut, or other code compliance complaints.

Miami-Dade traffic engineers take care of the traffic lights and signs on our streets, Florida Power & Light takes care of the street lights, Miami-Dade's emergency services are second-to-none, with immediate responses to any 911 call by professional police, paramedics and firefighters.

Now for the best part: All these services are provided at a property-tax rate lower than any of the 34 municipal governments located in Miami-Dade County, a bargain $1.93 per $1,000 in taxable home value.

In contrast, the small group of wanna-be politicians who make up the Biscayne Gardens Municipal Advisory Committee aren't satisfied with our low tax rate. Their initial optimistic, proposed incorporated budget starts out at $4 per $1,000 —more than double the property tax rate that residents of Biscayne Gardens are currently paying. That rate is insufficient to sustain a town or city. A tax increase will certainly follow.

See what I mean about keeping government further away from you? Keep your money in your own wallet and just say "NO" to incorporation.

Bruce Lamberto, North Miami Beach

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