Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14 - P Day

December 14, 2015 Today begins the next chapter in the ongoing saga of Harbor Island Parking.  According to sources, at 6 PM tonight the police will start issuing actual citations to cars parked on Harbor Island not displaying a parking permit.  

The fine is rumored to be $28 and after 4 violations the car may be impounded.  

In order to qualify for a parking permit, you must live in a building that does not provide off street parking, or does not provide enough off street parking to meet your needs, and live on Harbor Island, or maybe work there or possibly another reason.  

The whole procedure is helpfully explained by the many signs that have been put up on Harbor Island (two? I've only seen one) and if you dig through the web page and download the PDF with the program and read it through.  Here's a link if you can't get all the way through it.  

Question 1:   What about Visitor Parking?  I sometimes have visitors.  

Answer:  Once you know you are having a visitor, first dust the place and put on a clean t-shirt.  I cannot overstress that.  Then you should contact the police at 305 758-2626 and give them the license plate number of  the visitor's car and how long you expect the visit to last.  They will note this and try not to ticket your visitor. You can also email them but the address is not yet decided.  

Page 7 of the document:
(3) Visitor Parking Permits;Visitor Parking Permits will be free of charge and will authorize parking for a maximum of three days. Visitor Parking Permits shall be available 24 hours per day/7 days per week at the Police Department Dispatch Center located at 1841 Galleon Street/second floor. Residents may either apply in person with proof of residency or they may apply electronically by providing required residency documents to: (e-mail address & procedure to be determined).
Question 2:   I live here part time or my kids have a car or my health care overnight assistant needs to park here or my it's so complicated boy/girlfriend sometimes stay with me ...

Answer:  Call Village Hall at (305) 756-7171 and ask to speak with the Village Manager and explain your situation and hope you get a permit.  

Question 3:  I live in 7904 West Drive, the Bayshore Yacht Tennis and Club.  We are being evicted from the rented parking lot across the street in 4 days which doesn't matter since I could not get a permit anyway as there are 179 units and only 120 or so spaces.  Do I get parking?  

Answer:  No parking for you.  

Question 4: Seriously!  No parking for me just because I live at 7904 West Drive?  

Answer:  Yes,  you see, this whole program was designed to force the Bayshore Yacht and Tennis Club to find or create off street parking.  The BYTC used to have off street parking but during the bankruptcy period stopped paying the owner of the lot and so they were evicted.  Now it's not clear if the Bayshore Yacht and Tennis Club was ever actually legally obligated to provide off street parking, and nobody can find the original documents that the BYTC needs to provide that parking.   But the program is going ahead anyway, with the village hoping that the punishment will effect a change and force the private owner of the lot to rent against his will to the building.  

Question 5:  Is Al Coletta, the owner of the parking lot, legally obligated to rent it to the 7904 West Drive building for parking?  

Answer:  No.  He is not.  And it's not necessarily in his best interest to do so.  There is a long conflict between Al Coletta and the building over a variety of subjects - an illegal zoning of the penthouse, his rights to the marina, and the fact that the building stopped paying rent on the parking lot last time and many landlords prefer not to rent to people who stiffed them in the past.  
He still might do it.  In spite of the fact that he is being painted as the worst human being in North Bay Village, Coletta actually gives a damn about the place.  He has helped many times with municipal issues, been a voice for beautifying the village and supported causes that brought him no direct benefit.  Coletta just doesn't like getting knocked down, kicked in the ribs and then being told that he should give up his assets for free because it would be a nice thing.   Strangely, I suspect he might cooperate in an arrangement to fix the parking at least temporarily because basically, for all his gruffness, he's a pretty good guy and our mayor asked him to please, please consider the spirit of the holidays and not throw the cars out on the street.  So there's that.  

Question 6:  Well, I'm just glad I live on Treasure Island where parking can be a little funky but we still manage.  That's cool right?  

Answer:  No.  7525 East Treasure Drive is coming online shortly with 160 renovated apartments and 98 parking spaces.  Conservatively the demand will be for 240 spaces (1½ cars per unit) so that means 142 cars will need a place to park.  There is a rumor that the Grandview may not continue its lease with the flooded parking lot on the JFK Causeway so that will have an impact.  I'm sure the program will be equally well thought out several years after the crisis.  

Question 7:  I've noticed that in other places, like South Beach and Midtown Miami, where permit parking has been implemented that there is an established procedure for getting a parking permit online, that they provide residents with visitor decals and have a mix of street parking and municipal parking and commercial parking lots in walking distance from the destinations.  Also many of the large buildings were required to add a public parking component as a condition of their variances.  Did North Bay Village give any thought to making this a full scale parking plan to balance out the conflicting needs?  

Answer:  No. 

Kevin Vericker
December 14, 2015 

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