North Bay Village plans to launch a parking decal program to mitigate the problems that have resulted from limited parking at Harbor Island condos.
On Tuesday, commissioners voted to tentatively approve a program that would allow residents who have one space at their condo to apply for two vehicle decals to park on the street. Residents with no parking would receive one decal through the program. Guests would be able to apply for three-day parking passes.
Residents have shared their grievances concerning parking for months, and the village hosted a special meeting in February to discuss the matter and solutions.
Some of the parking woes stem from the condos at the Bayshore Yacht and Tennis Club at 7904 West Dr. The condo association stopped paying to rent a nearby lot for parking from owner Al Coletta according to Village Attorney Robert Switkes.
“I want everyone to understand that I did not take it away,” said Coletta at the meeting. “The building stopped paying me.”
Switkes says he has tried to facilitate a meeting between Coletta’s and the condo association’s lawyers, but Bayshore lawyers have refused. He urged the Bayshore residents to speak to their condo association.
At the Tuesday evening meeting, residents again asked the commissioners to go find an immediate solution.
“I sleep in my car all of the time,” said resident Daphnie Seven, who often stays in an illegal spot until someone moves their car at 5 a.m. at the Bayshore Yacht and Tennis Club, where she lives. She then goes up to her apartment to sleep until she has to go to work at 7 a.m.
Town Manager Frank Rollason says that there will be a period of time that residents will receive warnings, but after that it will be strictly enforced by the village police.
“It will be a learning curve,” Rollason said. “In a month or so, people will understand how it works.”
Selling a parking pass or possessing one when not entitled will be illegal.
“We have the ability to revoke the pass,” Rollason said.
But residents still questioned whether the decal program would solve the problem.
“I don’t think this is being proposed as a fix-all,” Vice Mayor Jorge Gonzalez said. “It is a way of us trying to alleviate the issue.”
Commissioners debated how much to charge for the decal application, with Commissioner Eddie Lim suggesting $100.
Ultimately, the commission voted to pass the program, setting a $25 application fee. Since Lim did not agree with the fee, he was the only commissioner to vote against the program.
There are talks about launching a similar program on Treasure Island.