In order to comply with the town’s code, Miami Lakes residents who own boats, recreational vehicles or commercial vehicles have two storage options: park the vehicle out of sight, or in a storage facility.
To help give residents an in-town storage option, Miami Lakes officials have been working on an agreement for a private storage center. Although Miami Lakes will not operate the facility the town plans to endorse the center.
“It’s providing an option for our residents,” said Vice Mayor Manny Cid, who helped spearhead this effort.
The town has worked to connect a person leasing property from the Miami-Dade Aviation Department located near Opa-locka Executive Airport, to the operators of Value Store It Management Inc.
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“Basically we connected the two: the landowner and the operator,” said Town Manager Alex Rey.
Value Store It is now developing a site plan for the property, and determining the feasibility of building and operating the site.
“This is directly being organized and developed for residents of Miami Lakes, said Carlos Diaz, vice president and general manager of Value Store It.
Diaz said Miami Lakes residents will get a preferred rate for using the storage space, which is set to fit about 120 vehicles and to be equipped with cameras so renters can remotely keep an eye on their property.
“We are excited to serve the community,” Diaz said.
Since incorporation in 2000, Miami Lakes has issued more than 2,800 citations for improperly parked vehicles.
One resident, Elizabeth Albisu, got rid of her boat after accruing thousands of dollars in citations over the course of several years.
“When you buy a boat, they say the happiest day is the day you buy it and the day you sell it,” said Albisu, 43. “I loved the boat but it took a toll.”
Others residents pay to keep their vehicles in out-of-town storage spaces.
Although the town has no plans to change its code when it comes to parking vehicles, Cid and others hope that once the storage facility is open it will be a long-term solution to the town's vehicle storage issues.
“I think it should be a tool to change the culture from code enforcement to code compliance,” Cid said.