Town's P&Z Board addresses overnight parking

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 0 Comments

The Miami Lakes Planning and Zoning Board approved an ordinance which prohibits overnight street parking for commercial vehicles within the town’s rights-of-way adjacent to residential neighborhoods, parks and government buildings, indicating they create hazardous conditions by blocking visibility for other motorists and encroach onto travel lanes and sidewalks.
At last month’s Planning and Zoning hearing, the board gave its unanimous consent for the proposed measure following Councilmember Marylin Ruano’s concern that large commercial vehicles were parking overnight in residential areas and near recreational facilities and causing problems for residents.
The town initially allowed a few overnight parking spots for commercial vehicles in residential areas and near the parks until town officials can create a long term solution like a storage area, but the parking escalated to the point where residents took matters into their own hands by calling a tow truck.
The ordinance bans parking in any right-of-way abutting either a residential district or a government facility that contains a park, public playground, library, fire station and police station.
Vehicle owners would be fined or the commercial vehicles would be towed away for repeated violations.
However, commercial vehicles are allowed to park near a residential district which abuts commercial and industrial areas, but they must be parked to the side of the street that is immediately adjacent to the residential district and not the opposite site.
Commercial vehicles parked in residential neighborhoods while contractors are repairing homes are exempt from the ordinance.
The proposed ordinance will go before Miami Lakes council members for their initial approval on May 14.
In other action, the Planning and Zoning board delayed a zoning variance for a tutoring and therapy facility for students with special needs at 15600 N.W. 67 Avenue until the owner can furnish expert testimony and letters from teachers and parents to support the idea that an indoor playground is adequate to the needs of the students as opposed to outdoor activities.
The applicant, Jenny Espinosa, said Tutor Me provides education and therapy activities for 40 students with autism spectrum and other related disorders to be housed inside a 94,225 square foot lot between the intersections of N.W. 67th Avenue and Bull Run and New Barn Road.
She said an outdoor playground constitutes an overstimulating environment for the intended pupils of the school, and it is therefore counterproductive to have them spend time in such a space during the school day.
Because of the special needs of the students, outdoor play-space is neither needed nor advisable.
Espinosa said an indoor playground within the facility is safer and more adequate to the needs of the students.
But Planning and Zoning Board members and some residents requested opinions from experts to determine what’s best for the students, and letters from teachers and parents supporting the indoor playground activities instead of outside activities.
Espinosa said the experts would be on hand at the next meeting this month, and she collected teachers and parents letters in favor of indoor activities.
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